Calendula Lip Balm

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.
Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future, which is not hidden in this present instant.
Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy.
Take 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)

Dear Sir

Rilke’s famous words to his 19-year old protege in 1903:

“I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”

Be Wild

I’m listening to May Erlewine’s newly released album “Mother Lion.” It’s amazing. I could listen to it over and over again.

“I want the dawn to break me open.
I want to breathe and be unbroken.
I want it to take a while.
I want to be wild.”

I love how May sings through the contradictions and vulnerabilities that we live with every day. Thank you for putting your music into the world, May.

Morning Clouds

“I think it makes a huge difference, when you wake in the morning and come out of your house, whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you, but in a totally different form, and if you go towards it with an open heart and a real, watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you.” — John O’Donohue

Nourished

“Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Considerations by the Way, from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Collected Essays & Lectures,” The Library of America: 1983)

Music

I love to hear my girls sing.
To watch them on stage — yes.
But, even more than that, to hear them humming and whistling,
singing spontaneously around the house.

Oh, what does John O’Donohue say?
“I love music.
I think music is just it.
I love poetry as well, of course, and I think of beauty in poetry.
But music is what language would love to be if it could.”

(“Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living” by Krista Tippett, Penguin Books, 2016: p. 77)

Book Stack

“Words make worlds.” — Krista Tippett

On my desk this week: Moby Dick (by Herman Melville), Workshops Work (by Patricia Zaballos), The Poetry Handbook (by Mary Oliver), The One-Straw Revolution (by Masanobu Fukuoka), Becoming Wise (by Krista Tippett, and Project-Based Homeschooling (by Lori Pickert). I’m reading bits and pieces of all of them — because that is how my reading happens right now: in little snippets of time in the midst of very full days.

I might be hiding upstairs in my room right now, taking one of these mini reading breaks . . .