The children find a sassafras tree and show me how to tear the leaves to experience the extraordinary smell of root beer.
I’m a city girl. I don’t even know what sassafras is. “You’re kidding,” I say, doubting that I’ll smell anything.
“Here,” one girl shows me. “You look for a mitten shape, and then you know you have sassafras. Haven’t you heard of sassafras?”
|Sassafras in the Sun|
Suddenly, the morning walk to school becomes an education in sassafras.
I turn to a group of children and ask, “Did you all know this about sassafras?”
“Yes!” they nod. “Yes!
I love learning new things, especially from children. I hold the sassafras leaf to my nose and smell lemon, root beer, and even something like mango.
How wonderful that such things exist in nature! “I have so much to learn,” I announce.
I really do.
And, on a side note, I’m currently learning how to keep this very chipmunk from eating my strawberries.
I’ll keep you posted.
What’s the last new thing you learned about nature from a child?
I learned, from my eleven-month-old niece that blowing on the maple tree helicopters before watching them drop to the ground is somehow hysterical.
I also learned that I love to make my niece giggle hysterically.
Heather! There is more to learn about sassafrass! When I was a camp counselor, we taught our inner-city campers how to make jewelry from sassafrass branches. Find a small twig that is still green and the innermost part of the twig is soft enough to thread a needle through. You can cut the twig to the size of bead you desire. I was a camp counselor in 2001 and I still have my sassafrass bead bracelet! I looked for sassafrass everywhere I went for years afterwards so I could chew on the wood for the root beer taste and make another bracelet for fun:)
This is SO COOL! I have to go make a bracelet of sassafras NOW!!!