Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Be still and see what happens ...
Enthusiasm abounded this morning when sisters Rosie, Holly and Charlotte came along to play with good friends Violet and Will, who also happend to be brother and sister. From time with the children, I get the sense that these two families share lots of fun, adventure and love ... which also just spilled over into the farm for the day.
... egg collecting from both the chickens and the ducks, visiting Bronx the first baby goat for the year and then spending time with the goat herd, watching the cow milking (no ones cup of tea to have a go) seeing the teenage peacock with his tail up and cuddling guinea pigs all happened in the first hour!
The peacock was pretty funny. He danced for a chicken, then danced for a duck and after to magnificent displays of his half grown tail feathers and not even a nod from the chicken or duck, he put his feathers down and stalked off.
Then is was off down the back paddock, our lunches packed in the shopping trolley so we could find The Witches Garden and be ready to picnic when we felt to.
On our way we enoucntered Pebbles the cat. She is a big loving ball of fluff who loves the children who visit with me and is always keen to see what we are up to.
Once we found ourselves in The Witches Garden, I took the time to teach the children about the difference it makes when you are with the animals and you be still and see what happens. I watch many people dart round the farm and run after animals to get close to them only to be disappointed with the contact. What I've learnt over the years is that the animals at the farm really are at home and are very much hosting us in their space all the time. Rosie and Violet in particular were really interested when I shared things I'd experienced with children through just being still and relaxing and enjoying that and seeing what happens then with the animals. As if on cue, Pebbles then found us. I had a hunch already she would as I've found as soon as the children I'm with settle into a space together or relating well and creating play, Pebbles is there to see what we are up to. So in came Pebbles and Rosi and Violet were delighted with the sensitivity of just being together and how Pebbles came to them, first circling close and then rubbing against their legs a little and letting them know she was interested in them. In this feeling space, Charlotte and Will got busy creating a place for spiders to come to and Holly set about building with rocks ... it was beautiful to witness and be part of ... and from then on, the children tried this approac for themselves, delighting in the animals curiosity for them.
We enjoyed a picnic here and Violet thought it was just great that she could eat whatever she felt like and take as long as she wanted and that if she was hungry again later we'd have another picnic.
From here on, we walked right round the farm, visited the horses, Mickey the donkey, saw the calves, the sheep, spent time with the pigs. Charlotte and Will loved pulling the trolley along and no hill or bump or bend in the road was too much ... when we come across mud puddles for a good splash they almost took the trolley for a splash too. They sang the whole way, 'We're going on a safari, we're going on a safari ... '
... and we even managed to visit my vege plot to collect some spinach leaves and finish off having fun feeding the chickens. What a great day ...