Nature as Teacher

During the summer holidays my son (9) spent a week with his Grandmama at a Victorian beach where I spent much of my childhood. He had, in his words, “the most sick and excellent time.” He had Grandma pretty much to himself which meant he could eat whatever he wanted, go to bed late and sleep curled up next to her each night with sand from the beach between his toes and in his hair.

He spent his days walking by himself to the milk-bar to buy frothy milkshakes & packets of whiz-fizz. Then it was always off to the beach. There was beach-combing, swimming with stingrays & schools of sparkling fish, sun-baking and jumping off the end of a very long pier – over and over and over again. He got a sun-kissed, “Coppertone” tan and his eyes are still shining – so full of happiness and contentment. Of particular joy to me, was his new found sense of independence, maturity and resilience. A small example of this? He was given $50 to spend during his holiday. I was certain he’d buy $50 worth of lollies, but instead he chose a book that captured the essence of his holiday.

Coming home was also a new experience as he got to fly by himself on a airplane for the very first time. So very grown-up. As I greeted him at the airport, he was tongue-tied with excitement; wanting to share all the wonderful experiences he had had and the beautiful things he had found outdoors. He thrust a large bag of his bounty into my hand, announcing, “we need to do something with these.” There were conkers, seed pods, feathers and a mass of shells. And oh, what shells! There were pippies, exquisitely spiralled nautilus, cat’s eyes, luminescent oysters and large perfectly formed scallop shells.

So we have now set about making a collage which will eventually be mounted on the wall in his bedroom. My hope is that not only will it serve as a reminder of a near-perfect summer holiday; it will, each time he looks at it, remind him of the beauty and diversity of nature, the environment and his place within it.

Comments

  1. Eleanor Jodway says

    Thank You as Always for sharing! I Love to read what you write Caro. You have that Talent that lifts the reader up and carries them along happily through the story!! :)))))

  2. Danielle Bartram- Vilar says

    I have always tried to teach my own children and students that books are our friends.I have a huge collection of beautiful children´s books from all over the world and some true to my heart are from Australia which I read over and over when mine were small.I just cannot let them go and dream of reading them to my grand children in many years to come.
    We miss our Victorian summer beach holidays;rock pooling at Point Loni light house beach,sandcastles in “nappy valley” ,big warm”washing machine” waves at back beach.The ferry trip and the aqua blue waters. We hope to return one day soon.Portugal is just a little too far away!

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