One of the joys of having grown children is that they sometimes produce grandchildren. Now that I have more time to focus on things other than the daily demands of life, I like to think about things that will delight my grandsons, 10 and 7.
Often the things that delight them are simple. They look forward each year to building the gingerbread house for Christmas, for example.
Another activity that they really enjoy is coating pinecones with peanut butter and birdseed, and then hanging them (via fishing line applied before the peanut butter!) outside for the birds. I’m afraid the squirrels get most of the birds’ treats, and we all get covered with peanut butter, but we have a great time anyway.
This week, I have been thinking about Spring, and what will soon (I hope) begin to happen in my garden.
It is exciting to take a walk each Spring day to see what’s new. The grass begins to green up, and tree buds fatten, then pop open. Have you ever noticed that one sunny day when you are driving or walking down your street there seems to be a green haze in the air, as the leaves unfurl? The Spring flowers pop up; first the crocus and grape hyacinth, then the daffodils and tulips, the forsythia, lily of the valley and bleeding heart, then the lilacs (sigh), and the glorious explosion of the peonies! Tada! It is God’s gift after the cold and snow of winter, an amazing, miraculous time of the year.
My mother once gave me a wonderful gift; she planted a spring bulb garden for me near my front door, so that I would see it each time I stepped outside. I looked forward to that each morning as I left for work.
Mom loved working in the garden almost more than anything else, and sharing its bounty with family, friends and acquaintances. One of the “activities” for the children in Jessie’s garden was collecting tomato worms in a paper bag, then throwing the bag in the burning barrel. The kids loved it, and the tomatoes were the better for it!
My daughter and my mother had a special relationship. They spent a great deal of time together, both out of necessity and out of love. Jenny was born when my mother was already 62 years old, but since Jessie, my mom, lived for another 29 years, they had from childhood to just after Jennifer’s marriage to cultivate the love affair between a grandchild and her grandmother.
Today I’d like to share a poem Jessie wrote to Jenny when she was about two years old. It reminds me of the love between a grandmother and her grandchild, and the beauty of Spring.
O, come to the woods, sweet Jenny.
Come to the woods with me
To smell the earth’s damp fragrance
And plants from the earth set free.
From winter’s cold dark prison
Seeking the sun’s bright beam
Hearing the voice of the prompter,
“Come up, awake from your dream.”
The buttercup is blooming
It has spread a yellow sheen
And out upon the water
You can see some velvet green.
The phlox are every color,
Their fragrance fills the air,
And at our feet so tiny,
The violets nestle there.
O Jenny, peek beneath the leaves
To see the flowers fair
In purple, white, or yellow,
An exquisite jewel rare.
I could name the lilies red
And lilies white and blue.
In all of this great company
I’ve only named a few.
But if I’m gone, dear Jenny,
And can’t take you by the hand,
Take Mom and Dad to the woods someday
And experience something grand.
For God created simple things
Like flowers and songs of birds
To be enjoyed in quietness
Without the sound of words.