Wide Earth Smallholding

Wide Earth Smallholding

And Allaah has made for you the earth a wide expanse.(Qur'aan- 71:19)

Sheer Poetree

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:


Our first poetree- I think it will become a habit!

This is what you get when a bunch of poets have a party. Laughter, love, and poetry.

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  1. hmmmmmm

    asalaamu alaiki waramatulahi wabarakatahu very insightful question!

    I’d have to say regretfully because I have to live this. I thought I lived carefully and “frugally” by choice-but truth is, my car broke down permanently in the beginning of June and it really shook me up. I’m still relatively new to a few ideas so it was everything all in one. The thought of having to rely on people to get things done, wait for the bearded one to be available and not at work and it was amazing how much I wanted to go do, see, and places to go I suddenly wanted to attend now that the option to go wasn’t available.

    Now I can say after 4 years of homeschooling (we started in “preschool”) I have come a long way. I started recycling and re-using a tiny bit before I became muslim and just started little by little. I can say I have a LONG way to go sadly but AlHamdulillah I have made STRIDES by leaps and bounds in this area. For homeschooling I’ve learned to use 3 different libraries, make my own worksheets, borrow ideas, use the net and buy books from thrift stores and garage sales. I’ve learned to get free books that the schools no longer use or from relatives and friends whose kids finished that grade. This saves me literally hundreds of dollars a year and I save books (which I love) and re-use. I also learned to use old boxes, bags, extra paper, shipping materials; egg cartons, and extras laying around for projects, arts and crafts and activities vs buying supplies.

    We also planted a few small plants 1 hot pepper, 1 jalapeño, and one tomato plant in an effort of learning to grow and eat our own. All this stuff I NEVER did before and it feels good to teach my daughter life skills and that she doesn’t have to “buy” every single thing she needs.

    1. We do the homeschooling in exactly the way you do. When we were in Yemen, we had some materials- first some that we bought, but later some we purchases from a family who came back to the States. But always my first resource was- myself. I wrote them their reading books, math books, you name it, alhamdulillah. It was actually fun, and now we are using some of those books to make some curriculum books for Muslim children, starting with preschool, and hopefully, insh’Allaah, working our way up.
      The gardening, on any scale, is simply wonderful in about a thousand ways, alhamdulillah. Mmmmm….you have a little salsa garden!!
      Our hot peppers grew a few fruits, but our jalapeno never fruited, mash’Allaah. Our tomatoes grew really well, but the larger ones only produced a few fruits, while the ones with small fruits like Yellow Pear and Grape produced a lot more. Now our old compost pile is growing some watermelon!

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