I was going to post about how the kids used the new blocks I made for them . . .
. . . but I forgot to get out the camera, and since I named them "blocks," most of the sculptures we assembled using bamboo skewers and twine were dismantled at the end of play. I got some pictures of some of the structures put together with bailing wire . . .
. . . but frankly the kids were most engaged with the scissors, wire cutters, and hand drills, which they used for making their own holes in the wood. Two-year-old Vaughn had to stand on a milk crate to get enough leverage to bore through the wood, but man was he proud when he managed it!
Instead, however, I'm going to write about mud.
A couple days ago, Catherine at Squiggle Mum wrote a terrific post about playing and learning in the rain, but what struck me most was how special rain was for the children of Queensland where they get so much scorching sun that the schools have the rule "No hat, no play." Kids in rainy Seattle, on the other hand, sometimes object to going outside because it's "too bright."
We live in what was once a vast rain forest. The first European Americans to record their experiences exploring the Northwest, the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition, named their time at Fort Clatsop (on what is now the Oregon-Washington border) "The Winter of Discontent." They reported that of their 106 days here, only 12 were free of rain and only six were sunny. Living here, it's easy to look outside at the grey and wet, even if it isn't cold, and decide to just hunker down until summer like Lewis and Clark did. But Catherine's post has had me seeking out the beauty I've been overlooking these past several months, seeing my world through the eyes of those kids in Brisbane.
Yesterday afternoon we had a nice downpour after which I took the dogs for a walk in the Pandora in my back yard and snapped pictures of our most ubiquitous natural phenomenon: mud. I did so while listening to the B-52's latest album, "Funplex," which provided an interesting, and not entirely inappropriate soundtrack to our walk.
First you have to put on your boots.
"He's a mess, but he's really pretty!"
"Crazy planet . . ."
"Caught in the splendor . . ."
"Spread your seed on fertile ground . . ."
"Let's go down to our secret place . . ."
"We're on auto cruise to a strange latitude . . ."
Some mud is just an abstract painting.
"Liquid lover, you bottled it right . . ."
"Yum, now this is what water should taste like!"
"They do the slow boogaloo in the driving rain."
"Tell your skirt to take a hike!"
There were adult sized bare footprints in this mess!
"I got to have it."
"Well it all seems so simple."
"Have you tried it?"
"We're in deep."
"So intense, no sense, but feeling fine."
"Now I can smile."
"It's what we like!"
"Here we are."
"Wild eyed in a crazed haze."
"Follow your bliss."
"I just can't resist."
"Pleasure is calling you . . .
"Take this party to the White House lawn."
"Love the way that you move that stuff."
We even ride our bikes in mud.
"It's part of this earthly delight."
"You're a force of nature. Can't be controlled."
"We've gotta be part of this universe."
And you'll want to wear boots.