Another beautiful morning so we decided to skive off from the house work and head off to the secret garden to play. 3 children, 1 buggy, 1 dog and a nature hunt to complete we headed off. Child 1 chose to stay home and enjoy the peace and quiet and the man of the house was going to mow the lawn, a job impossible to do with a 2 year old and a springer spaniel both of whom want to be outside.
This little corner of childhood idyll is just down our hill, turn left, follow the road to its end, turn left at the cross roads walk about 2 metres and the black wrought iron gates that hide this peaceful paradise from view are right there in front of you. This was child 4's first real foray into the magic of the secret garden and he had no idea of what adventures awaited us through those gates. We are so lucky to have such a safe place for the children to play and explore, there are hills to scramble up and mud slides to slide down. There are trees to climb and bushes to hide in, there is a stream to leap over or paddle in where the water rushes down to a storm drain after we have had rain. There are hidden stone steps and green edged paths to lead you to places that only your imagination can take you.
Leaving the buggy close to the entrance we set off on foot to hunt for butterflies, caterpillars, dragon flies and other mini beasts. What is marvellous about children is there is no set pace, no plan just the here and now. They have no real concept of time, the older ones my be able to tell the time and know when they are hungry but other than that they just enjoy the moment. Taking a leaf from their book I left time behind and let the children take the lead. We climbed trees and collected the leaves to match to the nature hunt, beech, hawthorn and horse chestnut to name but a few. We picked wild garlic and tasted it, we hid in the undergrowth hunting out places perfect for hidden hideaways, in preparation for hide and seek games in the future. We tiptoed across the wooden bridge that traversed the stream so that we didn't wake the troll that lives beneath it and headed for the witches house. Child 4 found the orchard that was full of sheep and their baby lambs where he watched until he grew bored and then hand in hand we began a slow stroll home.
Somewhere today I decided to leave the chores and routines of ordinary life until tomorrow, we barbecued for lunch and then rolled down the garden in the plastic tunnel we have, we played with the sandpit and blew bubbles until we ran out of mixture and had to make more so that we could blow more. We bounced on the trampoline and found a furry caterpillar.
Sometimes we are so caught up in life I think that we forget to actually live, today I have made memories with my children, maybe if the sun is shining tomorrow I will make some more......