Welcome ...
This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Friday, August 31, 2012

What bird is that ..?

Today in the sunshine,  Ari and I listened to a peacock call nearby.   Olivia called out and asked, 'What's that?  

Ari answered, 'It's a ape-e-cock-t', then giggled his head off as he realised he'd muddled something good to eat with the name of the bird he'd heard.

What really matters .. ?

A little game emerged today with the children collecting stones for money to buy things.   As the stones stockpiled tensions bubbled, over who had the most.

Frieda and Olivia tired of this moved into a new game, where Olivia wasn't well and Frieda was tending to her ills.   Olivia lay on a bench in the sun and Frieda asked her things about how she felt.   Frieda then ran her hands up and down Olivia's legs and Yoshi asked, 'What are you doing Frieda?'  To which she replied, 'I'm making her feel better.'

Yoshi gave a little, 'Oh.' and joined in and like' little hands on healers', he and Frieda worked on Olivia ... who by this time was actually feeling really good.

Frieda began to gently sing as she worked.  Ted was drawn totally by what was happening and stood for a moment and watched with a big fist of 'money' from the game before.

He looked at the 'healers' at work and then at his hand full of 'money' and in an instant said to himself as he threw the 'money' to the ground, 'Hmm, I don't need all this money.'  looking up to call, 'Hey can I join in?'

Witnessing Ted feel what mattered most and seeing him follow his heart in this moment was precious.   A snippet I'd love to show in every board room in Australia.

 ... it wasn't the money that mattered, it was sharing the love and care.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Simple joy ..

Luca and Sam with an early morning egg cache.

Fine art

Those marks on the side of the little shed ... fine art.

All the children disappeared round one end of the shed together and kept telling me I couldn't look.  It was wet and muddy and I wasn't quite sure what was happening with all the chatter and laughter they were up to.

In the end, Frieda came round and said, 'Come and see our paintings, they're beautiful.'

So I did .. and  found each child with a stick gently dipping into the water on top of the mud to just wet it and then painting to create their canvas masterpiece before them.

This was really inspired and beautiful ... and much to the childrens surprise ... the following week, the paintings had all gone and they spent some time wondering why.

Chilling out with the guinea pigs ...

Ari and Honey

Ted and Ginger .. a great fit in the hoodie!


The three musketeers .. or .. the Marx brothers ..

Contemplative and close ...


One of our favourite farm companions is 'Boss' ... the new kitten who has fast become a young cat.  It was a treat watching him and one of the peacocks get acquainted on the hen house roof in the early morning sun.

A little while later, peeking at us from the Mulberry tree looking both coy and cheeky.

Next a stretch in he sun on the water tank though still close by.

We love him ...

Alessia .. no one sees life like you do!

So there we were on thursday having a visit to the toilet.

Alessia climbed up, took her place on the throne, door wide open, holding court and chatting the whole time.

Once finished, she hopped down, turned to look into the toilet bowl, leaning close with one hand on either side, she let out an appreciative, 'Ahh..' soon followed by, 'Look at my lovely Ca.ca. ... oh, it's beautiful.  Danell.err, it looks just like ice cream.'

Alessia you have such a positive slant on life.

If what's in the toilet bowl looks that wonderful and blessed ... then the rest of life can only be truly amazing.

... and with you it pretty much is.  You are forever seeing the best and the beauty in all things!

Hello Daf . a . nee

Meet 'Daphne' .. our new little calf .. and to most of the children she's, 'Daf.a.nee'
She is just gorgeous.

There's a new baby calf at the farm and if you listen to some of the children calling ... you'd hear her name as Daff-a-nee ... 

When met for the first time by the little thursday gang, it was all 'Ooh's and aah's'

'Ooh, she's little.'
'Ooh, she's got wobbly legs.'
Aah, she's doing a wee.'
'Aah, she's got a tail.'

Alessia took her in, swung round, looked up at me and said, 'danell-err, she's so cute! ... just like me!!'

.. with mum, 'Bidi'

Ring . a . rosie

Frieda, Ari, Ted and Yoshi at play ... 'twas heaps of fun.

Kiss .. kiss

Joy for Luca and Sam on thursday when the guinea pigs they were cuddling seemed to get close for a little smooch ...

Being simple and being together ...

A Sunny Sonny moment ..

Thursday morn as we wandered down the back, the children all running and laughing, Sonny took my hand and both at once, we noticed some pigeons laying in the sun.   It was such a simple thing, yet they somehow captured how the day was feeling.   It was really good to just be for a bit in the sun.  As Sonny and I watched .. letting the other children run ahead and bubble along, we just quietly watched and enjoyed the pigeons.
Next thing, alongside me Sonny gave a little exclamation of joy.  Just behind the pigeons in the grass, two little parrots popped their heads up for us to see.   They were so beautiful and Sonny was taken with their beauty and the total unexpectd surprise of them being there.
'Danella, look, look at them.' he wondered.
We drank in that little moment like nectar.  
It is so often like this at the farm ... slow down enough to be in the moment and a little bit of wonder or magic comes along to greet.  
The other children were in joyous abandon and laughter and Sonny and I took this moment while we could hear them near by ... to just be and to both see the parrots.
How grand!

Hmm .. that's enough for now.

Hmm .. time for a bit of a rest.


this tree feels so good to sit by..

breathe in .. breathe out .. I'm still here .. just

Oh .. sleep just grabbed my toes for sure .. mm

Going .. going .. mm


.. gone ..

yep .. gone!

ah .. that's more like it .. a bed in a wheelbarrow .. thank you.

Tears falling ...

As we wove our way into being together on friday morning .. we found ourselves having a picnic, in a little shed, in Four flats paddock.  We were down the back of the paddock, no one around, safe from the cool wind and settled right in. 
Yoshi had told me earlier in the morning that he had '... so many questions to show me'.
As we sat got comfy together chatted and ate, Yoshi asked me if I remembered, 'The Grand old Duke of York.'  ... which to me, is his was of saying, 'We feel altogether now, I feel good, I want to sing a little song ... and I want to know if you know this one that I love.' 

I did and we sang it together to the delight of the other children who joined in in places, as they've heard this song through Yoshi a few times now.
Ted then asked, 'Yoshi can you sing that one?', not knowing the name and yet really wanting to make contact over this song, he continued, 'You know ... You know Yoshi ... that one .. ?'  Yoshi was looking at Ted and pondering which one.  I  gave them a little space to remember before offering, 'Frere Jacques?' to help them along.   'Yes! Yes!' from Ted and a big smile from Yoshi who has told us it's his favourite song. Ted takes great delight in him singing i,t as he recently knows it too, through Yoshi ... and then his mum Andy singing it to him.
... the children all mellow and enjoying each other and chatting after this ... Yoshi was then enjoying us all being together and quietly singing to himself.
All I could hear was, '... will miss you'.  I listened closely to see if I could pick up what he was singing.
He kept on singing very quietly ... and I couldn't get what his little song was so I asked, 'Yoshi what's that song you are singing?'  He sang the little bit he knew in reply and said, 'I don't know it all.' and he  sang his little bit again.   Me none the wiser, I asked, 'Who sings that to you?'  To which he replied, 'My dadda.'
He sang on and I listened still not knowing what he was singing though feeling this was probably a love song from father to son and then intuited, 'I think I know Yoshi ... is it this one?  Close your eyes and I'll kiss you, tomorrow I'll miss you ...'
Yoshi's face lit up, 'Yes, my dadda sings that one.'
Ted asked, 'How does it go?'  So I sang some more and Yoshi listened and joined in for a bit and next instant big tears came up in his eyes and rolled down onto his face.  He was sitting there wet cheeked and still, looking at us all.  All the other children noticed and little looks of concern came across their faces.  As we just just quietly in that moment being togethe,r Yoshi said to us all with total vulnerability and absolute dignity heart bared for all to see, '... and sometimes I cry when my dadda sings it to me.'   

All hearts were melting.  
Ted asked, needing reassurance that Yoshi was OK, 'Why is Yoshi crying?' 
To which I replied, 'He's just feeling the song Ted.'
Ted  and Ari asked at the same time, 'Is he sad?'
Frieda looked at Yoshi, then at me, then back at Yoshi and you could see she was wondering too ...
Olivia sat there wide eyed and checking out everyones face to try and make sense of things, then snuggled in towards me.
... and as I sat in that momen tand wondered what to give to reassure the other children that Yoshi was ok, even though there were tears,  I remembered an experience I'd had when Rebekkah was young and I thought I'd share that. I felt it would create space for them all to see Yoshi was just feeling how he felt ... we needed space for him just to feel ... and for the other children to be reassured for how they were feeling too.  
To me, Yoshi was just sharing himself and his dadda's love with us ... through that song and those tears.
I said outloud to Ted though really to all.   'Ted I had a song I sang to Rebekkah when she was little that made her cry.  I didn't sing it for her to cry, I sang it because I loved her.  She loved that song and used to want me to sing it all the time ... even though part of it felt really sad to her.  I know it's a bit like that for Yoshi having some tears.  It's a really good reason.  His dadda sings him that song because he loves him and it's telling him to remember that he loves him, even when they aren't together and they miss each other.  Crying doesn't always mean you are hurt or something bad has happened.  People have tears for all sorts of reasons ... it can mean you are feeling how it feels to love someone and miss someone ... like Yoshi does in that song.  
'What song did you sing and make Rebekkah cry?' asked Ted as only Ted could.
'Puff the Magic dragon.  Do you know that song?'
No one did so I sang it for them and when it got to the part where 'Jackie Paper came no more and Puff ceased his roar, I was looking at Yoshi and feeling my love for Rebekkah and remembering how she'd sob outloud so the walls would almost shake at that point ... for the dragon and the little boys loss of each other ... and tears came to my eyes, and I said, 'It's the same for me Yoshi, my tears have come too ...'

In that moment, everything got really still and soft for us all in the wonder of this is how life can be.
(.. and despite the sobbing, every night for a few weeks in a row, Rebekkah would ask me again and again to sing 'Puff the magic dragon' .. I didn't find it easy knowing the sobs would inevitably come.  All she needed was for me to get comfortable myself over that, so she could have the space to feel how that whole story felt to her .. even the really sad part .. that dragon and that little boy and their love for each other .. all of what happened in their magical life.)
We had all entered a very still and deeply connected place together.  Our little shed was now full of tenderness and love.
All the children came in close and Yoshi then bounced up and ... and showed us more of his questions ... he seemed to me to be excited by the affinty of our stories.
Danella do you have a picture of Rebekkah?   Was it a big dragon?   Was it green?  Did it have wings?  Were they wings like ... and he ran his hands off is shoulders like he was stroking large soft gossamer wings ...? Did it have a long nose ... you know one of those long ones that go like that (he showed me)?   Can you show me when she was little and crying about it?   He totally engaged and wanted to know more and more.

The doorway was wide open for everyone to enter even more understanding together now.
'Yoshi, Puff to me has always been a very, very beautiful dragon' ... and we all talked about how he might look. 'I don't have a picture of Rebekkah when she was little.  I can show you one of her now, she is big ... she is 16, almost a grown up now.  No I can't show you her singing and crying when she was little.  I've got a picture of her playing her ukelele though.'
By now all the children, deeply connected in feeling together were all cuddling and snuggling in close while this conversation continued between us all, as Yoshi showed his questions, many more came from eveyone ... with little stories of when tears come threaded between ... and finally ... can you sing it again?
For the rest of the day, it was the most asked question of the day ... especially for Ted and Yoshi who tried to learn it as we went along.
We walked for a while after this time in the shed, and stopped under some trees.  Frieda instantly picked up some sticks and clapping them together, she sang for us all ... totally spontaneous, free and improvised ... with dance.   She was soon joined by Ted and Olivia.   They all sang and danced together.    They were really tuned into each other and while it was a all made up as they went along, it was very beautiful, joyful and harmonious.  

Ari and Yoshi loved it and next thing, Olivia walked up close to me with one stick held down off her shoulder and another across it like a bow and said, 'Look, look .. '.  She swayed and danced with a huge beaming smile as she realised her own creation ... I could 'hear' the strains of her music. I'd say she was playing a viola by the size of the stick as what she held in her hands  and 'played' for us all, was bigger than a violin.

Then Ted and Yoshi sat me down for another few rounds of 'Puff the Magic Dragon' and Olivia and Frieda sponaneously placed themselves in front of us with wood wind accompaniment.

The whole time this was happening ... Ari was just 'in love'.  He twinkles and sparkles and smooches when the love volume increases and his incredible sweetness fills the air.   He asked questions, sang and danced his own little dance and laughed and smiled and beamed love to all like a beacon.
The flow on from our time in the shed was magical.   The bondedness of the children was strong and their lightness of being and joyful little hearts in wonderful harmony together.
Those tears from Yoshi had watered quite a garden for us all.