True to my predictions this past Tuesday, this week has been far quieter, and thank goodness for that, than previous weeks.
We’ve had swim lessons, walks in the woods, and swimming, swimming, swimming galore, particularly earlier in the week, when the heat and humidity was just about unbearable. None of us took off our bathing suits for three straight days. I even wore mine under my nice work dress on Tuesday, allowing me to peal it off the moment I got home that evening and fall into our little above ground pool.
Forest School, as I had envisioned all spring, actually happened. We made our fairy and gnome mailboxes:
The children were excited by the prospect of communicating with our little woodland neighbors, but aren’t quite sure what they want to leave in the boxes. I’ve suggested small, shiny things, like marbles and buttons, but E. would very much like to write a letter.
We also spent a good bit of time in our patch of forest. The creek is dried up and E. and M. have discovered this is the best place to explore. I like it, because I can find a perch at the highest point above it and watch them, even if they head a good distance away.
If you’ve read anything about creating a family rhythm, you have probably heard of in (stillness, quiet) and out (busyness, using up lots of energy) breaths. The are the busy and quiet moments throughout your day, and children (and adults, really) need both kinds to stay balanced. I try to build that into our day as much as possible, and I also try to acknowledge the larger cycle of in and out breaths through out our summer. We’ve been breathing out quite a lot, huffing and puffin, in fact. This week is a much needed breath in.
As we’ve slowed down, more and more things have risen up for us to notice. A beautiful yellow moth. A branch so perfectly bent it looks like a doorway into the fairy realm. A tiny green spider. Little daisies that look like buttons. It’s taking the time to spot and admire these small things that is restorative after an especially busy time of life. It’s a reminder to me that I have to be sure that even once the summer has passed and we’re back in the thick of school and work and courses, that we all still must stop, take a deep breath in, and remember the precious little things around us.