And just like that, summer is over. It really shouldn’t surprise me how fast the season flew by. That’s just how it works.
But, what a summer it was. A summer spent working and finding by “bliss” so to speak. And it was found in all the quiet, mundane, and unexpected places. The only place that I did not seem to find it, was here. I love writing, and probably have more than a handful of started posts about various moments from the summer. All that I wished to share with you, and yet, the pull to treasure them in my heart seemed stronger. And sorry as I am to leave you out of it I still think it was a good choice…this time.
That said, I do feel I should offer to catch up a bit on some of the going’s on around here. And what better way to share my heart, than to share my gratitudes.
So, here is what I have been savoring this summer:
:: Meager though it was, we did harvest from the garden this year! I have a cupboard with several pints of canned tomatoey goodness put up. We grew just the right amont of zucchini (I don’t think one was wasted) and our collection of carrots was fantastic! Squash and beans, cucumbers and one watermelon. And lets not forget the most beautiful volunteer pumpkin you ever saw. Yes. Grateful.
:: Wild grape jelly ! Way more work than I ever anticipated but such sweet goodness.
:: Growing babes… all of them.
:: Horses. Big and small, and the couple I was able to swing my leg over. I forget about that part of me sometimes. It’s nice to be able to remember that I still love them and riding. Thank you friends who loaned me your mounts, you offered nourishment for my soul.
::Sunsets. They really are amazing.
::Returning to rhythm and routine. I so jubilantly cast it all aside in the spring, but somewhere in September the craving for inward and predictable rises. There is something so nice about fresh text books. And this year I have high hopes of not neglecting my own educational and creative pursuits.
:: Kittens – we now have three. I’m not sure there is anything better than kids toting kittens around the yard, or letting them purr on my lap.
Well, there it is. Not but a trifle of the joy that was our summer and season of change. Now into my favorite season of all.
Today I’ve had the honor of having real, honest conversation about what happened on September 11, 2001 with my oldest. He is the first of the four to ask, and who can grasp the fringes of understanding for that day. I haltingly, carefully share with him the images of the buildings, and the people. We talk about the evil behind it all and how we as a country changed on that day. It is special to be able to share a piece of history that I have seen and he has only heard about. I am thankful that for now, his life only knows safety and peace. That he does not know the terror of that time. I am also thankful for every man and woman that sacrifices so that we may know such peace. We must never forget. But by the grace of God we can remember not only the tragedy, but the triumph, the heroes, and all the good that was able to rise from those ashes.
I never knew you could do this. That it was so simple to grow Butterflies. But it really is. While perusing Facebook one day, I saw a post from an industrious little girl who was selling monarch caterpillars for such a project. Though I admired here little entrepreneurial endeavor, I didn’t really ponder too much on the idea. I reasoned it really was probably quite a hassle anyway.
But then one day while walking down our road, I was noticing all the milk weed. Tons of it line our road and I suggested to Colton he look for a Monarch Caterpillar. To our great excitement we found two right off the bat. Now, I really didn’t know if we could or how we would manage this project, but if a little girl could do it, then with Googles help so could we.
Words really cannot do justice for the process. The caterpillars began their metamorphosis within a couple days. The process taking only a few short minutes was nothing short of miraculous and gross all at once.
But I have to say the Chrysalis, oh the chrysalises. They are nothing short of art. Perfect and tipped with gold. Surely there is a Creator for such a magnificent design.
Even as the process completes and the Butterfly prepares to present itself, it is a thing of beauty.
And so vibrant is a brand new butterfly, and delicate, and breathtaking.
Once they dried they decided to visit with us for a few hours. And then in a moment they up and flew away. Sometimes the kids wonder if the butterfly they see flying by happens to be one they raised and brought safely into the world? Maybe it is.
All I wonder is how to untangle the metaphor for life, for salvation, for moments of transformation? Surely there is a message in the process of metamorphosis and the making of a Butterfly.
I can feel it. That unmistakable shift of seasons. August winding down, summer days in their most exhausted state, ready for their rest.
I can feel the change in the air. No more is Summers warm breath on the wind.
I see the change in the sky as well. The haze from summer heat is past, giving way to the deep reflective blue matched by dream clouds that sit so perfectly on the wind.
I see the change in us as well. In May we are ready to cast all routine and rhythm to the wind. And we enjoy doing so. Now, I feel the welcome pull of things familiar and planned. I think they feel it too. Our summer rest has restored our minds and souls. We are ready to begin the work again.
Yes, I’m ready. We’re ready. This summer has been marvelous. Not in the spectacular adventure ridden sort of way. But in a more subtle, more present way. This summer was full. Fuller than we have had in a long time. But, we were not over gorged by our days. No, we lived them, every moment. We are satisfied.
First the month arrived. August. “Is it my birthday now?” She would ask. And though the question was repeated often and though it was explained many a time the exact date and how many “sleeps” until the big day. She really did try to be patient. Finally the day arrived.
This girl who can be so particular about many things had no preferences for special meals. And happily gobbled up whatever was put before her. She did want to ride her pony Cisco, which we did. And she wanted a birthday crown “like da brothers.” so we sat down to some making.
She did have some preferences on her cake which I more than willingly deferred to Manna this year. She wanted a pink castle cake. On it she wanted Princess Belle Belle. (No, that is not a typo, that’s how she says it. She has never seen Beauty and the Beast. But a princess who’s name was the same as her old pony is what she liked.) She also wanted Jesse and Woody and Bulls-eye too. Oh! and don’t forget The Hulk! Though I chuckled quite a bit over her cake request, I now realize she was just compiling the perfect metaphor of her personality. And I do say that in the most loving way.
This daughter of mine is a passionate one. She is strong and persistent. She is determined and lives full of feeling. But she is also very tender and compassionate. She loves with her whole heart always.
And now she is three. Farther from her days as a baby and closer to being who she is made to be.
I love this girl with so much of my heart. I learn so much from and through her. I hope to be more like her in many ways.
Happy Birthday love. I pray many blessings on you today and in the days to come.