psychedelic shadow

shadow and sidewalk chalk

This is just a fun photo of my own shadow that I took while out for a walk several days ago. The sidewalk chalk flowers were huge, and I thought my shadow – made super skinny by the setting sun – looked interesting in contrast to them.

This photo also makes me think of my favorite parts of this summer – which otherwise has been a really challenging one, in many ways. I’ve loved walking in my neighbourhood in the early evening, when the air is warm and the sun is low, and my steps are lazy.

I appreciate the beauty in those moments.

sidewalk chalk

sidewalk

I love children’s sidewalk chalk scribbles. I love the colours, the raw energy of the lines and forms, the joyous abandon of the images and messages (like “LOVE” and “Hi!” signed by scrawling first names). When I walk in my neighbourhood at night, I’m always on the look-out for new masterpieces. I especially enjoy meeting the children who’ve marked the sidewalks and driveways around their home. “Beautiful!” I call out, watching them beam.

My favorite are block-long extravaganzas that start in front of one home and stretch on for several metres, as if the artists ran out of space before they ran out of ideas.

I appreciate sidewalk art.

toys

bin of toys

I had a former boyfriend and his family over for an hour or so on Sunday afternoon. They were passing by my city and stopped in for a (planned) visit. It was so much fun for me to gather together some age-appropriate toys for their 15-month-old daughter to play with. I love toys. I loved them when I was a nanny and caregiver, I loved them when I was an aunt to young children. I still collect children’s activities on Pinterest, although don’t ask my why. Maybe to do them myself.

Yeah, I like the sounds of that. I’ll do them myself… :)

I appreciate play. And visiting friends. With children.

Raggedy Ann and Andy

crayons and masking tape

Raggedy Andy

Raggedy Ann back of head

penny carnival

penny carnival

Last week I attended a children’s penny carnival for work, and took these photos. When I looked at the images afterwards, I was struck by how nostalgic they made me feel. Something about the power of fun and games, and the riches you can buy with a bag full of carefully saved coins.

I came across two children kneeling on the ground. They were picking spilled pennies out of the dry grass. Moments earlier, the pennies had filled a blue plastic Stax tube. “Good eyes,” I said, when the little boy found some especially hidden coins.

“Good eyes,” he kept repeating, turning the words over and over again in his mouth, like a hard candy that he was trying to suck every last lick of pleasure from.

“Do you have a girl?” his big sister asked me, as I helped them re-fill the Stax container.

“No, I don’t have any kids.” Like empty pants pockets turned inside out, my woman-ness felt momentarily deflated, and empty.

There was a water balloon relay race. Each team member had to break a water balloon over their head. It was a hot day. I laughed to see the expressions on the kids’ faces, and hear the squeals, when the cold water hit the backs of their necks.

relay race

And colouring… is there anything more thrilling than a container full of crayons or pencil crayons? There is a world of possibility in a handful of pigment.

I appreciate the fun you can buy with a penny or two.

colouring