Child at Play --- Making Root Cake
Sorting through shells, looking for just the right ones...
One of my passions, and there are many, is gardening. It keeps me connected to the rhythm of the earth and the universe somehow. The dark rich loam perfumes the air with its goodness assuring me that something remarkable will soon present itself.
My Momma passed along a love for the soil and all things it can produce to me, my sisters, and my daughter, and to any others who witnessed the magic she worked around our home places both in Virginia and Florida.
Passing this along to my grandchildren is a delight. My daughter loves to plant and grow things too and often we reminisce about working in the garden with her grandma.
My grandson has come up with a new word that defines love and a form of play. You will not find it in any dictionary yet...but it will be one day. This word is : rootcake.
Let me see....how many...1, 2, 3
Kids Can Do Outside
materials need/or what to od
balls of all sizes and shapes
pool, large bucket, sprinkler, hose
small shovel, kiddie shovel, other kiddie tools/small plants, seeds
hide and seek
only a place to hide is needed
lie on the ground and look at the clouds and say what the clouds look like
listen to birds and bees and watch butterflies/feel the breeze
Baby boy ..learning to sing with his Momma
Intoxicated by all things in nature
When my baby grandson comes to visit, we spend a lot of time outdoors.
- He has so many favorite ways to spend the morning.
- He likes to go up to the edge of the property line and snuggle up next to the leaves on the trees. He then crouches down and creeps down to the end of the tree line.
- He smells the loamy earth and can see any tiny, unsuspecting insect that is wiggling or scurrying to some important engagement.
- He will stop, suddenly, cup his hand next to an ear and say, "Listen, listen. Do you hear the birds?" And, we will stop and enjoy the musical interlude a yard full of melodic birds provides.
- A sprightly butter-yellow butterfly flits by and he is off to see where the lovely creature will lead. Evey time one comes by he stops whatever he is doing and chases after it perhaps wishing that he too can fly.
In all my years, I never thought my baby grandson would teach me about root cake. Wasn't I supposed to be the one who was showing and telling him all things new and wonderful??
There is always time to get up close and personal with a tiny, green, happy frog
A Scoop of Root Cake
So much of interest hiding in and among the trees
It becomes a total sensory set of experiences...
Feel the breeze, the sand, the loam, the mud, the water, the warmth of the sun
Hear the buzz of bees and the mirthful songs of each bird
Taste the honeysuckle juices
Smell the wondrous aroma of the orange trees, the pungent freshness emanating from the freshly mown lawns
See the thin, white clouds, the bouffant bubbly clouds, the brilliant sunlight, the vast array of green of the lawn, the leaves, the bushes
Getting carried away by the wonder of it all changes who a child is and how he feels about all things in nature.
Learning to love all things of nature enlarges a child's life making each new moment outside a wondrous one.
Being immersed in the out of doors opens a child to the whole world of options that nature offers. Children will embrace all of the goodness nature offers if we give them the opportunity.
- Tear down
- Plant things
- Create new names for things like root cake
Pulling weeds is a time-consuming project...
Time out to feel the warm sun and just play
Tiny but entertaining
My baby grandson is mesmerized by all creatures, tiny as they are, that he spies. He is very fond of ladybugs. They are plentiful at this time of the year and sometimes they come inside. Last week he found one at home and took it too his Momma to show her (sadly it had been trapped by the screen and had already succumbed, a fact he did not know).
He proudly presented it to her and said: "She's sleeping, Mumma."
O, the innocence of childhood.
He will suddenly squat down when we are in the yard to watch any insect making its way somewhere. Yesterday afternoon, we were watching the grass for whatever may come by and we were not disappointed. Soon, a tiny brown ant hurriedly came along. It was carrying a large sliver of a leaf---it was much bigger than this tiny ant. Undaunted by its size, this industrious ant moved along quickly and decisively to the nearby anthill where it descended below the ground.
Later in the afternoon again we were treated to another act of Herculean strength. My grandson had been digging in the soil and I was pulling weeds from my flower bed. I had stopped so he could show me a lemony butterfly who was prancing across the yard.
We chatted about how beautiful she was and then sat down on the ground to search for whatever fascinating insect would come by. We really did not wait long when along came a tiny brown ant, surely it was not the same one from earlier in the day, and it was carrying an enormous load. Wobbling above its head was a watermelon seed which dwarfed our tiny friend.
Totally unaware of us or totally ignoring us, it moved through the grass with little difficulty. We did not see where it went as the grandboy decided he needed to run pull a dandelion that had gone to seed so we could blow on it and scatter it on the breeze.
Tiny feathers from the dandelion's skeleton fly away and he is off to make root cake.
Taking care of Nini's flowers
Taking care of his plants
A child reaches out
Root cake in its broadest sense is a scoop of soil. But it can it can be any unexpected gesture that your child may make.
Any time your little one reaches out to you
to show you that dandelion gone to seed
to show you that brilliantly colored butterfly
to share with you the chorus of the birdies in your yard
to sit with you and watch the insects in the grasses of your lawn
Any time your child reaches out to you that is root cake.
An answered question
And what is root cake?
It is fun and joy and excitement all rolled into one.
It is a scoop of soil. Any kind of soil will do.
Scoop it up and put it in a pot, add a plant and.voila...root cake is served.
So, now you know. Root cake is soil.
It is guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of a toddler and to the toddler's Momma or the toddler's Nini (gran'ma).
Someday soon, if it has not happened already your child or your grandchild will introduce you to root cake.
© 2013 Patricia Scott
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