"Tell her your troubles, she's a good listener"
These words, whispered in my daughter's ear one evening sealed her love for our beautiful coastline. My tiny 3 year old, who has become positively wild from her new life of catching bugs in meadows, stills each time she sees the sea. It was during a recent beach visit recently that she turned to me in complete awe and asked why I love the sea so much. After giving her the simplest answer I could, that I pour all my feelings into the sea, I noticed her staring at the waves in a way that I recognised well. Turning our thoughts over to the sea has become a habit we're growing together and just like Mama, she's letting the sea figure it all out for her. I sit quietly, watching her stare at the waves and before long her words and questions start to come. When she's done, we leave all those words there on the beach, for the tide to take away for us.
We find ourselves running regularly to the coast, eager for its vastness, its simplicity and its constantly changing shape. In Winter we greet it with flasks of warm milk and blankets but Summer is where the exploration starts in earnest. No longer weighed down by woollens, waterproofs and bracing against the ferocious wind that cuts through even the thickest layer, we scramble, dig, paddle and forage. A beach is my favourite playground and I'm so grateful that it has become my daughter's too.
So, when Hannah of Seeds and Stitches dropped me an email, asking me what my simple summer pleasure was, my mind turned instantly to our beach days. I grinned and thought of the longer stretches of light that's meant after school beach foraging extends to evening picnics at last. Sand in the bed is now a near constant and I'm entirely ok with that. Knowing how I love to soak in the best of days at the beach, Hannah invited me to share that joy as part of a new ecourse launching this week.
Hannah understands that Summer takes a little run up sometimes. Before long, gardens will be abundant, summer holidays just round the corner and travel companies will be vying for your last minute attention. It can start to feel as if Summer is getting way from you so Hannah's latest collaboration to help address that feeling seemed perfect. The project is called Stitch + Forage and is a new seasonal living project created by Hannah with Herbalist Natasha Richardson. Born out of a mutual love of wildlife, nature and a desire for a more mindful, joyful life, Stitch and Forage is designed for people with a touch of wild in their hearts. A self-paced E-guide that aims to inspire you to find easy affordable ways to incorporate slower, gentler, wilder living into your daily rhythms without compromising on style. The course is split into 4 modules: Forage, Make, Gather and Tend, and features contributors such as myself, Melanie of Geoffrey and Grace, Laura from Circle of Pine Trees, Sara from Me & Orla, and Rachel from The Foraged Life.
Stitch+Forage is now available for preorder and includes free resources with the sign up at the following link:
To get a little sneak peak of what we've all been creating together, you can also check out the hashtag #simplesummerpleasures on Instagram or Twitter. For my part in Stitch + Forage, I've included a loving look at how to make the best of the coast. I often fear prime time beach trips but have since realised there's more to enjoy than elbowing for room behind a windbreaker. I'm sharing ideas and activities for you and your family to find the same joy my daughter and I find from trips to the coast.
Happy Summer folks. Here's hoping it's a balmy one......