Feb 1, 2010

Growing magic children

We speak alot of Yorkshire these days, and there's a strange epidemic of green pointy things being uncovered. It can only mean two things: Spring is in the air, and The Secret Garden is in our bedtime routine (again).

Zekiah came home from his first school day as a 6 year old and was roaring in excitement about the "green pointy things sticking out of the earth" (spoken in Dickon's Yorkshire accent). Adding to last week's discovery of the first white snowdrop blossoms, and the weekend's yellow flowers behind the pumphouse, he enrapturedly announced the arrival of purple crocus shoots, other flowers in the front bed, and green buds on the trees. He ran inside only long enough to drag mama out to show her all of nature's splendour.

Last year it was Galen who fell deeply in love with the natural world, now Zekiah is following in his (and Dickon's) footsteps. And me, for that matter, even more aware this year than last of the minute, incremental progression of the season, the little bursts of growth that add up to an explosion of Spring. Would the insertion of new, already-grown flowers in the downtown flower boxes have spoken to our souls this way in our old city life? It's not the flower, it's the discovery of the beginnings of the cycle, and the twice-daily monitoring of the growth and cycle. My children are learning and teaching me about the magical secrets of the real world - this is why we moved here.

Very excited talk at the dinner table today about what would happen at Groundhog's Day tomorrow. All agreed that spring is here - the plants can't be that wrong. The boys decided to walk to school so we could watch for the groundhog - "he might even be in our forest", or in the ditch, or out the back window when we first wake up, or in the field where the cows are past the mailbox, or... Galen presented a dramatic re-enactment about how he'd greet the groundhog and invite him to walk to school to ensure that spring would come, imitating the teacher's deep surprised voice at seeing a groundhog come into the classroom.

There was pure play and imagination, and just the bit of Santa-like believing that makes it all come to life. Whether it's white-bearded flying men or prophetic rodents or green pointy things pokin outta the earth, children know when not to question too much, just enjoy and be part of creating and living the magic.

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