Sunday, October 30, 2011

Enjoy It While It Lasts

My son's class took a field trip last week. Not to the zoo, pumpkin patch, apple u-pick farm, or famous waterfall. To a park, just a short walk away. I joined in the fun, because autumn field trips happen quickly. Blink and you'll miss the sign-up list, and before you know it, it's winter and the only field trips offered are trips to the insides of places. Like museums, or puppet theaters. Which are all fine, don't get me wrong, but they're not out of doors.

We had a picnic. Some kids opted to roll down hills afterwards. I skipped out on that, preferring to keep my lunch down, but I loved watching them race around and hide in the rhododendrons.

After identifying five kinds of trees in the park, the real fun began. They scavenged for interesting leaves and fallen petals that pleased them. Then they got creative.

Just boys futzing around with leaves, right? Well, not really...
A pineconed, petaled offering.

Have you ever heard of Andy Goldsworthy? Have you ever seen his site-specific nature art? These kids have. Their teachers told them to use what was around them to create something beautiful, using no tools but their hands, heads and hearts. The results? Art installation on an autumn hillside in a city park, for passersby to enjoy.

A bed for a wood sprite.

Treasure it now. It is here and now.

Harlequin berry delight.

It is conceived of and crafted by our children.

Kids put bits of themselves in everything they make and do.

This is what they see in the leaves and the grass around us. Do you see their offerings?

 It will all blow away soon, and winter will come.

Enjoy it while it lasts. Find your own leaves. Make art to share. But be sure and look around for it. Blink and you'll miss it. The winds are coming.