free play in the wild wood


The magic is always there, all you have to do is to take time out in the nature – breathe, close your eyes, count to three, and you will find it.

I knew it was going to be a good day when I passed two little girls playing shop along the Copper Coast.  A handmade sign reading “buns for sale” and a bunch of Camelias in a jam jar caught my eye.  We drove past them, turned the car, rummaged for change under the seats and stopped to be taken in by their wares.

1. Fairy buns with water and sugar icing 50 cent each x 4

2. plus the offer of their last chocolate rice krispie bun for free

3. plus a complimentary sprig of  pink Camelias                                                                  (“nicer than a rose” as Pa Hennessy used to say).

Their chatter catapulted me in to their world, I could have whiled away the day with them with talk of licking syrupy spoons and how sticky a stick is.

With a spring in my step and a ready made picnic I hopped back in to the car. Luckily the ‘just in case’ flask of tea was on board and my best buddy was at the wheel so we continued on, as planned, to the woods.

When we got there, it was teeming with birdsong and growth. We entered in to the electricity of it  – vision, sound, smell, taste, touch, volume turned UP UP UP.  I had set out to switch off but here I was plugging in to this super natural place.   Mother Nature had her merry way with me, cast her spell on me… I lost myself running  through a hideout of  bamboos, found a fairy throne, touched blossoms like candyfloss,  and heard myself, ourselves, laughing out loud – intoxicated.     This is what free play is really all about – to be fully engaged, fully alive, in the moment, in your element.  The picnic of fairy buns with hot tea was the icing on the cake of a day.  “Again! Again!”  and I remember  my own little ones when they were in that enchanted time and space.

So I want to go back “again and again” and sit on that fairy throne and wonder….

I would like to bring my 8 year old self back there and for her to idle in the sunlight, without a care in the world.  I would crouch down beside her and whisper Neil Gaiman’s words in her ear; “The one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision. So write and draw and build and play and dance and live as only you can”.

My song for today is “Mother Nature’s son” by The Beatles for my best buddy x

shop and picnic
unexpected picnic

picnic 4

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