The Art of Really Seeing
Recently I took my daughter to a birthday party at a local park. Before we hopped in the car, I spotted some little yellow flowers growing wild around the base of a tree. On a whim I picked one flower and popped it on my dashboard. As we drove it was like a ray of sunshine angled my way.
When we arrived at the park, we discovered that we were a little early. I invited my daughter to climb into the front passenger seat until we were ready to get out. I picked the flower from the dashboard and began inspecting it closely. I soon noticed the soft texture of the petals. I soon noticed tiny black splodges on each petal.
Together we really looked at the flower. We spent time examining the incredible symmetry, the fuzziness of the centre.
And then she began pulling the petals out... really slowly. As she did, we noticed how they slid out of the flower.
Okay, so what's the point of this flower waffling you may ask? Well I guess its a pretty simple reminder to slow down and really see. When we take a first glance at something - a flower, a bird, a child's play - we see shapes, colours and a general sense of what that thing is.
But, when we slow down and really see what is in front of us, a whole lot more becomes apparent. Just as more details came into focus the longer we looked at the flower, we see more in children's play the more we watch. When snap away with a digital camera, eager to catch moments that we can add to observations or daily reflections or slideshows to share with families, it can be easy for us to miss what is truly happening.
Take notice of the tiny details.
And then, perhaps we will gain a greater understanding of the way in which children play... or perhaps, we will have even more questions. And isn't that one of the many things that makes our work with children so incredibly rewarding?