The delight of little children
Babies and children are a delight, as are those who raise them into responsible adults. Yesterday I was sitting by a creek and a blond haired toddler boy pointed to my water bottle and said “Avy”, “Avy”. I responded, “Yes this IS Avy’s water bottle she is sharing it with me”. The baby’s mom laughed and said that he recognizes this water bottle because Avy lets him carry it when they have nature day.
Like her, all the moms were watchful, yet relaxed, making sure their little ones could enjoy the space, and also experience a measure of freedom appropriate for their ability. It was a beautiful synergy.
Nature day here, is a day where moms, dads and their children hike out into some less traveled place to learn about the critters, their habitat, and to play with friends and share lunch.
On this particular day, there was a GIANT Bullfrog to inspect, Giant pine cones to admire, and Giant rocks to climb up.
One spot, beside a flat rocky creek, offered a serene and peaceful place to stop, and eventually people and children were perched on rocks and branches snacking on lunch and chatting happily.
The children had bathing suits so they could wade in the water to play, and the day was full of brilliant sunshine, and splashing water. I noticed that, not only the children, but all the adults as well, were happy, intelligent, fit and loving towards each other.
There have been many precious moments like this on my visit to California.
Just a few days before, I had the chance to visit Fioli Gardens with my daughter and two little girls. That place as well, was such a place of peaceful calm, and respectful interactions.
Apparently reservations have to be made prior to arrival and even though the place was completely sold out, the lady in front of us asked if she could still pay to come in. Since the admissions lady did not have any tickets to sell, she sympathetically requested that the lady make reservations next time, and that she make a donation in the cafeteria, and asked how many were in her car, and how many cars there were since parking is limited. She found a way to accommodate this group of people.
She did not argue, and she was pleasant, friendly and helpful the entire time, which I admired.
The people going into the gardens were wearing their sun hats and light weight jackets and the girls had their dolls and their strollers.
I grew up playing with dolls as well, and I recognize that playing with dolls is the number one way that children are able to learn at a very young age how to treat a baby and how to nurture. But to the girls, these are not dolls, these are THEIR BABIES, and they pat, feed and rock them tenderly.
As the girls pushed their strollers and then sat down for a pretend picnic with their “babies”, the smell of roses and jasmine wafted through the breeze and girls walked by with their prom dresses. In the garden behind the historic home, a wedding party was sprawled out on the lawn, an had reserved the area for a post wedding meal. The white fedoras, pale baggy linen pants, pastel colored flowy dresses and croquet, reminded me of the great Gatsby. And the servers, in black tuxedos bustling about silver platters of food, surrounded by lovely artistic floral arrangements looked almost too pretty to be real.
When we wandered into the home, and entered the ballroom, I felt like it was also a magical place and was the prettiest room I have ever been in. The room literally glowed with an iridescent gleam as the sun streamed in through the windows and the walls, a pale baby blue, faded into a pale baby pink, and finally a creamy rose color. There was a pianist who was seated by the windows, playing the most beautiful music, and the girls just naturally picked up their dolls and started dancing.
I will remember that moment of pure beauty forever. I call these very special and memorable things, “frozen in time” moments.
Years ago, with my daughter, when we were walking through the great basin, and we approached Teresa Lake, which was about an hour hike away, we saw wild orchids, surrounding this beautiful serene lake. It was spectacular, and the water, so high that it was above the alpine line, was brilliant and crystal clear. She and I decided to make that moment a “frozen in time” moment.
I can still see that as clearly now, in my minds eye, as I did that day, just like I can visualize the moms and their beautiful children, playing by the creek, or the girls sitting with their dolls in the Fioli gardens.
I am so grateful for babies, moms, dads, and little children, who are so interesting and caring, about each other, about nature, and about life.
This goodness and beauty is the world God made, and those who live lives of quiet service to each other, are glorious and praiseworthy, because I see them and all the good they do, and honor them, even though they might feel insignificant. That which is the least of these is indeed, so relevant is it not, as much today as it was in Jesus time?
Thank you God for this new day and I know you hear me always.
The randomly chosen bible verse for today is…
“and now also, the axe is laid unto the root of the trees; every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire.”