Sunday, March 18, 2012


What could be better than a big pile of hay? (Breezy, in the Facebook comments, has noted that this is, in fact, straw, but we city folk called it hay all last week. I understand that this must irritate some of you: my peeve is people who don't care that there's a difference between cement and concrete.) Mason had his birthday party last weekend, one that apparently had a theme involving hay. When his mom Michelle asked if the school wanted it when they were done, I naturally said, "Of course!"

Some learning is hard; it involves crying or fury, but learning from hay is the other kind of learning; learning that comes through joy.

It started as a pretty good pile, there in the area right up against the sandpit, between the outdoor drum set, the garden beds and the worm bin, but it flattened and spread during our week of relentless rain and jumping feet.

The bow of our sandpit boat isn't draining properly, so that looked like a good place for some hay, you know, because . . .

. . . well, we had hay and some standing water, and it was a project we could do together in the cold and wind and rain.

We filled the boat in with hay so that it doesn't look like it's muddy any longer . . .

. . . but if you stand in it, the water oozes up from under the hay and you're glad to be wearing rain boots.

Now it's sort of like a water trap.

There's a large tree round near where Mason's hay started as a pile. We used most of the other rounds to create our sandpit last June, but this one wasn't needed. We left it standing on it's edge like that because, we assumed, we would eventually figure out what we wanted to do with it, and we'd want it standing like that so we could more easily roll it to its final destination. 

Ten months later it's still in that spot. At first we worried it was a safety hazard, that somehow it would get tipped over and land on a kid, but by now it's settled in as solidly as anything else out there.

It turns out that it's a perfect perch from which to launch oneself into a pile of hay.

Several years ago we took a field trip to our local post office. The nice woman responsible for showing us around kept asking the children to form a "line." We did our best, but standing in line isn't one of the things we expect from the children of Woodland Park. It's not like we can't stand in line; we just need the proper motivation. 

At one point one of our parent-teachers asked me, "What do we think about the kids throwing the hay in the air?" I answered that I thought it was a fine thing.

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Juliet Robertson said...

Hey! I can't believe it! By sheer chance I'm taking delivery of 4 bales of hay/straw/that sort of stuff this week!

I'm probably going to leave the bales and see what happens - I think they may be pulled apart quite quickly so having a defined space will help.

Best wishes

Unknown said...

I just had to comment after you mentioned your pet peeve of cement vs. concrete. My dad has worked in the concrete business all his adult life and it was important to him for my siblings and I to know the difference. We joke about it all the time and have started teaching my son the difference!