March has been a little earthy round these parts. As part of this month's intentional play themes, we've covered our coffee table in a green-felt farm, gotten the dirt under our fingernails and animal poo in the treads of our shoes. We've zoomed orange- and red- and brown- and green-paint covered tractors (and monster trucks) across cardboard to create autumn trees and collected fallen leaves on our walks through our urban forests. We've made an unexpected flight north into the arms of our family, laughed and cried together in the darkness after a series of savage storms and blackouts, and when the sun shone the next day, we wept again and sang as my grandfather was lowered into the red-brown, river-valley earth.
We've watched the leaves slowly turn, the yellows and oranges subtle against the green. In a few more weeks, the streets will be ablaze with colour. There'll be drifts of leaves in gutters and across the footpaths and we'll crunch through them all.
And then there are the apples. As the summer fruits fade away, the apples are ripening. We've been blobbling and cutting and pasting red on green. We've been reading about them, some strange little books and some making me hungry. We've been peeling and stewing them for spooning over breakfast. But there is pie in our near future now because we've been apple-picking.
For this month's little adventure, we packed ourselves into the car and headed north west across the dry, flat plains of country Victoria, to Bacchus Marsh, where the Avenue of Remembrance arches overhead and the orchards and farms line the road. Roadside stands and pick-your-own signs made it easy to find our apples, and in the cool of the morning, we borrowed a bucket lined with a plastic bag and wandered down the tracks towards the just-ripened fruit.
Amongst the Fujis, Dear Boy picked a bucket-full, disappearing in between the laden branches and emerging each time with a single dewey piece of fruit. Each one was raised to his mouth and those I didn't rescue in time were munched juicily in the carpark before we headed out.
After a long play at a gorgeous playground on the outskirts of town and a drive up into the hills to encourage a nap, we found a new farm full of fruit. We emerged half an hour later, him with strawberry-stained lips and shirts and me with a tray of the last of the summer fruit, still warm from the sun, to bring home.
There is pie in our near future. We'll make it together.
Next month, there will be chocolate. And eggs. And bunnies and chicks. And bilbies. But for now, there is fruit and this poem running through my head.
Have you been enjoying the change of seasons? Have you been holding onto the last of the summer fruit and vegetables too? How has March treated you?