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This Book Was A Tree

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If Marcie Chambers Cuff lived down the road from me, or a town over, or even two or three towns over, I have no doubt that we could be friends. Like, really good friends. Like our children would run through mud puddles and muck about in creeks and look for bugs under rocks together. Those kinds of friends. We’d be tight, for sure. We’ve never met in person, but based on her new book, This Book Was A Treeshe and I are seriously cut from the same cloth. Birds of a feather. Like minds. Kinfolk. Etc., etc..

I can’t recommend This Book Was A Tree enough. Marcie wrote me several weeks ago, asking if she could send me an advance copy, and perhaps include me in a blog tour when the book published. Already a reader of her blog, I enthusiastically accepted her offer. Marcie’s book is a thoughtful, inspiring, beautifully illustrated manual to get you out in nature, curious about nature, awed by nature, and otherwise enamored with our verdant planet.

I’ve long felt that the more interaction you have with the natural world, the more likely you are to champion it, to become a steward of it, to vow to tread more lightly on it, to want to protect it for future generations, both human and otherwise. Looking over chapters 4 (“Spend Time Wisely”) and 5 (“Get Dirty”) last night, I thought about how I’d spent the day with Huxley yesterday.

We weeded all 14 of our raised beds, to prep them for the bok choy, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, chard, and cabbage starts we’ve got waiting. Then, as I weeded the mulch path around our in-ground beds, Huxley played in his sand box. “Mama, can I put sand in my hair?” he asked. “Hmmm, okay.” And then, “Mama, can I lay down in my p.j.’s on the sand (we were both still in our jammies)?” “Uh, sure.” My initial hesitancy to let him get all kinds of dirty was quickly overridden by my larger interest in having him feel comfortable with, well, with getting dirty!

Later, as we lay on a blanket on the grass, snuggling and watching clouds, my mind jumped to the too long to achieve mental list I’m always running through. “I love you, mama” was all I needed to bring me back to my senses, to what was right in front of me. I can sometimes get so entangled with all that I think needs to get done that I miss what really matters most. Love. Health. Life. Yep, that’s about it!

Marcie’s book is rife with reminders for bringing us back to the sensory world of wonder and magic right in our midst. Just check out the list of nature crafts she offers:

*Create a pinhole camera.
*Live in slow motion.
*Start a flower press.
*Examine snowflakes through a magnifying glass.
*Make a treasure map.
*Create an upcycled terrarium.
*Camp out in the backyard.
*Upcycle a sweater into a felted hat, gloves, or wine cozy.
*Recognize equinoxes and solstices.
*Create homemade seedbombs.
*Come to know local flora and fauna.
*Go stargazing.

SUCH a great book. Job well done, Marcie! Small measure readers, I highly encourage you to check out This Book Was A Tree. I hope you find it as equally inspiring as I have!

Also, here’s the full blog tour schedule:
Week One:
4/1 House Wren Studio
4/2 Mindful Momma
4/3 The Long Thread
4/4 Maya Made

Week Two:
4/7 Rebecca Sower
4/8 Sara Bakes Cakes
4/9 Donuts Dresses and Dirt
4/10 Tinkerlab
4/11 Resurrection Fern

Week Three:
4/14 Small Measure
4/15 Lil Fish Studios

4 Responses to This Book Was A Tree

  • KC says:

    This looks like a great book! :)

  • Anna says:

    Sounds like a wonderful book! My 10-month old has just begun to explore the world outside our apartment and it is so fun to be a part of that. Someday, maybe, he’ll ask if he can put sand in his hair but right now he just does it (and eats lots of sand and tried to eat every leaf and stick). I am realizing that we will be getting dirty a lot in the next several years. Should be fun!

  • This book looks wonderful!
    I love your comments about letting your kids get dirty. It’s extra work on the parents behalf, but there is a lot of joy in saying ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ all the time just because it requires extra cleaning effort. :)
    I have a sneaking feeling I might be cut from a very similar cloth based on all of this!

  • Spring says:

    Nifty! Thanks for sharing the book and the blog list – I enjoyed rambling through some of them today.