I have to apologize for me recent long hiatus. My family and I were in a season of change. We had a rare opportunity to relocate to my family home. This place is very special and dear to my heart. It is a weird thought to be moving back to a home that already holds such wonderful memories and to have been gone for such a long time. The moment though we moved in it was as if I never had left. It is funny how fate sometimes work. You have a path in your mind of what you will do as a child etc but then Fate steps in and she has other plans for you. For me this has been always a dream to once again be back in the little country village that I grew up in, but never thought it would happen. Anyhow my long story short is it has been a very intense last few months packing up our old Victorian home and moving to our cottage home in the country.
One of the first things I did after moving in was get the garden soil mixed up and plan out the garden blue print. I knew that no matter what needed done that I was going to enjoy my summer garden. Something about walking outside and picking a fresh egg plant or squash and then carrying it back in the house to make a delicious meal with does give you the feeling of self reliance. I feel that since before modern day convinces made life a little easier, that its almost human nature to make sure that one self has an ability to eat. One of our primal instincts. Well after planting the main garden I looked around and decided maybe we needed a few more. So five separate vegetable gardens later I now feel accomplished. This brings me to the main reason for this blog post “Planting is Bringing Hope into the Future.” I know I spent many days planning and digging and building just to be able to put that small helpless plant into the ground. I was putting this little plant into the soil to let it grow and become something of its own. Maybe it will grow big and produce lots of amazing fruit. Maybe it will need some help. I still planted it though with all the uncertainty. I know that some years crops are amazing and other years not so much. The simple fact that we take that first step to put the plant or seed in the ground is having hope for the future.
For us Spring is not really near but I can be positive, instead of saying months, I will say weeks. I look forward to spring all the gardening that I worked hard on the year before becomes even more mature and beautiful. I love seeing trees I had planted years before be big enough to actually use for shade. My children love helping me tend the garden. I think it is an important lesson to teach children. That you plant for the hope of the future. Yes today it might just be a seed but in a few weeks it becomes something until one day you can pick that vegetable to eat.
I love winter and all that the season has to offer. It is natures time to rest, we celebrate the joy that winter brings to us. As I am typing this it is gently snowing outside. The silence…… (if I listen carefully I can hear snowflakes being blown onto my window). The promise of spring though is the energy that wakes the Earth up from her slumber. Even though my whole yard is covered in snow I can look beneath it and see glimpse of what the future months will bring. Life and rebirth. The once slumbering trees will slowly have opened up their buds and show new leaf. The grass will slowly green and all my carefully planted gardens will awaken. The night won’t be as dark and the air won’t be as cold. Even though I will miss my comfort of snow and dark nights I look forward to new season of change and all the amazing wonders it has to offer.
My picture was taken the day earlier, it really was the clam before the storm. A bright sunny day though cold still had patches of snow on the ground. I was able to find a small little plant attempting to peak through the leaf floor.
When you stop to look up when walking what might you see. Now maybe try looking down do you see something different. On your journey can you look up and down to see the whole picture or can you look at just part and see it all. When life gets hectic do you stop and take in the big picture or maybe just a glimpse of something. Sometimes it’s just time for a new point of view. When I find myself being overwhelmed with something I stop what I am doing and take a deep breath, then I look at something new to focus on. Even if that focus is just a small bit of my time. As you know by now from reading my blog we go hiking and do nature walks a lot. When I was doing some nature photography on my last walk instead of just focusing on the sky or on a leaf on the ground I decided to point my camera straight up a pine tree. Then I stopped and thought after looking at my shot I had took. What a magnificent thing this tree really is. This tree has existed long before any of us were around. It has seen many changes in life good and bad. It has been chewed on and climbed on. Had nest built in it. It’s bark holds many stories of its life. Lines on the palm is what the trees bark is to me. Without it many things wouldn’t have been possible. A bird couldn’t had stopped to rest. A squirrel couldn’t have had a home to raise its young. Many possibilities would have been lost if it wasn’t for that tree being there. To look with such detail at a tree when one is in a forest it makes you see how every tree is unique and is important. It’s nice to give yourself a different point of view. That view could be anything that you need in that moment. Sometimes its good to stop and give yourself that breathing grace to focus on something new. Or sometimes just to take in the scenery and get a different perspective.
Where we live it is colder more of the year than warm. We try to spend as much time outdoors with our children. That is hard to do though when someone is cold or gets wet etc. I have some tips and tricks to help get your kids outside to enjoy the weather year round.
Don’t make a fuss about the whole thing. If you fret about every little detail you will most likely just irritate your child than help them. Children are more resilient than their parents. Growing up it would be freezing outside but you would have to bribe me to get inside since I wasn’t coming in willingly.
Dress to be prepared. What I mean is you can always take off layers, but you can’t put on more layers than you have. We are a family of winter lovers. We do a lot of recreational sports outside. Growing up I use to run a small team of sled dogs. I also use to cross country ski and do skijoring. My kids if they could would live in the snow. My sons one dream is to stay in an ice hotel at some point. We dress for the weather. We put a lot of layers on, we start with thermal layers under our jeans and sweaters. Than we put on our current outfit which usually has a polar fleece zip up. Then its snow pants ( wind and water proof) and winter jacket ( also wind and water proof). Then its the layers of fleece for our necks, hats and two pairs of mittens or gloves. First layer is always a knit and the top is water proof snow gloves. If we get over heated from running etc than we take off a layer.
Next is my distraction technique. Sometimes with toddlers after what feels like 100 years getting ready to go outside they are instantly board and want to go back in. This is when I use my distraction technique. All it is , is you try to stimulate the imagination by showing them a cool thing. For my daughter we usually show her little cut outs in the tree and tell her I wonder if fairies live in there. Then she goes on these missions to find more cool trees and hidings.
Compromise….in the end what you are trying to accomplish is fresh air and a change of scenery. Sometimes the day is just a bust but I always look at it that they got X amount of time outdoors. Sometimes we spend almost all day on adventures and sometimes they are done after 30 minutes. The fact is I feel getting children outside and into nature is more of an accomplishment than a defeat, even when the day doesn’t go as planned. Now that my youngest is 4 yes he tires before the other two but he still tries to keep up with them. I can see his little mind at work while he figures out how to climb that tree or get over that rock. That is something that he learns on his own with very little assistance. I know when I had two under two our days spent outdoors were limited. The thing is though we still went out and gave it a try.
Whatever adventure your family goes on make it a fun experience so that next time everyone is just as excited as you are.
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