My father handbuilt my sister and I a swingset; set in the far back corner of our yard. I think I was 5 or 6? I mastered swinging. And reading at the same time.
Our childhood home had a large backyard, with mature gardens. The entire back and both sides of the large yard were lined with old growth lilacs; wisteria and grape vines battled for the arbor off the back of the garage; while a majestic willow could be seen from the path to the beach. There was also a very old, and not very healthy crabapple, great for climbing.
The scents as the world woke up from the winter slumber were intoxicating. I chose to spend as much time on that swingset as I could. Surrounded by the sweet smells of spring, with a touch of the sea mixed in, from the beach just a few hundred yards away…. we were so blessed.
And now, I live in a cottage, a few hundred yards away from the sea. Surrounded by lilacs. With a large vegetable garden plot, with many raspberry bushes.
My son gets to pick them fresh from the bush; they are by far his favorite fruit. They come in for his birthday in July; and he has been in awe each year at the sheer amount he is able to pick at once. He told me sunny raspberries taste better than ones from the fridge, I agree, little one.
We spend hours outside. We have a great big barn at the back of the property that is so much fun to explore. Oh, the possibilities! There are bunnies, deer, and so many different birds to watch. Some days we count planes; find familiar faces and shapes in the clouds.
Other days, we head out on a nature scavenger hunt. Filling a box with treasures only found on our little patch of Earth.
Last year, we raised caterpillars; and watched them turn into painted lady butterflies. My little one saw one; he thinks it’s a baby of the ones we released last year, perhaps it is?
We rent. I’m happy with that. We can’t afford to buy.
I have to find my voice. And ask permission for a swing for my little one. It might help him. I know it helped me. At least we may have some fun. 💜