If it were not for these two things I would get very little done. Woodpiles to keep the bigger boys busy, (How can one come up with so many scenarios for a log of wood? Apparently quite easily if you are a little boy.) and slings to keep this sweet baby close. If you have a little one around, chances are you do the same. After three boys I seem to have stockpiled a number of options. Ring sling, wraps, a woven mei tai, and an ergo. A sling to suit all occasions.
Round here there is a consequence of living in such isolated beauty- driving. We have managed to squeeze our weekday outings into one, and tend to leave the rest open for staying. Staying feels good and safe and comfortable most days. But on occasion, a good country drive feels well too. Miles, Jasper and I were driving through the rainbow forests of fall yesterday feeling pretty good, noticing so much, shouting out the beauty of each corner, listening to some fine mellow music heading to a mushroom walk, because thats how we do it. Generally, things were as good as they get.
The fog was thick and patchy with big shots of sparkly sun in between, I can see how it could have happened to anyone. These back roads are winding and narrow, and you rarely see anyone walking or any need to lay on the breaks, it is easy to get lost in thought. As we rounded another corner into a neighboring town, we slowed down to see something so sad and real and vivid it felt like a dream, or more like a nightmare. A mousey brunette teenager was carrying her sweet, clearly beloved and very injured dog, all wrapped in a towel, tears streaming down her face. A car was parked nearby with a very disappointed driver, head down on the steering wheel in shame, sitting like cement inside. The tragedy was obvious. We were in a patch of sun. Warm September sun. The day was supposed to be perfect. Memorable only for the warmth we are now late enough in the season to truly appreciate.
We took the rest of the day slow. Intention in every step. Love pouring out my fingertips reaching to soothe that girl and her family for their loss or suffering. I am not sure which.
We are going to enjoy this September day because it just won’t come again.
A few days ago we went to the ROOTS rendezvous, a little gathering spot in the forest not too far from here. There were lots of twenty somethings living very freely with a lot to offer this crazy world, lots of wild children growing up dirty and happy, and lots of incredibly talented and knowledgable individuals reminding the rest of us how useful our hands are, and how much this earth can offer us in the most basic and simplest of ways. I took zero pictures while there. It appears juggling a baby while sewing a pair of shoes and supervising two boys making a friction fire is enough work for one gal. What I did do is store up pounds of inspiration, and a lot of comfort in the company of like-minded people.
Last night, the (relatively speaking) local newspaper called me up to ask about the weekend. Not feeling very news-worthy and with little brain power left, I stuttered and ummmed and mostly repeated her questions subtracting the question marks at the end. It was laughable. But afterwards, when I finally sunk my ears low under the hot water of a much-needed bath, my mind drifted to the why’s of taking three young children to an event such as this.
We did it because we want to give our boys a chance to notice; To have the time to sit and watch a stick twist into a spark and become a fire. We want them to have a chance to grow patience and persistence, to find a skill they truly love, and become experts at it. We hope they see that they can co-exist with this beautiful world that is raising them as much as we are. Even more specifically, we want them to feel the cold air of the early morning in their nose rather than the head ache inducing fluorescents of a cold building. We want to let them choose their own path, giving them a chance to be free from the “no’s” that surround them so often. We want them to feel the itch to go outdoors and be able to scratch it. Our hope is for them to be emboldened by this breath-taking and complicated earth.
Lately I have felt the pressure of returning to the productive days of my past; The ones where I saw a finished product at the end of the day; a clean house perhaps, an elaborate meal, or a time-consuming loaf of bread. I am trying to settle into this ever holding twelve pounds mama that has an endless string of why’s to answer all the while trying to produce more “yes’s” life that I am leading right now, with knowledge that this is in fact my great task.
These boys. Their energy is unprecedented in my life. I have been friends with boys and I have lived with boys, but never have I experienced this raw, bouncing off the wall from sun up to sun down excitement. Their wills are extreme, they are boisterous and loud, disorganized, chaotic, and well plain old crazy.
But they have a sweetness that can’t be denied. A passion for life that is honestly enviable. I admire them with all my heart.
Sometimes when asked by a stranger once again (and again, and again, and again) with a bit of shock in their eyes what its like to have all boys, or if I wanted a girl, or how do I manage (or the plethora of other slightly uncomfortable questions) I am taken aback. Society wants me to have a little girl in my life. The general whole of the people I meet mention it some how, but me?
I couldn’t imagine life any other way.
I always joke that I don’t want to give up my throne any how, but the truth is these boys steal the spot light despite my obvious difference.
They are the light in my soul.
Yesterday morning, we dressed early in anticipation of our boots crossing the first frosty crunch of the year. They did not. By the light of a flashlight the night before I plucked all the tomatoes green, yellow, red, or otherwise and peppers the same, just in case. All that remains is the flowers, winter squash, some straggler carrots and onions, and our new batch of lettuce-y greens.
And look, we are not the only ones who think our flowers have something special. They are officially world champions.
But it turns out up here on this hill we get to stretch out summer right until the very end. The equinox is upon us very soon, and with it comes the overwhelming last hurrah from mother nature. My absolute favorite. She is decked out in gold and purple like its her coronation, and her costumes do not cease to amaze. We are storing up her sights in the root cellars of our soul; Saving these sweet, crunchy moments for the coldest of days which are surely upon us.
enjoy your weekend. breathe deeply in this autumn air.