Since the continuing rain and bitter winds are still limiting my outdoor time, my fleeting glimpses of the garden feel more precious than ever. Because I’m not out there every day, the progress of buds poking through the soil and early blooms, battered yet bravely opening, seems more dramatic and noteworthy than in gentler years. It feels both exciting and triumphant to find a crop of little tiny Lewisia babies coming up eagerly next to their mamas, something I was hoping for when I poked the seedheads in the soil instead of the compost last summer. I’m still filled with wonder when I see seeds sprouting and new plants forming; it feels like natural magic every time. Talking yesterday with a young friend who’s pregnant, we mused about the similarities of tiny beings forming in our bodies, just as buds become blossoms and possibly fruit. That too feels like natural magic, as does observing the emergence of a new baby from its mother’s womb, an experience that takes my breath away every time.
Since I’m only seeing my grandkids once or twice a week now that they’ve moved, it’s easier to notice their small shifts in development too. We were brushing our teeth at bedtime recently when we heard a little click and my grandson realized that his long-loose tooth had finally fallen out. Today he was very excited to show me the blank spot where another tooth fell out last night at dinner. Having lost a tooth myself last year, it struck me as amusing that for him, losing a tooth is wonderful and something to celebrate, while for me, it feels a little dire, like the looming edge of a slippery slope. I was fairly amazed to learn last week from my granddaughter (whose teeth are also going fast) that the going rate for teeth is now $5 (getting mine extracted cost a good deal more than that!). The poor Tooth Fairy must be going broke! When I told them that back in my day, the going rate was a dime, my daughter chimed in that in HER day, it was a quarter. My grandson also weighed in, saying that he only got a dollar last time, which sparked parental negotiations later….
Now We Are Seven
I was also a bit taken aback to see my granddaughter arrive with purple hair last week. Apparently her city cousins had celebrated her seventh birthday by going to a nearby salon where the three girls had their hair bleached in streaks and dyed. She reported having had a wonderful time with them; I truly can’t even imagine experiencing such an event when I was her age, though I suspect hair products are far gentler, safer and less smelly than they were back in the day. Several of my friends dye or streak their hair in vivid colors quite often, happily noting that going grey or white means they’ve now got a perfect palette to paint on; no need to bleach first and the colors really shine. Now there’s a win-win!
Another win-win is having the kids for an unexpected extra day after school, as happened this afternoon. Ever since the family started the big move, we’ve been working on big banners to fasten to the ceilings in their new rooms. Today, they’re busily painting their drawings using all sorts of media, including several colors of glow-in-the-dark paint. They’ve also made some smaller experimental versions for my ceiling, featuring flowers and shells, owls, cedar trees, stars and planets, and more. After we had a conversation about making space and feeling spacious a few weeks ago, they came up with a mysterious galaxy of space creatures to gaze at as we all fall asleep. Looking at the softly glowing stars and moons helps me coax my busy brain into peaceful paths where nature’s magic leads my imagination to wild and wonderful places. Onward, right?