Back in March on a rare and gloriously sun soaked Wednesday morning, down an old country lane, deep in the Warwickshire countryside, is a small woodland. This woodland has been prepared for expectant visitors and so it came to be, that tables had been set – complete with picnic blankets as table cloths, and the finest decorated china cups and saucers polished and prepared, two large tea pots were filled to the brim with hot steaming English breakfast tea. A large drinks dispenser filled with ice, water and freshly squeezed lemons accompanied the tall gold leaf decorated vintage glasses. Every detail has been considered and prepared and so there also happened to be a glass plate decorated with flowers and a delicate edged trim, filled with biscuits of every variety for refreshments for the soon to be arriving inquisitive visitors.
Inside the entrance, just over from the small sized wellie prints and expanse of mud, just behind the child sized hammocks, in front of the teepee tent and a vintage caravan, underneath the wishing tree, wind chimes are tinkering in the breeze, make shift tables, custom made from impressively sized cable drums complete with a random collection of objects for seating- logs, crates, smaller cable reels and benches for the visitors. Each table, adorned with jam jars filled with water and the brightest yellow daffodils you will have seen so far this spring and decorated with home made ribbons of rich and bright coloured wool! Each setting and table has photo frames, some mirrors, are jewelled with sparkle and detail, catching the glint of the beaming rays of sun. Bunting floats in the breeze, birdsong fills the trees and soon footsteps can be heard crunching up the gravelled drive.
The visitors come from far and wide and are heard to have super powers no less, for it is told that their work with little people is the most precious job in all the world. The refreshments and the decoration have been carefully and thoughtfully considered for such valued and important guests. The reason for their visit? To celebrate this magical woodland of course, showcased so beautifully in the sunlight on this day and to celebrate the wonder of how this outdoor environment – roofed only by the sky is a classroom of dreams for the little people that can soar so high.
Soon, the car park is full and guests have arrived, tea cups are clinking above the chatter and hum, biscuits are munched and soon the guests have gravitated to the wishing tree – eager and ready to get started. Soon it is time to begin the adventure and explore the expanse of green, the soft rolling grass, through the trees, over hills and dips and streams, to a clearing where we all gather round and share our names, stories and secrets as we find common ground.
For some, it is the chance to explore this woodland and understand why it’s such a special place for little people to explore and play each day and how that happens come rain, snow or shine! For all, it is a chance to reflect and ponder the barriers that sometimes stop the outdoors coming in and the inside breaking free outside. The feeling of peace and sense of calm takes over, just like the warmth of the sun on our faces, the morning spent running through the trees playing hide and seek, luxuriating in the crisp spring air, the background noise of nature and birds chirruping, brings a peace and sense of relaxation that is often to hard to find. Back at the cable reel tables Wishes are written and hung from the tree, some wishes are represented by ribbons and string that float in the breeze – to make certain that the hopes and dreams shared and envisioned make it home with each visitor to form plans and become actions that make a difference to the wellbeing and lives of the little ones.