Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Yearly, Newly: A Year with Mama Earth by Rebecca Grabill

We can't feel the earth's turning, but in September the children can see it happening.

Pumpkins peek out from under
wide yellowing leaves.

Hot summer winds turn chill and one morning the first frost is on the grass.
October's pumpkins grin.

By November, squirrels are fat and caterpillars are cocooned, and then...
In December, Mama Earth dons her winter coat.

In January, Winter settles in, wearing that white coat, but not a warm one. But by February, Mother Earth whispers to wake certain shoots, pale but hopeful, and March brings the rise of sap in the trees and the descent of squirrels climbing down to ground to search for stored nuts.

And then --it's May, with all of its promises.
May perfumes Mama Earth. Ferns unfurl their lacy arms
to greet Mama's gentle friend, the sun.
And seedlings push out their first prickly leaves
ripe with promise of fat melons.

And then it's summer--a time that belongs to barefoot kids and fireflies, sudden showers and crickets and summer fun.
By August her children have soaked the sun
right into their bones.

And the earth comes 'round again, in the cycle of the seasons in Rebecca Grabill's A Year with Mama Earth (Eerdman's Books, 2019), as Mother Earth wakes and sleeps through the year's turning. Says author Grabill, "I still love the way each season sings--with its own voice--a melody anyone who listens can hear. Who is the singer? A gentle, fun-loving mother, full of surprises."

It's good to know that as we fret through the seasons, sweaty days, cold rains, falling snows, windy days, and icy puddles, the earth knows what it's doing and where it's going. Grabill's lovely and lyrical words bring the beauty and worth of each season into sharp focus, assisted by Rebecca Green's careful paintings of children and nature through the year. This exceptional book is a first purchase for schools and libraries.

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