When I was little, and my family braved camping in the Rockies, I remember my mother and I sitting under a large Ponderosa Pine constructing a house. Not a big house- but a Mouse House. I remember very clearly the rocks we painstakingly collected to make the tiled floor, the pieces of almost-flat bark that made the walls and the roof. There were tables, chairs, bowls made of pinecone petals, and a fireplace stocked with tiny twigs. I spent hours on the house. And I’ve spent plenty of hours since then making similar houses all over the world. They aren’t permanent, and I’m sure most of them get washed away or trampled the next day, but for the time I’m working on them my world becomes a tiny imaginary land of whimsy, and it’s incredibly relaxing.
I highly suggest this craft for small children.

In addition to that pastime came the craft of boat-making.

Now, I am not an efficient boat-maker, but between my elementary school and home was a rambling creek that I used to visit quite often, and I make countless boats to float down its lazy currents. They varied from woven mats of grass to barges of twigs and leaves. There is something incredibly healing about building something from what is around you on the ground and releasing it- not making it for profit or gifting- just to make it. And that is what the mouse houses and grass boats are all about; the joy of creation.

May you all have such a crafting that makes you feel joyous…

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