Today on our way to the park, on the first day of our summer schedule, we came across something amazing. Kept using that word, each of us, kids and adults alike, to describe the enormous tree that had tipped over into the parking lot of the high school. We have watched this tree since spring, noticing how one side of it’s enormous bulk was bare, without leaves, and the other side was leafing out week by week. Today we approached the tree carefully, me asking kids to stand by the fence and look from there while I took pictures of the sight. We wondered how it had come down. Some kids thought lightening must have struck, remembered the lightening from yesterday. We noticed, though, that the tree was tipped over, went closer and one five exclaimed at the hole, indeed we could look from there at the underside of the tree, broken off at the roots from the ground. All the kids gathered round to see the hole and the bottom of the tree, then of course, wanted to see the other side. We crawled under a place where the trunk did not touch the ground, and soon entered what the kids termed Stick World. Everywhere there were branches and sticks piled and strewn on the ground. At first I asked kids to leave them alone, Sarah reminded me this was silly, so we let the kids explore a bit. We climbed under, over, and through stick world, me dreaming of being in the woods, the photo at the top of this blog taken when my own boys were young and we found a series of toppled trees in the woods behind my mom’s house, the boys able there to climb to their hearts content, to enjoy the physical aspects of this rare delight.

Here in the city though, on the grounds of the high school, we felt less sure. My son, boy of Sudbury Valley freedom with woods and streams and pond, felt nervous. We wondered about the liability of the school, about our accountability to parents, about the people in the school looking out the window. Soon our worry conquered wonder and we pulled the kids reluctantly back to the carriages, to our usual walk to the park, glad for our moment with the tree. On the way back from the park, the equipment was there to dismember the wonder. Jonah was perhaps one of the last to see this awesome sight, sent over to explore it when we got home to tell what we had seen. I will send pictures soon, so you can be part of the wonder, too.