Muddy puddles

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walking in rain1A light drizzle of rain enveloped grass and trees as we set off on our walk through a wet and misty landscape.

Sunlight, refracted among particles of condensed water vapour in the atmosphere, reaching the ground as softened, diffuse light.

As we walked, several children burst into a seemingly random yet gentle singsong as if in response to the rain: ‘It’s raining, it’s raining’. This caught the interest of the educator walking with us who noted that for some of these children, singing was unusual. ‘It’s different to normal. They are able to express themselves with water,’ she observed. We wondered if they were encouraged by the weather, or the muffled quality of the unusually humid air.

It didn’t take long for the children to spot a large patch of mud and several inviting puddles. Soon they were all splashing, jumping and splooshing around, enjoying the sounds and sensations they drew from the earth.

I’m just jumping in muddy puddles. Let’s find some more muddy puddles.

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IMG_1001The sight of Black Mountain, partly obscured by low-lying cloud, drew the children’s attention away from the puddles for a moment and triggered overlapping cries:

It’s a mountain. It’s a rocket. Not it’s a tall mountain.

It’s a mountain cloud.

Foggy, foggy, foggy!

There were very few other creatures out today. None of the usual birds, rabbits and insects who often bear witness to our walking.  As we navigated our across the slippery ground, the children seemed to become aware that the other creatures of this place may need to seek shelter from weather.

A recurring question of “who lives here?” was voiced as we made our way in and around the rocks, moss, grassy patches, ants’ nests, trees and shrubs.

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As the rainfall increased, the children moved towards a stand of large eucalypt trees,  seeing the canopy as offering protection from the elements.

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The children likened the sheltered area to a cave.

Lets go to the cave!

Who lives in here? 

Maybe Kangaroos.

There’s too much sticks.

A home! Something’s home! It’s home!

Who lives in here?

Ants or maybe spiders.

Cold hands and wet legs indicated that it was time to head back towards to the classroom.

As if not quite ready to leave the watery landscape, the children sought out the last of the puddles, veering well off the path to jump in them. IMG_1020

Some reached out their hands and let them run through the water that was pooled along the ‘spirit level’ sculpture.img_0111-copy.jpg

Fleeting finger trails were visible in the changing viscous formations of the water, and, as these traces closed over, our transient presence seemed to enfold back into the place itself.

 

A refrain from a new song about the puddles accompanied us on our final leg back to classroom.

The muddy puddles, the muddy puddles.

The muddy puddles, the muddy puddles.

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