Nature is the teacher

by | Jan 18, 2015 | Uncategorized | 10 comments

It’s time to take a break from some work that isn’t going as quickly as I would like. Time to play, and my six-year-old playmate is all ready to go.
It’s morning, and the tide is too far out for swimming. Never mind, the beach is perfect for sandcastles and the wet sand left by the receding sea is exactly the right texture.

We know from trial and error the important of patting each layer and consolidating the sand in the bucket

so that the form is preserved. The little one turns out a perfect sandcastle, and celebrates with a scallop shell on the top.
I find myself relaxing, accepting what nature is showing me. At present I’m developing an exciting new project, but it’s taking a lot of time to set it up with a solid foundation.

Sometimes I get impatient, like the little one with her next sandcastle.
It collapsed.
All was not lost, however. ‘It could be a hill. Or a house,’ she exclaimed, and so it was.

I’m happy that she is so ready to make something out of the ‘failure’. A collapsed castle is no big deal for her. But I don’t really want my new project to turn into a flat-topped hill or a house. I have aspirations. After all, I grew up beside a mountain.

‘Now we’ll connect them all up,’ she said,

gathering leaves from the sea. That’s the best place. They are all floating in the water.’

And so the sandcastle town is completed, with pathways linking the successful with the less successful castles, each one decorated and standing proudly.
I return home to reflect on what I learned from a bucket of sand. A collection of loose ideas swirling around is not good enough. I need to draw them together, connect them up and pack them into a sturdy container. The new technology needs to work. The website page needs to be set up. Inspiration on its own is not enough, but the right amount, like the ocean water, will hold everything in place, well consolidated, ready to stand alone.


  1. Vicki Lane

    And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything.

    William Shakespeare

  2. Penny O'Neill

    ” . . . what I learned from a bucket of sand ” I just love this so much, dear Juliet. Good luck in your new endeavors. You are an inspiration to me, and, my-oh-my, that little one is certainly growing and already teaching the rest of us.

  3. Juliet Batten

    * Gallivanta, yes she keeps showing me such simple pathways.
    * Vicki, what a marvellous quote. Now which of the bard’s works is it from?
    * Penny, so glad it spoke to you. Conversations with the young are so precious, and I’m sure you are having similar delights with your little ones. We are so blessed.

    Thank you Gallivanta, Vicki and Penny. It’s so good to be in touch again.

  4. Hotly Spiced

    What a pretty dress your granddaughter is wearing. I just read your comment and I’m so glad the bread has been a success. There’s also a cracker recipe so I’m going to share that after my series on Vanuatu so stand by! xx

  5. Juliet Batten

    Charlie, it’s her ‘Christmas dress’ and she loves it. I’ll look forward to the cracker recipe.

  6. Marja

    Wisdom taken from nature and the free spirit of a child. Great post. I love the sand castles Reminds me of our holidays on the beach when young and old where building sand creatures

  7. Juliet Batten

    Marja, it’s such a childhood thing isn’t it, to make the sand into different shapes. Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the post.

  8. Amy

    What a beautiful reminder Juliet, from you and your grand-daughter, of what’s truly important. So wise!

    Sometimes during a project, I have a tendency to get stuck in details. That’s when my partner’s children also remind me of the importance of embracing and flowing with what arises; enjoying the process; making connections; and simply being present with heartfelt intention.

    I’m looking forward to all your new inspired creations this year (especially your upcoming Summer Attunement). And also, working on balancing the blend of sand, seawater and bucket in my own life, to help some of my own creative ideas emerge as castles.

    • Juliet Batten

      Amy, children so easily remind us how to be present. Wishing you well with creating your own castles, and I’ll ‘see’ you on the Summer Attunement on Feb 10. Thank you.


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