Colorful hand knitted hearts randomly fluttered from the blooming cherries in the morning breeze as students of Kinard middle school arrived on foot, by bike or were dropped off by parents.
Little yellow tags attached to the hearts said “Take me!” and included short positive phrases along with the message to take a photo of the heart you received with the tag #PeytonHeartProject and post it onto social media. Each tree had been ‘Yarn Bombed’ sometime over the weekend, individual trunks wearing varying patterns and colors of yarn.
I first learned of Yarn Bombing as a student at CSU when trees around campus would suddenly be draped in and covered by yarn in various patterns, stitches, and themes. As a movement, Yarn Bombing is identified as having begun in the United States during the 2000’s and is now practiced worldwide.
Curiosity drew me closer to each tree and it’s adornment – to see what had been created and to think about what was the inspiration for this bit of whimsy, and what were these hearts all about?
Later that day as I was waiting for one child or the other to finish up dentist appointments, I found out what The Peyton Heart Project is, and I encourage each of you to do the same. The story is a simple one when reading about it, but it is so complex in its nuances, especially if you are currently parenting a middle or high schooler.
In short, it is an anti-bullying, suicide awareness project that could not have a more appropriate audience.
I love that this Yarn Bombing happened at a middle school and that trees were the messengers. They weather the storms of their environment. They survive attacks by multitudes of pests, people, poor maintenance, and the harsh nature of the constructed environments. Yet, they continue to grow and in spite of everything, to bloom.
Arbor Day is this Friday. As you are out and about this week, take a few moments and notice the trees in your routine. Capture your favorite one and share with us what it means to you. We are a community, and it’s through community that we can better ensure that our young reach an age where they can see the bloom of their own lives.
Until next time, may your knees be green and your spirit light.