Jacaranda and Play

November is the time for the Jacarandas to bloom in parks, on footpaths and in back gardens. The purple petals cascade and make beautiful carpets on the ground. I remember many years back, when the University exams approached, and the Jacarandas were a sign to study hard and get through the written papers.

Now, it’s wet and misty in Mapleton, the Jacarandas dotted around the forests and views to the ocean are beautiful.

Recently, I took my grandchildren to a park to collect things. We admired the tall spreading Jacaranda branches reaching to the sky. Play is simple with small children. Gather, find, collect and display. On the moist sand near the swings, we made mini sand castles and embellished them with flower petals and sticks.

Simple games include sorting from small to large, almost anything. Colour combinations. Burying leaves in the sand. Mixing Jacaranda petals with other natives or seeds. Arranging the patterns.

Play is simple outdoors. Fresh air. Nature. Paying attention. Collecting.

I’ll leave you with a haiku.

Jacaranda blue

Petals fluttering downward

Exploding purple.

This sub-tropical tree makes me smile, however, last week during the violent hail storm, a big branch came down on the footpath. The next day Council came and cut the whole Jacaranda tree down. I cried.

Stay safe, enjoy nature and pay attention to colours, shapes and beauty in your local area.

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M.J. Gibbs
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