This is what the “lawn” looks like after six weeks away.
And the garden is a jungle. But at least there is kale growing in the jungle. And lots of garlic. Oh, and volunteer plants I would have weeded out weeks ago. How I love the volunteers. And so they get to stay. Nasturtiums in the garlic beds. Cosmos in the onions. Calendula everywhere. Hundreds of borage plants for the bees.
The garden is wild. The children have not brushed their hair in days. The puppy is happy.
The chickens are settling back in.
And sometimes Amabel and I spend the morning collecting beautiful bits of plants and arranging them just so, creating this lovely, yet rather pointless assortment . . . instead of weeding, but . . . it’s lovely here, in the jungle, isn’t it?
I know I’ve probably said this a dozen times . . . but sometimes I wish I could shrink down and step into one of their tiny worlds for a few quiet hours.
I told her that if she opened a preschool, it would immediately fill with the happiest toddlers in the neighborhood! These boys adore her and the endless games she invents for them. Today, they were her “Natural Boys,” following her around everywhere, listening to her every direction.
The girls and I were talking about what we love about living at Gousty and what we love about living on our hill in Suttons Bay. We miss our gardens in Suttons Bay, and we miss our light-filled rooms on the hill. We like being able to hop on our bikes and ride down to Little Bees. And we miss our dear neighbors.
But it doesn’t take much explanation to get to the heart of our love for Gousty. Every time I walk through the “tunnel of love” I am simply filled with the feeling that there is no where else in the world I would rather live.
Then I turn the corner and see the beautiful land that my parents have tended and loved and lived on for 26 years, and well, this is it.
(Top photo by Aunt Kim!)
It’s puppy paradise around here. Aunt Kim and Cousin Cora brought home one of Theo’s sisters, Chole! The girls are certain that the two pups remember each other from their days as litter mates.
And cousin Frances has a puppy too! Humphrey came over for a puppy play date and the two little doodles wore themselves out with tumbling around and around all over Gousty.
Our little baby dog, Theo, is surrounded by so much love! I knew that the girls would adore him, but I did not anticipate how entirely they would devote themselves to him – waking up to take him out in the wee morning hours, feeding him, training him, brushing him, keeping track of all his puppy needs. Watching them nurture him is truly a joy. And Wallace says, “Good boy, Feo.”
Jammies and bed head with dress shoes. Classy.
I’m behind in posting my daily photos this month. There is so much life happening here every day — homeschooling, games, play, getting ready for spring, house projects, spring snow, more spring snow . . . and I’m catching just little bits of it on the camera.
Recently, the girls were looking through some photo books from the past couple of years with Wallace, and as I listened to them reflecting on the pictures, and remembering moments together, I realized how these daily photos have — collectively — come to mean something to them.
I started a 365 project in 2016 primarly for myself. These were my goals then: To nurture my creative voice. To encourage myself to see beauty in our everyday life. To be an active part of a photography community. And to see my family more deeply, with more dimension, and with more reverence.
When I continued taking daily photos in 2017, my goal was “to keep practicing the arts of photography and writing and use these tools as a way to pay attention and express gratitude.” I’ve continued in 2018, with a similar goal. Taking photos does help me to pay attention. Seeing though the lens of a camera has become one of the very important ways that I practice gratitude. Because of this, these photos matter deeply to me.
But years from now, I hope these photos will also matter, in different ways — in ways I maybe cannot imagine — to my children.
A foot of snow outside today; spring is on hold.
Meanwhile, the mice are busy creating a rooftop garden inside inspired by a cousin’s new home in Chicago!
There is a march happening in their bedroom!