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Today I worked with a young lady whose life so far has left her with a legacy of ‘I want’. So off we went to the beach for a play and a paddle. Being hot and sunny the first thing we encountered was a beetroot red tourist eating ice creams.

There was brief ‘I want’ but we were soon on the vast sandy beach – and right in the middle, lost in a sea of humans was a …..maybug! Upside down on the hot scorching sand, legs cycling feebly in the air and going no-where. ‘I want’ suddenly re-focused on to the plight of the may bug and proudly helped me carry it back up off the beach, along the promenade to the relative safety of a wild wooded area by the cliffs. Back to the beach and off to the rock pools. Little miss ‘I want’ now became a nature detective and was soon spotting sea anemones, fish and shrimps. We found a discarded crabbing line, which we collected up so it could not harm other wildlife. Back to the sea for a paddle and jumping the waves. The tide was going out and all along the shoreline herring gulls. As we watched them they waited until the sea was washing back down the sand and then paddled their webbed feet like mad. By doing this they disturbed the sand and revealed the worms underneath. The tide carried the loose sand away and left a little pond of water with the worms, which the seagulls then ate,…clever!

Little miss ‘I want’ and I copied the gulls and did our paddling and she was delighted at catching a worm…she did not eat it however! She enjoyed her time on the beach where everything was free, where she learned a lot about the world around her and was able to do a small random act of kindness for another living creature.

This week I have been looking after my daughter’s dog and every morning we have walked along the canal. On the first morning I realised I was rushing so made my self slow down and enjoy the plethora of life around me. The only sounds coming from the numerous birds both on the canal and flitting around in the trees and bushes. Flocks of long tailed tits swooping with their high pitched tweeting, chaffinches, sparrows, swans regal / majestic and scuttling amongst the reeds and algae coots with their little fluff ball chicks scrabbling along behind.

There was a continuous background buzz of bees busy collecting nectar and all around iridescent flashes of colour as damsel and dragonflies hovered and swooped. In the canal little shoals of fish could be seen darting amongst the reeds.

The path has been made into a cycle path and has a layer of fine gravel. As I walked I noticed that some tiny pieces of gravel moved! Closer inspection revealed tiny froglets lost amongst the ‘boulders’ of the gravel.

They had transformed from tadpole to frog and ventured out of their watery habitat to dry land. There were literally loads of them and as I tried to avoid accidentally squashing them I reflected on how we too are tiny little specks in the vastness of our known universe unaware of anything that might be observing us in exactly the same way. I wondered how many people who travel along the towpath even bother to look down or around them or listen to the sounds being too busy to get where they are going and to get back again. A bit further on I met a couple walking their dog and they too were busily trying to avoid the tiny froglets – all the time people care then there is hope. Everyday unrecorded little random acts of kindness and actions all add up and make a difference.

Steph Diamond

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