Space to look up

During the first month or two of being in the US (having moved from Australia), we would be driving along and I would exclaim in surprise and delight at the wildlife, which we had never seen in person before. Anything from squirrels, to deer, to beavers. This was often met with a disappointed Indi, who would say,

It was the same with houses or other interesting structures along the road side. “Wow, look at that cool place!” And she would ask, “Where?!” But by that time we would be well past it. She would sigh with annoyance. “How come I never see them?”

She never saw them, because her head was down. She wasn’t on a device. She just would be looking down.

There has been a shift in the last two weeks. Her eyes are beginning to lift. She is starting to see more in the world around her and she is beginning to point it out… to us. It has of course, begun in nature.

First she noticed the differing animal tracks, “This looks like a deer track and here are dog prints, Mum.”

Then she began to notice the flowers and the insects.

Whilst appreciating this small shift in her focus, today I realised why it was happening. Of course, a piece of it is, Forest School, where this way of being in nature is modelled, gently guided, and all around, but another part is, she is slowly gaining the space to look up.

The move (to the other side of the world) is huge. So much to process. Sights, sounds, smells, routines, voices, feelings; all her coping mechanisms are being called on all of the time. Keeping her head down reduces the amount she is required to process and feel. It is manageable. Controlled. We are still surrounded by half unpacked boxes as we are not in our own home yet. We, her adults, adjust accordingly, and in our time. The thing to remember is, our time may not be her time. In-fact it is not. You can tell by how hard it is to get her to engage in anything outside of the four walls of our apartment (unless it is the forest), yet when pushed to participate, she mostly enjoys herself. However, over the last two weeks her eyes are beginning to look up as the space around her widens, her coping becomes stronger. Actually, her need to just ‘cope’ is lessening a little as she begins to settle into her new world.

She is beginning to find the space to look up.

And then I wonder, shall I push her a little further again next week or let her marinate in her current comfort a little longer?

6 thoughts on “Space to look up

  1. Elizabeth Lithgow July 25, 2021 — 12:09 am

    Your words always make me stop and reflect. Sometimes it is confronting, sometimes sad, sometimes provoking, and often healing x

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  2. Amazing to cope with life changes as well as moving half way across the world to a new country. I love everything you stand for, and the perspective of her little eyes through the ngahere (forest), where it seems to connect and ground with papatūānuku (land) 🥰 She is growing without knowing and making an embedded print on so many hearts with her courageous outlook to life 🙏🏽💎💜

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  3. You have such a wonderful insight and a great ability to to come up with strategies to solve problems in a gentle way. With the pressures of modern living many adults also need a safe and quite place to “ look up”.

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  4. So cool to see/read!

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  5. Lyn Drohomyretskyy July 25, 2021 — 6:16 am

    Lovely. Sounds like forest school is weaving its magic. 💕 I find time in the forest so therapeutic.

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  6. Yes! And then each element Indi notices will lead to another and another as she builds on her knowledge base for each specific noticed thing/flora/fauna and they will be connected! And it will be aMAZING!

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