All things bright and beautiful

This lovely line comes from one of the most favoured  hymns sung by children  that I know – All things bright and beautiful.  With its simple but catchy tune and its focus on the wonders and beauty of nature it has rightly earned its place in countless hearts and minds over the years.  When I was working full time with pre-school children I was often stuck by their innate wisdom  which was reflected in the magical way they saw the natural world. If only that could be bottled like a magic potion and sprinkled over us as we grow! theirs was a dazzling curiosity mixed with a tangible sense of awe and wonder and stirred with an easy, often matter of fact acceptance of all that they were seeing, whether it was a fossil, a spider, the veins of a leaf, the bugs under the piece of rotting  wood or the myriad of squiggly creatures captured momentarily in the jar on  summer pond dipping excursions. (This was in the days when ‘elf and safety had yet to raise their cautionary and forbidding fingers and parents could still be trusted to accompany young children on wildlife safari’s as we called them without CRB checks – ah halcyon days!)  These magical children might not have had the botanical knowledge of the plants or the creatures Latin names nor did they always know the  correct habitats but they had their own wisdom for what was important- a sense of wonder, of trust, of awe,  a sense of actually being in the now, and making each magical moment seem as though it was the most important moment of all.  This sparkling ability does sadly fade over time, as the pressures of learning and structure and time dominate and all children become human doings rather than human beings.  Yet that enlightened wisdom is still at our core and we can get back to it, even if we have to search for a long time.  The real wisdom is seeing with new eyes, indeed  heightening all our senses and discovering pleasures and real magic in the things that we might otherwise overlook in our grown up state.  It’s a time to ‘feel the daisies and see the rain’ as a book title once stated so creatively.   That’s when the real wisdom of  enlightenment starts to return and we experience life as we once did.  It’s a kind of homecoming I suppose.

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