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tales over the phone

14/03/2020 - blog

Llegeix-me en Català
Léeme en Castellano

On Thursday I performed a tour of stories and songs related with trees from the Ciutadella Park in Barcelona, which allowed us to travel safely around the world and forget the virus that in a few days has changed our lives in so many ways. But as you can imagine, the rest of activities that I annouced you in the previous blog entry have been postponed until further notice due to the health alarm.

This weekend I wanted to visit the family, but it is time to be responsible not only for oneself, but for the others, and to stay at home in order to slow down the spread of the virus. It is important to control de nomad instinct and stay in place. That is why I have planted myself at home for 15 days taking example of our biggest brothers, the trees. They now a lot about waiting. At the end of autumn they close their kitchens and curled themselves inside their trunks, waiting for spring, but not only fifteen days, but three months. They begin to wake up just now, if you pay attention, you’ll see their little leaves sprouting, and how very discreetly, without boasting they begin to help us to breath better. I think that we talk a lot about allergies caused by the pollen of the trees, but not much about the tones of CO2 they are sparing us all their leaves. Spring not only brings pollen, but also an extraordinary increase on air quality after a winter on all responsibility has fallen to the perennial trees.

Some folktales talk about times when trees talked, walked or even danced. But in a certain moment they decided to stay quiet instead of escape. During millions of years they have been learning to be self-sufficient, and they do it without moving from place to place. They have not only learnt to create their own food, but in addition they feed the rest of living beings, either directly or indirectly, so they are many steps ahead us.

That is why instead of thinking about all that I can’t do today, I had the idea of playing as if I was a tree in many different ways.

Instead of travelling, I stay at home and from my window I rise my head as I want to grow up and watch the sky and the clouds and observe their shapes, because very often they hide fantastic creatures, like dragons.

Or I sit on my chair I watch the branches of the London plane inf ront of my window to see which birds are visiting it. Some days ago a great tit came to visit, with his unmistakable black tie, and spent a good time hoping from branch to branch. And this morning in the center of Barcelona you could listen to the birds singing loud and clear, maybe happy of not having to rise their voices above the traffic noise to warn for danger or look for a partner. Maybe one of the good things of all this woill be that we will have more birds this spring?

Or I spread seeds in my tiny urban garden (very tiny indeed) and I watch what happens one day after the other. It is made of recicled reciipents, bottles or carafes from the neighbours… Sometimes I just don’t plant any seed and wait to see which seed will decide to sprout spontaneously, like  happens with folktales, appearing in the most unexpected places. And so unexpected was the visit this morning: when I was folding the linen, I found in it a ladybird, and very carefully I brought her back to my balcony, just in case she wanted to have some aphids for breakfast from my flowerpots. You can see her on the picture, beside a future oak.

I am just telling you all this just in case you don’t know what to do these days at home and you want to play to be trees and watch the world with another eyes and spread seeds. It is the perfect moment to sow and possibly  in many supermarkets you’ll find seeds. If not, you can rescue some basil sprouts and give them another chance instead of leave them to day of sadness on the cooling section. You have only to put them in water on a glass jar, find them a good place with sun, and wait. In about a week, if the plants feels good, it will began to make roots, and when time for going back to school will arrive, you will be able to plant it on a flowerpot.

You can also tell the folktale of the Girl and the Basil Plant, or any other folktale, because if you don’t have soil, nor balcony, don’t worry, as we will always have stories to comfort us, stories full of wise trees and other fantastic creatures. Maybe at home anybody knows a story, or two.

Or you can also ask me for a story over the phone, I will be delighted to help you to spend the hours happier, as my stories also get bored of not being told. You just have to send me an email ( to arrange time and day. And if you send me a picture of the clouds you can see from your place, I will feel really grateful for that.

More ideas about…

sow: Toni, a gardener from Asturias, makes fantastic videos about planting and explains it very well at La huertina de Toni (in Spanish).

observe: if you do’nt have any tree for bird watching, you can watch the live cameras of SEO Birdlife.

watch: the stories of Draw me a story. Their version of Tiny Tom (Patufet in Catalan) has delighted many of my little friends, and this funny version of Fearless Peter may give you many ideas for telling a story with objects that you can find at home.

listen to: El bosque habitado, a radio program from Radio 3 where you can discover books, music, ideas and initiatives from people working for a greener, fairer and sustainable world.


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