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Archive for October, 2011

half

today we went for a walk

where the bean rode his bike

which means he sometimes pushes himself along with his feet

which he calls “walking”

and sometimes he pedals.

after he is already cruising along from the walking part

he lifts up his feet and

i watch as those little

(and yet, wait!  not really as little as they were)

feet reach around

thin air

seeking out the pedals.

then he is riding his bike.

meanwhile i am pushing the (double) stroller with the pea

her snack

and some old snacks that were not cleaned up from some other walk.

and we have the dog.

 

as we head home i notice

wow, the sun is really shining in that insanely crisp october way.

wow, the bean’s red and brown sweater

with thick stripes

looks amazing.

i could pull out my phone and take a photo.

or, i could just see it.

and think, “wow, that looks amazing.”

we stop to gather leaves on the sidewalk.

small red/yellow oak (?) leaves.

i put them in the stroller pocket.

 

later the rest of the day will unfold.

but for now we are just fitting in a walk

with a stroller half full

with a little boy half riding his bike

with me more than half present

which isn’t

really

half bad.

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it’s golden in the tree tops

it’s golden in the skies

it’s golden, golden, golden

october’s passing by

(adapted from wynstones autumn)

 

after days of grey skies and rain

the sun finally broke through again today.

as i was driving down our road i noticed how the tree tops really are golden now,

when the bright fall sun is shedding her golden rays upon them.

how the verse we have been saying about the golden tree tops and golden skies

suddenly becomes more then a verse

when you are living it.

and i realized, in that moment as i drove along,

that the verse echoing silently in my own mind and heart

was coming to life for me.

and that it brings nothing for them when it is not alive inside me to begin with.

 

i am emerging here from more grayness than just the rain over the last days.

a healthy cocktail of large and small life stressors seemed to pile upon each other in my mind and heart recently until two nights ago i stood over the broccoli soup pot at 9 o’clock at night scrubbing and crying.  tears of fear, loneliness, and worry.

it is funny – no matter how good life gets there are still those moments of despair.  moments of sinking into feeling so deeply alone that there really is nothing left to do but cry.  to cry and cry until you are done crying (and then pick up the phone and call your friend.)

since that moment i have asked for and received the help and support i needed to inch my way out of that little dark spot and into a place of hope and spacious light.

the golden golden golden on the drive home was searing its way into my very core and spreading back out like a reflection of my own emotional and spiritual shifting.

 

we made rice milk today.

it was the bean’s idea.

i resisted it heavily when he first brought it up at 8am as the best way to resolve the dire situation of being out of rice milk (his only beverage).

i fought back.

then i gave in.

eventually i got into it.

we found a recipe.  we measured and cooked.  we worked on it throughout the day together.  blending, straining, straining, and finally pouring the finished product into glass jars.  we made labels together and he stocked two jars into the upstairs fridge and three into the downstairs fridge.

he had looked at the first label i made,

“rice milk

10-20-11″

and he asked to make his own:

“r    i         c e                   m    i      l          e

1  0     –  20    –  1            1 “

he brought it to me and worried, “i couldn’t make the letter here,” while pointing to the k in milk.

“it looks beautiful to me,” i said.  “i can read this.”

several minutes passed.  he looked again at the jar with his label on it.

“if a real person was here could they know what mine said?”

“yes.”

 

maybe this is homeschooling.  measuring, cooking safety, creating something from scratch, copying mama’s letters as you make your own label.  wondering if your letters are real.

 

eventually the rice milk was cool enough to try.

he hated it.

“it tastes like there is rice in it!”

 

my schooling is in the art of letting go i suppose.

 

 

 

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coming back home

when we get home from our homeschool co-op i unload the car and drop everything on the floor somewhere just out of sight enough that we don’t trip over it.  then i take out my pot, my wooden spoon, and my favorite knife and start cooking.  there is nothing else that feels like the right thing to do.  i haven’t even finished the breakfast dishes yet.  dinner isn’t for hours.  the snacks and drinks from the car ride to and from the co-op are still strewn around various bags.  yet, there is not a thing i can do but start cooking.

i chop.  i dice.  i brown and deglaze.  i breathe in the smells of the food cooking and then pull spices out of the cupboard.  i add a little vinegar.  i sprinkle on the salt.  i toss in some bay leaves.

it calms my soul and brings me back to my center.  before i start cooking i feel worn out from the mental, emotional, spiritual task of holding the space for eleven children.  i feel exhausted from the learning and moving and intuiting.  i feel spread thin.  but somewhere between dicing up onion for the country style pork shoulder ribs i am braising and picking the last springs of tarragon out of my garden to flavor the cabbage i start to come back home.  i find my way to where i need to be.

the kids are playing, singing, coming in and out of imagination and wanting attention.  they seem more capable of giving me some space when i cook.  maybe it is because i am busy with purposeful activity.  maybe it is because then can sense that i am in that place – that sacred place – where thinking has ceased and being has begun.

you’d think, after all the being with the children what i’d need is a break from being.  but, it turns out what i seek is being some more.  with my wooden spoon, with my big blue pot, with my own flow.

once everything is simmering i get to the bags.  i do the breakfast dishes.  i might even play a game with the bean and pea.  i am ready to prepare a snack, make kid tea, and sit down to tell silly jokes to each other.  and like that we are back to where we end up each day.  with the day ending.  with a candle lighting their dinner.  with a tidy up before bath time.

when i first walk in the door dropping back packs, fleece and rain coats, snack bags, and dirty boots i have no idea how i will make it.

but the cooking leads me there.

and i follow…

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last night the kids were sleeping and flash was out.  i had my feet up on the coffee table and there beyond them, at the far end, was a small pair of shoes.  those shoes once belonged to the bean and now the pea likes to wear them.  at night with the children sleeping soundly upstairs those shoes look so tiny.  they make my heart swell and ache with tenderness for the little feet that have been inside them.  for the little person that decided to put them up there on the table.  for the world my children live in – their own world of play and imagination and freedom of a kind.

two little shoes.

the bean sat down this morning and worked on a project. he found colored paper – red, green and blue, and cut out small arcs to create a rainbow.  he taped it up on the front door.  i think it was a decoration for the michaelmas festival we were hosting.  but he didn’t explain.  he just went ahead with his purposeful work.

it is hard to be a full time home schooling mama sometimes.  but it is so deeply ringed with love and reward and i can’t now imagine doing it another way.  i can’t imagine my day without the frustration and elation of their needs and desires.

have you dyed silks with tumeric ever?

have you had a group of children over, with their families, and had them gather around to hear a magical story?  follow you to the garden to pluck the last of your marigolds?  chase your husband around the garden when he is dressed like a dragon?

have you given yourself over to the possibility that it is a real as we make it?  that it can truly fill them up and spill over enough to feed you too?  that there is so much time for them to be practical and so little time for them to revel in other worldliness?

i don’t know where we are going to end up in the long run but i know where we were today.

it was nice.

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writing to write

(trying out returning to blogging with less polish and more frequency.  writing to write…)

today i walked down the driveway in the blowing october winds.  i was following behind the bean and pea who were racing towards the house with castle james on his long leash – seeing how fast they could get him to run.  if flash was there he would have told me not to let them be in charge of the leash (castle james likes to run off when he gets loose) but i have noticed they understand that now.  they clutch the end of the leash as tightly as their small hands can instead of dropping it onto the grass in a moment of distraction.

as i walked i smudged myself with a envelop incasing an advertisement for a new credit card i could apply for.  this is my life sometimes, lived through on hand reality and set intention.  imagining the ink and paper are sweet white sage smoke.  imagining my walking body is sitting still in a moment of quiet contemplation.  a moment set aside to clear out unwanted energy and invite in the energy i need to stay balanced and living from my heart.

i am learning on the fly here.  slipping in paragraphs of how to know higher worlds between laundry and dishes.  slipping in some focused shamanic work for clients in between the packing, prep and driving to and from our waldorf homeschool coop.  slipping in some knitting and rest on the couch in between long busy days and adjustment to new schedules.

steiner writes that one shouldn’t ever let their study of higher worlds, of clairvoyance, of spiritual sight get in the way of their day to day life here on earth.  i am comforted by that thought during my envelop smudging.

the goal of my path is not to escape my life but to be here more fully.  junk mail and all.

 

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