I love the 'in-between' stories, the seasonal tales that weave season to season. Children love them too, and they help connect children to the little details of how nature moves fluidly through the year. I find that telling seasonal transition tales helps us enjoy the longer winter, allowing us to have a prolonged and loving good bye to a season of inwardness, the magic of short days and candlelight, of sunrise colors on twinkling cold snow. They also signal that yes, truly, spring will come again, see how Mother Earth is preparing and caring for our dear earth until we can celebrate a grand welcome for Lady Spring.
As I have always been a bulb planter, early spring holds a certain magic for me. I love to greet the little brown bulbs that bravely reach upward with freshest greenness. Many times I have made sure there was a covering of snow over them to keep them warm when winter lingered. How strange to think of snow as a source of warmth! I also cover them with winter leaves to shelter them from freezing air. Our high altitude Colorado winter always bring March and April snows! Often we are surprised with a last snow in May! I wrote a story years ago about dear Mother Earth who worried about winter staying so long that she asked her friend Grandmother Winter to knit blankets of snow to cover the bulb babies until Lady Spring fully arrived! Clickety click, clickety clack went her knitting needles, lovingly knitting blankets of soft snow to cover, and snuggle up with the little bulb babies as they were slowly waking up for spring...... (our mother earth and bulb baby finger puppet making mini course started March 11, you can still join in click here for info).
Here is a photo of Grandmother Winter Rod Puppet with her knitting needles... I used toothpicks and tied wool roving to them for her knitted blankets... then she set to work, engaging her hands, head and heart and whole body in the gesture of knitting such an important and helpful warm blanket of snow. This could also be acted out with table puppets, finger puppets, or marionettes. I do love the rod puppets for their clear, exact hand gesture possibilities. We are offering a Mother (includes grandmothers) Archetype mini summer puppet boot camp this July on the importance of this profound character for children. We will be making Rod Puppet Mothers and learning how to ensoul them well to help the children feel embraced with love and well being.
Mother Earth, wake the bulbs so dear,
Call in Spring so she can hear!
So much winter snow and ice,
Warming sun will make it nice.
'Come little bulb, it's time to grow,
Bless the gardens with beauty so.'
This I know.
I am enjoying sharing little poem stories with children, and leaving the more informal puppet scene set up with puppets left out, as a sweet invitation for them to do their own simple, little puppet show.... watch how they are so proud and happy to do so, and how initially they imitate your fine gestures and puppet movements. This kind of puppet play can even be done on a nature table... for this wee poem, it would be another good chance to have winter and the coming spring visible, and your snow and ice can recede as spring gains strength.
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