We’ve had a strange phenomenon in our home, concerning books. I realized not long ago that I barely pick up a picture book anymore. I used to write a semi-monthly series called What We Read which mostly featured picture books from the library–then I had a falling out with our local library (which I don’t think I’ve ever described here, but should write about) and the constant traffic of new books in our home rather ground to a halt.[Read more…]
I think it was when we were walking the trail in the field, when I was in labor with Beatrice, and Jeremy and I had a brief conversation about gardens and planting and growth and fruit. Namely, about the timing of the harvest of some plants versus others.
Our garden last year had been brief and exciting. We plowed, we tilled, we planted, we watched eagerly. Then plants sprang up, the fruit grew, and the harvest was bountiful. All of this happened in the span of a handful of months.[Read more…]
Three years ago, while Jeremy was still in Georgia getting our house together to sell and I was living here alone with four children, I started reading the Bible to the kids over breakfast.[Read more…]
Words really do get stuck. There is something in the act of opening the computer and sitting down to write that makes them absolutely congeal in my brain. What was a coherent string of thoughts becomes a gelatinous mass of random one-line thoughts. What’s for dinner? We should take the library books back. My back hurts. What’s that noise? What will the weather be like tomorrow? I should message so-and-so back. Where’s Anselm? What was I wanting to write about again? What time is it?
It was raining outside that day, but it was warm. I was determined that we should take a walk that day, even in the rain. Rather, I thought we should take a walk because it was raining. Because we never take walks in the rain. Is it different in the rain? How different? What shall we see that we don’t see when it’s dry outdoors? You don’t know unless you begin, do you?
We took a walk in the rain precisely because we don’t usually. I am ever looking out for those things we don’t do that we perhaps should. It’s something of a hobby–perhaps more like an obsession. My avoidance of uncomfortable things is a never-ending mystery and I investigate it with the tenacity of any detective: Why am I avoiding this? What would happen if I didn’t? I wanted to walk outside in the rain because I never do it. I never do it because it’s uncomfortable. I know that those uncomfortable things usually yield the most surprising and satisfying results.
I think that’s also why I push through these stiffening, uncooperative thoughts, and try to put down here what words I can. There is something in the exercise alone that’s worth it. I always feel better for it.
We slept late, this morning, the baby and ourselves. We awoke to a room full of grey light; the misty day after Christmas.
“It’s over,” Jeremy said, “Christmas is done.”
“No it’s not, we still have eleven more days!” I prefer to stick to the old idea of twelve days of Christmas even though our culture does not. Before those twelve days are out Jeremy will be back to work, back to school. We have this week, though.
The clouds broke mid-morning and the sun shone on the field, brown and gold and pale, pale green. When we went outside the wind whipped at us like it always does, but it was a warm wind. Our Christmas Day had been unseasonably warm, a fact which I relished, since it meant the boys could ride their Christmas gifts: a new bicycle for each of them.
We went outside, Jeremy and Pam and myself, as part of a meeting of the Janderhil Committee for Community Improvement and Development. We had spent breakfast discussing chickens and rabbits and bees and the garden, making mental lists and gathering ideas and ideals, long-term goals and goals for the year. Then when Elvie Kay went down for a nap, we stepped outside to ponder the location and size of the garden. We have a lot of preparations to make.
The boys followed us out to ride their bicycles.