As related to me by the Beloved Husband one day recently, from an occasion when I wasn’t present:
“You know how O., sometimes, well, his face just lights up with delight at the most seemingly simple things? He got so elated ‘because our new maple tree we planted . . . CAN NOW GROW! Oh, this is so good, Papa!'”.
This was a maple sapling that we had received in Ottawa on Canada Day a year ago, brought back, planted, and forgotten. And here was the Boy, delighting in a simple little growth that to him, seemed like quite a miracle.
I’m proud that both the kids lately seem to derive pleasure from simple things outdoors that we as adults so often take for granted. We often ooh and ah over the colours changing at this time of year, but how often do we really take a close look at a single leaf and remark on its intricate beauty anymore? Four-year-olds still do. We plant seeds in spring and dutifully drag our feet when the chore of harvesting needs to be done, but do we really rush out every morning to chart the growth of each cauliflower and brocolli florette, or get excited about digging up potatoes? Nine-year-olds still do. Even when this year’s crop did so poorly that the tomato patch yielded a single, measly one, the kids still delighted over it and wanted to hold it like it was the most precious thing in the world.
Yes, it’s a cliché, but it can still be true: It takes the eyes of a child to make us stop and appreciate the small beauties in Nature.