The highlight of our little getaway for Wallace was watching the cranes outside our hotel room window!
The tropical greenhouse at the Frederik Meijer Gardens is like balm for the January soul. We could have stayed inside all day.
My dream mini greenhouse!
The only thing they would have changed about visiting the conservatory? Being allowed to explore in bare feet!
I rummaged around in a box of hand-me-downs, looking for a swim suit for Wallace just before we walked out the door to leave for Grand Rapids. When Jeff looked in my bag, he asked, “What is this smurf costume doing in here?”
We’ve gathered around for our annual Calendula Salve making this afternoon!
This year we’re making lip balm with petals we’ve been soaking in olive oil since the end of the summer. The magic of summer sunshine preserved as golden goodness pulls us all into the kitchen. Each year the girls do more and more on their own. I find myself mostly watching and soaking up the wonder of this messy, rich process.
“I salute you!
There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today.
No peace lies in the future, which is not hidden in this present instant.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”
— Fra Giovanni, AD 1513 (Take Joy! The Tasha Tudor Christmas Book)
The sun today
brings us outside
into the garden
to plant bulbs
and dream —
just for a moment,
So dark all day. So dark at 5 pm. Lots of talk about dark. I’m more comfortable going out into the dark now.
To Know the Dark
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
“The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry,” Counterpoint, 1998: p. 68.
I find myself revisiting this very Novemberish poem. Going dark.
A meditative morning
cleaning out a garden bed,
getting ready for garlic.
Pulling out the old growth
to make room.
Letting in the light,
just before the rain.
There is so much color here —
so much joy in the seeding and growing,
planting and transplanting.
Watching, waiting, watering.
But there is sorrow, too.
Sorrow in letting it all go,
pulling it out —
even as I know that I must let it go
to make space for what is to come.
Questions about poetry versus prose.
I couldn’t clean up.
She brought me flowers.
The first autumn leaves come inside
in baskets and pockets.
Handfuls of chestnuts, shiny brown and gold.
The smell of beeswax fills the house
as rain falls outside
and a chubby toddler brings fists-full
of dirty carrots, fresh from the garden,
inside to wash off
up at the sink.
Leo Creek was our classroom this morning.