Yesterday was our last day with the grandchildren. The older two, Ilan, age 5, and Talia, age 3, their Saba (grandfather) and I have been collecting pieces of nature all during our visit. We found rocks, sand, a few seashells, twigs, leaves, and, of all things, amazingly beautiful buckeyes, in Minneapolis. We picked raspberries and apples, petted the llama, goats, sheep, and braying donkey, and played on a playground made of recycled material. Finally it was time to make our Nattles (nature rattles). Ilan used the buckeyes we had found along Lake Calhoun. He carefully counted out five buckeyes to match his age, and then added grass and sand. When the Nattle was complete, we rolled it between us. It made a lovely sound as the buckeyes became buried in the sand and then reappeared.
Tali’s Nattle also had sand and rocks. Her rocks were black and showed up nicely against the white sand. She and I worked on this Nattle together. We decided to add a delicate branch with some drying flowers. The branch only showed up when the Nattle was held up at one end. When we shook the Nattle in reverse, the flowers would disappear in the sand. The sound from this Nattle was softer than Ilan’s.
After the children were in bed, I noticed that flowering branch in Talia’s Nattle produced a great shadow outside of the Nattle. These Nattles never fail to surprise me. I hope Talia notices the shadows. All during our visit, she talked about shadows. Maybe it was because of her interest that I actually noticed the shadow. We are all so interconnected. In ways we don’t always know.