Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flower Garlands...

...the children and I gathered and sewed outside. It started with an uneasiness, every time I passed the front of the house, that such a mass quantity of fallen Rose of Sharon blossoms, littering the stone archway of the porch, were being lost to waste and destined to rot.
Annie Dillard remarks: "Nature is, above all, profligate. Don't believe them when they tell you how economical and thrifty nature is, whose leaves return to the soil. Wouldn't it be cheaper to leave them on the tree in the first place? This deciduous business alone is a radical scheme, the brainchild of a deranged manic-depressive with limitless capital. Extravagance! Nature will try anything once."
As the casuality rate increased and I became enamoured with the fallen - the beauty of color and perfection of form - I wanted to salvage them from this "deranged manic-depressive", but for what?
So, when the morning today did not go as planned and the children seemed unsettled and off center, I got out a sewing kit, handed a small basket to the smallest child and told him, fill this with flowers. He diligently attended his task, and I quietly engaged mine: shaping and sewing simple garlands from soft mauve skirts of fallen blossoms. I became more present, as did he, and before long we had an audience and soon after that, other children were taking the basket out further and further afield to collect leaf and blossom litter. The mood changed from scattered and unsettled to focused and present, and we all sat and sewed. We talked about patterns, they made up their own and followed them conscientiously.
From there, they settled in their own rhythm and direction for the day. Cookie showed up to give cooking lessons and prepared an enormous and phenomenal lunch with the older children, the weather was gorgeous outside, everyone played and built forts and fairy village improvements and the day flowed smooth as silk.
To show, our summer fireplace looks as if the wee folk have been at work.


  1. the rose of sharon garlands were my favorite. the unspoken and treasured beauty of the day.