Who Doesn't Like A Tree?
When I asked my group at the center who could think of a song about a tree, the group looked at me blankly. Then Robert, who is always hidden under his WWII Vet hat spoke softly. He isn't one for singing solo in a group, but when he started up, just speaking the words, "...like a tree planted near the water, I shall not be moved..." the group began to recognize the old African American spiritual. It was a touching moment to see this group singing and swaying together, even those like me, who only vaguely recognized the song.
Click below to hear Mississippi John Hurt sing, I Shall Not Be Moved. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beg0bM_x3D8
Underneath a Tree
Another, less serious member of our group, grinned and lifted her eyebrows dramatically. "I'll never tell!"
We thought about kids today and wondered how many have never climbed a tree. Some kids might not have a tree to climb, but most just don't have the time to climb.
Making a Tree
There were no discussions of family roots with my group at the Center, but there was plenty of sharing. We got off on a project making "leaf tags" to decorate a bare tree branch. I just threw out paper, pens and yarn and they jabbered away as they worked. I laughed to watch this group, as comfortable as siblings at a dinner table, sharing pens and fighting over the scissors and laughing over stories.
For 20+ years children have called it the Magic Quilt. They've danced and pretended all over these colorful squares. I've dragged it to schools, shelters and studios where children have climbed on top to hear Magic Quilt Stories and to act them out.