As a child, even though I lived on a typical suburban block with the hills hoist, concrete driveway, garage, picket fence, pool and maintained lawn I think I was always a natural observer of nature. From watching ants tediously build and then rebuild their houses after a storm and intimately knowing the snails and their secret hideouts in our front fence, the best tree to find caterpillars in and rescuing snails from storms, I always had an innate curiosity of the natural world.
I always loved digging up sections of the yard, pretending I was a landscaper and designing new garden beds for mum and dad; and my little brother and I always fancied ourselves as archaeologists and would climb through our bedroom window, set up our dig sites down the side of the house (where nobody ever ventured) and pretend we were explores on a great excavation dig. A couple of time we actually did find some rather unique things like old glass bottles, a beautiful blue and white bowl- all remnants from a past civilization, centuries old and from a time long before us - or so we colorfully imagined. We would hoist our finds in a basket tied to a rope back through the bedroom window and carefully clean them before we presented them to our museum’s audience - mum and dad.
Now as an adult and particularly as a parent I’m still a natural nature observer, constantly pointing little things out to the kids that fascinate me, and looking for the beauty in all things. Even as I work I find myself distracted on a site visit to a beautiful old house built in the 1800's by a tiny tea set sitting on a window sill in a bathroom and I can’t stop thinking how beautiful it looks, the contrasts between colour and texture.
But most of all these days the farm is my place of constant inspiration. With the onset of winter and the picking season about to begin I have been enjoying walking through the farm in the mornings, with the heavy fog of the evening just lifting, leaving behind its mark on the morning like a snail leaving a shining trail. As the sun slowly warms the icy air, abandoned spiders webs look like tiny strands of pearls intricately laced from leaf to leaf, small shinny jewels of morning dew gather on the tips of leaves and steam appears to come from the trunks of the iron barks as the sun hits them and thaws their skin.
As I walked through the Macadamia nut field last week with Myles and Fynn I was filled with a quiet delight after pointing out to them how beautiful the yellow flowers on the grass were that spread between the rows of the orchard when Myles agreed and told me it looked as if a carpet of flowers had been laid down just in this field. And I couldn't help but feel blessed as Fynn pointed out a "Kite Hawk" circling above how lucky we are to have such a beautiful place to raise our kids. I hoped that they end up having beautiful memories of this place as I had from mine when I was a child and that they also grow with a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation for the beauty of our natural world.