We were having a wonderful time planning our tea party, one early December afternoon. We were busy, busy, busily preparing, for we were expecting a large turn out of guests.
Three year old (3), carefully cut all the foods for the fruit tray.
Quite an assortment: kiwi, strawberry, banana and melon, to name a few.
Five year old (5) prepared delicious soups; a basil veggie and an onion soup.
I helped with the set-up of tables and chairs. I created a new two-level table for the comfort of our visiting friends. Some were small and some were big. Fido the dog and Leo the lion helped to provide seating for our small friends.
The three of us brewed our favorite teas; Chamomile, blueberry (just like how grandma made it) and basil mint.
The doorbell began ringing, as our many guests started arriving. We each took turns answering the door, happily greeting everyone. Mama Elephant & Baby Elephant, Fox, Duckie and Minnie Mouse were the first to enter our party. Soonly followed by Nari the Narwhal, Panda and many more.
With the help of so many hands, paws, wings, fins and hooves, our tea party was soon well underway. Everyone was having a grand time.
I was in a deep spiritual conversation with Okapi, when 5 entered the room., after receiving a phone call.
She had a serious and very concerned look about her. Once she had our attention, she announced that a fire was headed this way. We had to leave. Now!
You can imagine the surprise on all of our faces. We had never experienced this before. We all started asking 5, “What were we going to do? Many of us walked to the tea party. How will we all fit in the few cars that are here?” We knew that 5 would come up with a good resolve, for she was so wise.
5 thought for a few moments, when a great idea came to her. “Hurry! Pack the food and dishes and then go to the train. We ALL can fit in a train. It will take us to a safe place.”
Everyone worked together very efficiently, helping each other along the way, in addition to what was assigned to us. 3 was in charge of helping our friends board the train. 5 and I packed the foods and dishes, while I also assisted 3 with boarding.
5 and I grabbed the bagged provisions and boarded the train. 3, the Engineer, was warming up the train engine. Everyone was safely on board.
“Where to?”, I asked.
Immediately, 5 said, “Montana. It will be safe there!” But soonly she added, “Oh no!! The fires are in Montana. We cannot go there now. It is not safe!”
“What will we do?”, I inquired, with a bit of concern.
Right away, 5 said, “I know!” and she paused. “We will go to Africa! We will ride the train all the way there!”
“Are you sure the train goes all the way from California to Africa?”, I asked.
“Yes it does. I am sure of it!!!”, 5 replied with great knowledge.
And so it was – to Africa we went. 3 drove the train and we got to Africa in no time at all. I was very amazed indeed!
3, 5 and I unboarded the train, in search of a cabin to eat and sleep. Everyone else stayed on the train and would join us when we found shelter. And we started our journey. Fortunately, 5 brought a map with us and referred to it often.
Through the dining room we went, passing the breakfast nook and soon entering the kitchen. We wandered around for what seemed like days. And it was so cold in Africa. Good thing we brought jackets.
Eventually, 5 led us to an abandoned cabin. We went inside and made ourselves at home. When things were ready, we sent for the rest of our friends. They were so happy to see us. Inside the cabin, 5 had a wonderful fire going. 3 had placed a warm blanket in front of the fire for all to sit on and warm themselves.
We were all so very tired, we only wanted to sleep. And then, 5 spied steps that led up to the loft. Perfect place for 3 to sleep. 5 slept on the couch, our friends were happy on the floor and I stood watch from the comfort of a chair. We all slept well that night.
When morning came, the scene changed a LOT. We woke to the sound of 3, dumping all our provisions on the floor. By the time we arrived, 3 was walking through the food and dishes. 5 and I looked at each other. We knew that 3’s playtime was done. 3 ran off to the kitchen to help her mom make dinner.
5 and I remained in Africa and put the food and dishes away. Then we helped all our guests to go back home. I said good night to 5 and went upstairs, while she skipped into the kitchen to help set the table for dinner.
Playtime sure has changed from when I was a kid. Never had we imagined a fire threatening our play. But this is the world these children experience, when living in California and other fiery places on Earth. Isn’t that amazing?
Injoy life, in joy
Always, in all ways
All images by me, renagain original