I had to do some negotiating to finagle it - something along the lines of you-get-to-choose-the-game and I-get-to-choose-the-hike - but Ani and I got in a hike together this weekend (well, it was more of a slow amble, but it was so lovely).
It was all about the yellows. The stunning combination of yellow leaf and bluest sky is just ridiculously beautiful.
The pawpaws are their own flavor of yellow - "lemonish, but not quite lemon" was what Ani decided. It was a delicate color, and the leaves are so paper thin right now, they let the light right through.
She was so alive in the woods, feeling the wind, and noticing where it was hitting the trees, stopping to see where the "boundaries" were, of the wind and the ripple...
...exclaiming in astonishment to see the ripple reach even the highest leaves. These are the moments when my huge,worldly and loquacious seven year old becomes my smallest child again, so full of wonder and love for the world.
She is so in love with moss, sort of like me and the fungal world, and she pointed out every - and I mean every - moss-covered stone and tree.
She lead me on this hike, and stopped often to make sure I noticed a root or a stump that could trip me up, or to offer me a hand over a log - can you do this one yourself, Mama? Towards the end of the hike, she, in her constant chatter, threw this gem back to me - I am feeling all tender about you, Mama - where it landed like the perfect leaf in my hand.