This weekend we had a little party. So often in the past I would have celebrations when times were tough in order to keep everyone’s spirits up, to remind them of my boundless love for each of them. This party was a celebration of place, of family, of friendship. The children had root beer for the first time- to mixed reviews- we ate pizza, and small gifts were exchanged. We played outside, we sat and talked, we drank apple cider. We had had so many of these little celebrations in Yemen, just our little family, that the presence of my sister in law and her children brought home the blessings of being here, with our extended family, again. The whole day was wonderful, but perhaps one of the best things about it was our poetree.
I don’t remember where the idea for making a poetree originated, but once the seed was planted in our imaginations we were excited about the possibilities, and couldn’t wait to make one. Basically, one draws a picture of a tree, and then everyone writes poems on leaves and attaches them to it. Maryam, my little poetess, has been making poetry leaves for weeks, but we hadn’t made the tree for her to attach them to. When we were trying to think of things to do at the party, it seemed like the perfect time to get started on our first poetree.
Everyone loved doing it. Sukhailah chose the subject of Spring for our poems. Aunt Elise, Ruby, and my baby Asmaa worked together to produce theirs. Ruby and Maryam made one for baby Joseph. Some of the children were so full of poems that they wanted to make more leaves than would actually fit on the tree! (Note to self: make a bigger tree)
I made my leaf too big, so I had to make a pretty long poem. In retrospect, I figured I could have just decorated the edges lavishly.
At any rate, it was a huge success. I posted everyone’s poems on Facebook, and they were well received. Here is a picture of the finished tree:
This is what you get when a bunch of poets have a party. Laughter, love, and poetry.