The most delightful 30 minutes of this week happened under a tree with this girl.
I saved cheap baubles from Christmas to decorate the children’s favourite backyard tree (permanently). You can often buy plastic baubles in the post Christmas sales.
My children often play in this tree, and so I invested, bit by bit, in making it a little special. There’s wisdom in choosing to invest in the areas where my children already play. However, by the same token, I haven’t made a big deal of it. I didn’t declare, “We WILL decorate this tree. This is the one!” Nor did I decide in advance to set this activity for the kids. It’s more about acknowledging and recognising something that is already there and then being open to the right moment to invest in that something. It’s how I’ve learned to live my life with the children: capturing and valuing the moments AS we live them.
This particular tree is an important instrument in my children’s childhood and I can see that. I remember such trees in my own memories. In this particular tree, I’ve put in Fairy Door at the base, streamers grace the branches from time to time, we even did some tree art (this tree drew a picture for us — true story!), milk bottle lids made mini cubby homes on the branches, plus (a favourite!) the children and I decorated some of the branches with sparky gems (you can read more about that in my guest post on Documenting Delight).
So, in the cool of the afternoon, with the sound of the breeze singing behind me, I chatted and watched my daughter climb the tree branches with ease and grace. I tied longish pieces of string to the baubles (to make it easy to fit over branches and twigs) and passed them up to her, one by one. The most delightful 30 minutes wasted away into a feeling of joy. And that feeling of joy is now a warm memory. Life should be made up of such simple, beautiful things. Moments filled with the same measure of both insignificance and value.
Where to next?
Do you think here?
Oh, here’s a good spot.
Oh! That looks pretty!
I see this tree every time I drive the car up our pebble driveway. It gives me a little lift when I see it because of the happy sounds I often hear as my children play there, and the fun times I’ve spent under this tree myself.