Five Maples, June 2013
As long as it took for spring to finally unpack her bags to stay, we seem to have rolled right into summer lately with temperatures soaring into the high 30's. The humidity for the most part has been polite enough to dissipate once the sun sets and I've been enjoying some gloriously cool evenings on the front porch, bare legs bundled up in a cozy throw blanket.
Coaxing the shy buds gently from their slumber, the excessive rainfall and warm sunny days have turned the dull brown landscape into a place of emerald hued rolling hills.
Though the presence of Sachi has limited our deer sightings during our stays there, their tracks and trails run rampant throughout the property,
happy no doubt
that the wild berries have started to flower and tender leaves are abundant once more.
As we hike and explore the land, there's something new to be discovered every time.
A shady patch along the foothills of an impressive line of jack pines seems to be home to
innumerable snails and every step along that path
a graveyard of cast off shells,
their past owners long gone in search of bigger and perhaps better homes.
And like sea shells along the shores of the ocean, I can't resist collecting these perfect spiraling treasures, some bleached white by the sun and the elements,
others with their pale ribbons of burgundy,
tell the stories of each of their lives like the rings of a tree.
As I collect them into my eager, cupped hand, careful not to crush them or let them spill over,
I already have an idea in mind for these...a quirky design that's close to my heart.
Having a wee bean has suddenly introduced me to a whole new world of toddler "things". A market I was never aware of (and why would I be?) of gadgets, clothing, toys and more.
The best thing lately has been rediscovering the immense talent behind children's books..while I grew up reading stories and poems by the very talented Shel Silverstein, Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume to name just a few, these days we have Julia Donaldson, Margaret Wise Brown, Bill Martin Jr ..and the list goes on. There are always the timeless classics that I can't wait to share with Leo as he gets a little older but these days, our favorite pastime has been sitting and reading/looking at his ever growing collection of picture books.
While trying to read a book with him a few months ago consisted mainly of having a damp finger jammed into my mouth quite suddenly (and rudely!) as he exploded in giggles or trying to read a sentence while the pages were being violently and erratically flipped back and forth, things have progressed to finally sitting still long enough to finished a book from cover to cover.
His preferences are made quite clear as he slaps away the others and eagerly reaches out his small starfish hands for one of his favorite books - The Snail and The Whale by Julia Donaldson, fantastic illustrations by Axel Scheffler.
And here we come back to my reason for collecting those snail shells.
I can't tell you how many times I've read this book aloud for Leo this year.
Sometimes twice..three times a day. I can recite it from memory and can tell you exactly where he'll excitedly point at the page and shriek, "MOON!", "TRUCK!" or make the engine noises of the boats in the ocean.
And so as I'm breathing and sleeping snails and whales, it seems fitting that it spill over into my work.
A small collection of pieces featuring Leo's favorite snail and humpback whale.
xo Blue Gnome