I’m bringing this live to you from a field somewhere. The actual where isn’t important, what’s important is the experience.
D loves being outdoors, he has done since he was a baby. His first camping expedition was when he was 4 months old. He slept on a sheepskin rug between me and his sister and spent the rest of the time in a carrier on my back watching the world go by.
He’s always more relaxed outdoors, freer and grounded. The pace of life suits him. Outdoor cooking stokes his appetite, and he falls asleep at night before his head even touches the floor.
It’s a simple pleasure with little demands. He feels able to chat more, to be able to express how he feels on a very basic human level. Like the outdoors ground him and makes him feel part of something bigger.
He is able to practise climbing trees, getting physically stronger. He is able to collect kindling for the fire, helping him to feel useful, he is able to take responsibility and be part of a group.
Each time we come I feel him growing like the trees surrounding this field. It makes the trappings of modern life, the relentless pressure of trying to learn to a confining curriculum, the conformity of it all, feel very far away.
Here in this field he isn’t defined by all the things he can’t do, but by all the thing he can.
And that is why we shall return, maybe not here, but to places that carry the same essence, and that feeling of grounding we maybe all need sometimes.