This is my favorite time of year. Spring comes and goes pretty quickly in the Midwest. One week we're wearing coats and light sweaters and about 3 or 4 weeks later we're digging out the skirts and flip-flops. It was 84* and sunny today, the perfect kind of weather, in my book. So tonight at 5:45 when I picked up "my girls" for class, we went directly outside - bypassing the water fountain, the lesson I'd prepared, and even the classroom itself. We had one place to be: in God's creation.
On Wednesday nights, I teach 2's and 3's music, but at this time of the year they're all 3 and 4. If little girls stayed this age forever, I would seriously consider adopting 4 or 5 of them. Seriously. They are just precious, even when they're precocious at this age. It is my favorite developmental point on the road.
So tonight we went outside. 5 little girls and I played with the bubble machine (if you have kids and don't have one of these, stop reading right now and go buy one; here's my favorite). I put it on top of my head and they giggled, calling me the Bubble Lady. We climbed the retaining wall together, balancing on the ledge. We counted the pink bushes and smelled the dogwood trees. We walked together, 6 in a row, hand in hand, to the back lot, taking our own sweet time.
And then we found it.
What to the rest of the world looks like a weed patch, to these 5 girls was a magical garden of wishes. The grass back there hadn't been mowed at all yet this spring (I'm guessing), and it was literally a sea of white dandelion flowers. They raced toward it, kicking up dandelion fuzz as they sought out the perfect flower to pluck. They took special delight in figuring out how many ways they could remove the fuzz from the flower.
Their favorite was to blow them into my curls and then laugh as I shook my head and dandelion fuzz flew everywhere. They shook them, they beheaded them, they blew them, they kicked them, they danced through them. And when they were tired, they sat down among them and picked the white fuzzy pieces from their stem one at a time.
We didn't do much "learning" tonight. We did sing a few songs about the flowers and God's gifts of creation, but we didn't talk about the Bible. We didn't learn a memory verse. We didn't color a picture.
But tonight we were more with God than we have been in a year.
I wished the whole hour that I had had a camera to capture their images - to share their delight with others as we played in pure love of one another and of creation. But as I retell this story even now, I am deeply deeply glad the camera was at home tonight. Somehow pictures of our time would have made it less special. Yes, I would have had pictures to share with you, but I wouldn't have shared the moment as fully with them. I would have been looking for the picture rather than the Spirit of God alive in each of them. I would have spent my time capturing images instead of being captured by their hearts.