Then we put on our strong gloves, grabbed hold of the end of each vine and pulled hard - 4, 6, even all 8 hands at a time - then pulled again, then again with a "Heave-ho," and again, leaning backward in the middle of the road, pulling hard, bending the low branches! Shaking the whole tree! Then bending high branches! Then pulling more slowly as the high vine began to come away, even bending the whole tree sometimes!
Working together, pulling another long vine down out of a big cedar or oak tree -- pulling harder and harder as slowly the whole vine surrendered, at last coming away until it was laying in the road and Trio had done that great thing, with the high tree, all the way up the tree and now they had to handle that 15-meter vine from high in those branches-- Kids LOVE to do really BIG things!
Kaya, Mitsuki and Miasa were going to make Christmas wreaths.
as the Trio seems to do these days - that she wanted to make a wreath. I asked her where that idea had come from. She answered "Christmas!" which answered my question well enough; one can't really expect grown-up-minded explanations from little girls, who live so much in their hearts.
Since the Trio and I were finished enough with our prep labors I went and got the clippers, a saw, a big basket and 8 strong gloves, then we went down the inner road, where I know there are a lot of longstanding, well-developed vines of fujii (wild wisteria) and akebi (akebia trifoliata) among the trees and bamboo.
Once the vines were down, the Trio trimmed them, coiled them, tied them with the tendrils and put them in the basket, along with shiny clusters of holly leaves that also grow by the road. They got some good evergreen branches too, plus some perfect pine cones from my pine cone stash in the shed.
Back home, they got the tree ornaments and some ribbon from the closets, then sat out on the deck with the scissors and all those bright things scattered around them. I showed them how to choose a length for the wreath size they wanted, how to coil the strong vine into a wreath size, how to fix it here and there along its length using the thinner tendrils, and that this was the way you could make baskets too - fujii vine is great for baskets - then I went upstairs for a while to do some editing and forgot about the time--
When it was growing dark I came downstairs into a silent house, saw the Trio still outside working even in the the darkling cold, engrossed in the task of crafting their very first wreaths, absorbed in the art of it. I just stood there watching the design ideas flow, turned on the lights when it began to get too dark. The Trio went on working until they were content with their basic wreaths and went inside to fine-tune the decorations.
Natural ways, natural tasks involving natural interests like the endlessness of seeds, branches and flowers, insects and animals - instead of only brief gadgetry - simply confirm that there is no substitute for the natural reaches of life, the wellspring of thoughts and imaginings that lead always onward, with no end but the heart’s horizons.
In that spirit, Happy Holidays to All.