when all else fails, escape to nature

A simple truth: in nature you find clarity and solace and, if you wait long enough, a definite sense of calm.

When home gets too stuffy and the mess is overwhelming I get in the car and go. We don’t have to drive far to find open space and I’m thankful for our local beach with its small waves and adequate shade. It was on this beach, early one morning just after Christmas, that Daniel and I agreed to this great adventure of his. Fast forward a fortnight and he’s gone. He left yesterday morning; a quick yet sad goodbye and as he drove off we shouted: “See you soon!” How am I feeling? Relieved that the highly anticipated goodbye is over, slightly shocked by the reality of 12 weeks without him and incredibly comforted by the messages of support I’ve received here and via email. Thank you!

For the past few weeks I’ve been thinking, thinking…how am I going to do this? Everything that comes to mind has a common theme: simple. This is an opportunity for me to let go of my ideals and practise simplicity on every single level. And I know that if all else fails and I feel completely at a loss, there is the beach – where the ocean soothes, the sand inspires hours of play and the children don’t fight.

So: get out, go explore (or just sit), immerse yourself in nature

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Showing 19 comments
  • Sarah Jane

    I always find the beach so relaxing and reviving , as well as a walk around our farm with the camera 🙂
    Sarah x

  • Alison

    The waves really can wash away even the worst of days, can't they? Wishing you smooth sailing over the next three months.

  • Lou

    I think this is great, It's really important to remember/know that nature is there. I always feel so much better mentally and physically when I venture outside and just feel the wind, breath the fresh air and feel the sun on me! I hope the next 12 weeks go smoothly and quickly for you.

  • Reannon Hope

    Simple is the answer. My husband does FIFO & is gone 4 weeks at a time & then home for one. It does get very overwhelming & tiring but I find when I get to that stage if I just let everything go- the housework, the yardwork, the routine & even the cooking- for a day or two I feel recharged & ready to tackle it all again. I say yes to more computer time, yes to satying up late & sleeping in ( if its not a school day) just so we all have a bit of down time & it does us good.

    Take it easy & you will be surprised at how fast time really does go 🙂

  • Zena

    I do the same when it is all too overwhelming at home, drive in to town and treat me and kids from our favourite cafe and head down to the lake for a walk. I find it hard when hubby is away for a couple of days let alone 12 weeks.

  • Steph @ this brown wren

    Whatever the ail…nature is always the antedote! May the weeks be filled with green and sand and water….and may they fly by xxx

  • jessdunnthis

    Your posts always come at exactly the right time as I need them. Thank you for your teachings and inspiration, Jodi. You have a wonderful gift.

  • Soph

    I get completely daunted by the concept of my partner going away for weeks at a time. I get all consumed by it, but each time when he goes I find that I just slip into a different rhythm I call it 'single-mumdom" as really it is what single mum's have everyday. I analysed the difference to my self a while ago and realised that I kept everything simple/essential and I kept on top of things. No one was coming to save me at 5:30 so I just needed to get it done now 🙂 The weekend was not going to be a lot different to the week days so I needed to make everyday sustainable to last through, I also got out of the house, even if just for a walk, most days to break the 'fishbowl' feeling. It worked for me… I hope you find a new rhythm for you family, I hope it flows easily so that your upcoming 12 weeks is not too draining. I also would love to mention that there is often a period, on return, after the initial ecstatic return, that again a new rhythm needs to be found, for all 4 of you, be patient with that time as it can often be frustrating. What stories Daniel will have to share and how wonderful it will be to see the children's growth through his eyes on his return as the will be so different in 12 weeks… its the little things we don't realise are passing.

  • JoKnows

    Best of luck to you! Yes, at least you have the beach. 🙂

    Nature for us right now is some very dirty snow, topped by a slick layer of ice. I couldn't even walk the dog safely in the park today – too slippery! I dream of spring…


  • monkeyandsquirrel

    oh how i ache to live near the water again. kids and beaches are the most perfect of combinations!

  • Kate

    Cannot wait until its a bit nicer here to get outside again. Beautiful, Jodi!

  • Breanne

    I absolutely agree!! I live in Nova Scotia, Canada so our beaches are cold this time of year but we still go to them, all bundled up. I love the brisk air and my girls love to run and scream and play. It does us all a world of good. And they were my salvation last year when I did a lot of solo parenting while my husband was on shift work.

  • Veronica. Mentre dormono.

    Jodi, do your kids really fight? I know, it's funny in a way, but I've been reassured to read that Che and Poet (whom I've loved your beautiful portraits showing, very often, peaceful moment) fight at home just like any other brothers and sisters do…
    Well, when my daughters fight I also feel the need to change scene and nature (even the park 5 minutes walk home) immediately soothes and reassures: it's like you feel everything is fine and that we belong to something bigger and beautiful, no matter the mess in the sink or the little quarrels at home …

    • Jodi

      haha, of course they do! I must admit, it's only been in the past 3 or so months and it's usually caused by Poet who really stirs Che up (and whilst he is very patient, he can only last so long) x

  • Brook

    I think you will find a rythym quickly and realize it is easier in one way with three than four souls to get in synch. A slow-cooker helps immensely in our household when papa is away for a long time. and a great opportunity to ask for more help from your little ones. They will be more helpful than you know and that helps everyone in the long run. What fun to get coins from around the world. I still cherish my collection from when I was little. Good luck and thank you for this space. It is a blessing to my home.

  • Anne Hill

    Nature really is a cure all sometimes. I hope your time apart goes quickly!

  • Sarah Staggs

    My husband is in the military and has deployed several times for 7 months at a time. You have the right idea in mind! Stay busy with fun and relaxing activities (we love being outside too)! There is something about the beach that calms any soul. We also write letters to daddy, make videos to send to daddy, make care packages of the fun things you're doing for daddy, and plan out special things you'll do when daddy returns home. Praying for these next 3 months to fly by for you but that it will also be a growing time for you with your children, and also your husband. Distance makes the heart grow fonder!
    xo, Sarah @movingeastonwest

  • Sam Stone

    What a lovely beach! I am glad you are doing okay after your goodbye. I hope it all goes well.

  • Deborah

    In a past, much younger life I lived in Highgate, London. I was blessed in those 5 exciting years to have tucked away at the end of the street, London's largest natural woodland, Hampstead Heath. Occasionally there were days when I would wake feeling blue and out-of-sorts with homesickness. Longing to see family and friends would put me in a slovenly, unmotivated and somewhat self-piteous state. I was fortunate enough during that time to nanny for the most wonderful and generous of families. They knew EXACTLY what medicine to administer on such dark days. My employer would put her arm around my shoulder and murmur, “You knew what you have to do.” Come rain, hail, snow or shine, it was on with the wellingtons, out the front door and into the expansive, rambling woodlands of The Heath. I knew that huge and beautifully green space like the back of my hand. Having walked alone for hours and hours, for miles and miles, I would always, but ALWAYS return home not so heavy hearted. Instead, I would be beaming and all the wrongs of the world would have been put right. I love nature’s ability to heal just by simply being in it. You don’t have to ask anything of it, you just have to be. in. the. moment. I have and never will forget the comfort, perspective and strength I found on those walks.

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