At 9 am yesterday I decided that we all needed to go for a nature walk. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was shining and the air was fairly clear…a little humid, but not bad at all.
Whilst the attachlings played I gathered supplies into a backpack: a carafe of water, the ergo, camera, phone, keys, snacks, beach blanket. Then, and only then, I tell the children what I have planned. They tend to annoy me mightily if I tell them before I am ready. Yeah, I know, it’s a character-flaw I’m working on. ;D
Along the walk I took lots of photos of whatever caught their attention. The boys loved finding dew on leaves and pools of water all over. As it rained the night before, they got a chance to see how water collects before it is disbursed. And they got to see what a forest looks like after a good, soaking rain. Everything was heavy with new life. There’s a quality to the colors after a rain that is unequaled.
Whinnie was fascinated by the lychens and shelf mushrooms on fallen branches and trunks. The rain made these stand out more against their darkened/rain-soaked hosts too.
By request of Nic and Theo…a shot of them in the forest.
Remember the tadpoles/pollywogs from previous posts? Well, some of them are now toads. We found dozens of them near the lake. They are SOOO tiny. I took lots of photos, but being so small and jumpy, here’s the best one. Seriously, these guys are smaller than one of Nic’s fingernails…
And then we were at ‘the prize.’ The attachlings didn’t know this was our destination…but it was. This is the little brook that they stopped at last time, but we were too tired and too in need of getting home to stay. But for this trip, the brook was the whole point to being there.
But first a snack on the beach towel I brought along. Pears, apples, baby carrots and fresh water…yum. They didn’t complain at all at this ‘forced’ snack break. They were hot and tired from the walk. Yeah, Nic’s wearing my hat…they all wear my hat during these walks. Note to self: get everyone their own hat so I can keep mine on my head. ;D
And then, everybody in…
Nic found lots of things as he moved rocks around…fish eggs attached to a submerged rock, water gliders, a small water snake, and this…a small crayfish. If you look closely you can see it’s little beady eyes.
While they were exploring and enjoying this mountain-fed brook I was looking around and planning what I could bring along next time. Oh, and coveting these HUGE hostas growing wild nearby.
Mostly, though, I just watched the attachlings play and explore. (No, I didn’t bring along my knitting. I’m doing my first project with lace weight yarn and I didn’t want to try that *here* more on that another day, though.)
Most of the time all of the attachlings were deeply devoted to redirecting the water. They built dams with rocks, sticks and wet leaves. They watched the water levels rise in the areas they had cordoned off, and then watched the water find a to flow around it. They enjoyed ‘breaking’ the dam and watching the water cascade.
These are things that I’ve watched the boys do with water tables at childrens’ museums. This was WAY better.
They enjoyed how very cold the water was. Each of them would climb out of the brook and stand in the full sunshine to warm back up when needed. They enjoyed the freedom they had to really get in the water and explore.
I enjoyed the quiet. There was the babbling brook and the sound of children laughing. These are my two favorite sounds in the world, and I got to hear them at the same time.
I didn’t talk much. They didn’t need me to. They all listened to simple rules about how to play safely and sociably in the brook. I didn’t feel a need to talk about the water cycle and this brook’s part in it. I just sat and watched and oooo-d at their finds. And took pictures, of course.
Besides, the boys already know all about the water cycle. Theo tells me about it during rainy days. 😀 And Whinnie doesn’t need to know any of that yet.
My journey into Waldorf has made me more aware of the beauty and necessity of not turning everything into a ‘learning moment.’ Times like that, in the cold water of a mountain-fed brook, should just be experienced. No lessons are required. No words are required. There is the experience of the water and that is quite enough.
Eventually the spell needed to be broken. After almost 2 hours of water experimentation, it was time to head home to make lunch. No one objected. They were tired and hungry.
As we walked home the boys explored all along the way. They found a creek bed that had dried up and followed it until they found pools of water that needed investigation.
Wee Whinnie kept sitting down right in the middle of the path. Yeah, she was tired. She nearly cried from joy when I asked if she’d like to ride home in the ergo.
Once home, the children peeled off their wet clothes, put on dry clothes, washed their hands and prepared for lunch. Whilst we ate, thunder rumbled as the sky darkenend. We had made it home just before a pop up thunderstorm.
As they ate Nic and Theo discussed whether this storm would reck their dams. In their own ways and words they discussed the water cycle. I merely listened and enjoyed. This not talking as much thing is a peaceful way to live.
While I cleaned up from lunch the attachlings headed out on the deck to enjoy the puddles. And then it rained again. So they got wet, again.
Like I said: the theme of the day was WATER.