287After tidying the house for an estate agent’s photos, and it also being Mamma’s day, our little lady and I needed to head out for some much needed nature input.  Nature is like taking a happy pill.  It helps us feel better, which in turn leads to us wanting to access it more, which then in turn (hopefully) leads to us wanting to look after it more.  We are made to want nature in our lives.  So, our little lady and I picked up our brand new nature journals and binoculars, and headed 5 minutes down the road to Titchfield Haven Nature Reserve.  We love it here.  The peace, the unhurried pace of life, and the calm and quiet.  It is just like stepping into a child’s world where time seems to stop, and you can just be.  The adult world is not allowed in.  Timetables, being on time, and doing multiple things at once have no place here.  Instead a host of opportunities and possibilities present themselves, unhurried while time is unwatched.

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We bimbled up paths admiring fairy doors, looked at nature and drew sketches and descriptions into our nature journals, we peeked under stones and logs, we sat staring out of hides to see what would drift into view, and most of all we spent time just being together sharing an activity in nature.  I love drawing, but I am by no means an artist.  However, I can’t remember the last time I sat down to draw just for the pleasure of drawing, like all three of our tribe like to do now.  As I was explaining to our little lady, there is no right or wrong way, you draw because you like doing it, you like what you see, and it’s your interpretation onto the paper.

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Last time we visited we spent around four hours watching the birds and wildlife out of the hides and covered both sides of the reserve.  Today, in three hours, we only managed one side, and only took a little notice of the birds from the hide.  The rest of our time was spent discovering other wildlife and flowers in the reserve, and then enjoying sketching them.  We saw a little newt hiding under one mini beast hideout.  A kind gentleman walked past us as we were heading back, and asked our little lady if she wanted to see a lizard.  I replied, thank you, but we had already spotted it.  But just few paces away, our little lady mutters “it’s a newt anyway”!!!!  We saw our first ever snake in the wild (we’d seen them in zoos etc), but this Slow Worm snake was amazing, and it sat a long time to let us gawp over it before it shimmied away to safety.  I also was taken aback by the wildflower garden that they had in the cottage hideout.  It was beautiful.  It is only a few months since we last visited, but how the vista has changed.

We eventually had to let daily life creep back in and head off to do our food shop, but it had been so lovely to briefly enter the life of the child where time stands still, and to be able to enjoy the moment.  We are obviously going through quite a busy time as we prepare to move countries, so to know this place is truly one of calm that I can retreat to (perhaps without 2 four year olds in tow) is reassuring.

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