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On Rocks and Rock Trees

Field 2019

What Shall I Put In The Hole That I Dig, Written by Eleanor Thompson, Illustrated by Aliki. Copyright 1963, Western Publishing Company, Inc.

From what I hear, I wasn't one to sit and be read to as a child. I do, however, remember this little children's book very well. In fact, I can remember listening to this story while sitting on the right side of the brown couch, across from the picture window with the varnished window sills that got sticky when the sun came out. It was where I would also watch the dust float in the perfect rectangular stream of light coming through the quintessential 1960s front door window.

"What Shall I Put in The Hole That I Dig" tells a logical story, enlightening children about what can and cannot grow when they plant it in the ground. (Well, the boy is actually doing all the work while the little girl attentively watches. But that is a story for another day, perhaps.) The author tells us that if you plant buttons, rocks, whistles, or sticks, they will not grow into their respective trees. A kernel of corn, however, will grow into a cornstalk. Ok. I got it. Buttons. Whistles. Sticks. I understood that. For some reason, however, I remember thinking to myself, "Rocks? Yes! A rock tree really might be possible!" I am quite sure that I knew what would and wouldn't grow. But I think I just loved the idea of a rock tree so much, and honestly I think I still do.

The New England colonists, living with a barrage of complicated beliefs about land, blessings, and curses, rattled by the way rocks were mysteriously appeared in their fields. They didn't understand the New England landscape and frost heave. And not too long ago in my lifetime, we didn't think that trees could communicate with each other? Now we know differently. My point is, and what I think I was starting to formulate in my little five or six year old brain, we just don't know everything!

Fast forward nearly a handful of decades later and I have come full circle to that little girl. It took me a long time, but I think I am back to the place where I will not allow someone to tell me what I can and cannot think, or what I can or cannot do. No rock trees, perhaps. But what else might happen if I planted a rock? Once, on my brown couch, I felt the first instincts that not everything can be understood and not everything makes sense. Now, I really believe that. And I am thankful! There is something incredibly special and powerful about wonder and imagination, allowing yourself, even for just a little while, to believe that everything is possible! Thanks little children's book for telling me that nothing will happen if I plant a rock. Maybe it won't be a tree, not today. But I am not going to rule everything out just yet!


"What Shall I Put in the Hole That I Dig" Mandala Workshop is This Week!

This Eco-Art Wellness Workshop will give us the opportunity to look at our hopes and dreams apart from what we have been told is or isn't possible. We will look at dreams, realities, and the motivations behind what we would love to see grow in our lives! Come have some fun! Wednesday, April 26 at Blithewold Mansion and Arboretum, Bristol, RI. Register here!

See the current list of workshops here! (More added regularly!)


More on Spoonflower

I am regularly uploading new designs on Spoonflower and am happy with the placement of this design on their Square Throw Pillow! See wallpaper, fabric, and home decor! (To view home decor, click on a design, then find the "also available in home decor" tab lower on the right hand side of the page.) See what's up right now here!


Let the Outdoor Markets Begin!

One down and so, so many more to come! I am doing festivals almost every weekend in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and possibly a couple other states this year. See the regularly updated schedule and find out what I will be bringing to the markets here!

Can't make it? You can always shop online here!


Want to support my thinking, writing, and creating time? Consider buying me a cup of coffee here . . . .


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