I love October!
There is something magnificent about the season as its sunlight filters through the golden and fiery leaves. There is something breathtaking in the blueness of sky and the earthiness of the russets and bark and dirt and hay. I know it is not like this everywhere. I grew up in the Southwest in the desert where you have to measure time and seasons by a different rhythm. For this reason, I love autumn in the Midwest even more.
My boys are getting older, and with the privilege of being able to stay home alone, also comes the rarer opportunities for all of my people to be out in nature at once.
While at the library the other day, G found this sweet book. Although it touches on each of the seasons, it seems to be a great one to read during the fall.
Miss Maple is a tiny woman who collects lost seeds and matures them into the trees and plants they were intended to be. She mourns their lost state, plans her action and sees them through their potential. Wow. Did you hear that? This little picture book by Eliza Wheeler works on two main levels. With its bright illustrations it teaches G about the seasons and the seeds with which he is becoming familiar. And for me? It focuses me on my delightful responsibility as a teacher and mom to help my precious child realize his potential. I even suspect G was able to hear the words of encouragement Miss Maple had for him.
Take care, my little ones, for the world is big and you are small.
G laughed the first time he noticed how Miss Maple transported her seeds: a boat made from a leaf. She protects her lost seeds from the elements, cares for them against the weeds, and even tucks them in their cozy beds while she “reads flower tales by firefly light.” While G talks and jumps almost incessantly, and more often than not, is engaged in tales of light saber battles, there was something about this fairy-like story which held his attention.
As each season passes, there is a new way in which Miss Maple becomes a care giver. “Don’t be afraid – raindrops help us grow.” She tenderly reminds her charges in the spring. In this way, I was able gently to remind G of those past fears which brought him to where he is today. Riding his bicycle. Visiting a new class. Introducing himself to someone new.
As we read through this book, it may reinforce G’s knowledge of trees and plants. We can use the beautifully illustrated seeds to help us match them up with the leaves we encounter as we go out on our October walks. We may spot different seeds, different ways in which the world is big and we are small.
Until, finally, one day, Miss Maple sends her seeds out into the world for them to take root. Sigh. And this is what G will one day be doing. In his mind, however, it is an eternity away. In my mind, I wish it were so.