Tonight the wind is whipping round and I'm happy to be inside by the fire under a blanket on the sofa. I'm quite pleased that I was learning by the sea today and not having to make decisions about safety in the wind. The sea was powerful to watch.
It seems January is a great time to start out with an outdoor venture!
This week I've been visiting and nosing round other brilliant woodlands. They both give access to the woods and provide a Forest School pedagogical approach to participants.
At Mill woods I spent a whole day of being and doing. Noticing, listening, collecting, drawing and creating. A group of women meet monthly to share and benefit from our connection to nature and increasingly each other.
I came away with an uplifted, positive feeling. I notice the constant well being effect that the woods has on me. We thought about giving as well as receiving benefit from the woodlands. I hope that I can provide a reciprocal benefit over time. I also had the time and space to create a folder to start to collect ideas, images and thoughts to benefit me and my future scheming. It has been a long time since I sat and drew what I see in front of me. I realise I've missed it.
I was inspired to go spend a day in the woods here. I prepared for Thursdays session by collecting dry wood and building a fire. ( It's probably been blown away now! But that gives me a job mañana) I then sat down and drew some things I had found. I got sidetracked into tidying and sorting the shed.
Tarps were aired. Resources sorted and labelled with handmade charcoal. I built a ladder so the little people can independently challenge themselves to get onto the slack line. I used the ladder to clear the winter's leaves from the roof of the shed. And then there was light again! Feels pretty good to have made with ease and independence something which has a direct and useful purpose. Although it's not in my house, I hope William Morris would approve.
Having sorted the stuff in the woods I carried on at home. I took down some kitchen cupboards which needed moving. I put them up in the porch as better storage and sorted my Forest School kit at home. I planted some seeds to start the season of growing for the garden.
It feels good to be independent with my practical skills both inside and out. I see that Winter has given me the to be time to take stock, organise prepare and plan for the coming year. Just as the plants and outside world are doing.
I visit an outdoor setting for preschool. I may be able to get some cover work. The site is brilliant for the children. They've made a pirate ship, puppet theatre space, climbing platforms and have the most brilliant loose parts spaces.
It is set in a coppiced chestnut woodland. The coppiced trees provide such brilliant opportunities for children and adults creativity. I come away inspired and excited to have the chance to work at a different setting and learn from other adults and children.
So tonight, hiding from the wind, I write, I reflect and I draw a bit more. And I think..hearing a plant pot smash as it's blown off the table outside... it's a bit blowy out there!