choosing thankfulness

Today I choose to be thankful for the things I forget are gifts.

For the perpetual mess that reminds me of magical play.  For spaceships and tepees, farms and firehouses, treasures and collections.  Memories and problem solving in the making.

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For the dirty dishes in the sink and the good food we shared while laughing (and yelling and crying ) about our days.

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For the dirt tracked in on boots and dust blown through heating vents that collects in the corners and clings to the baseboards of our little red house.  This house that keeps us safe and warm.

For the daily 20 minute ritual of negotiating getting dressed with a sanguine child who, while bending over to pull up her tights, realizes that there is absolutely no better time than the present to practice her yoga poses.  Best to be reminded of the important detours in life from time to time.

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For every household task that takes 10 times longer because these children just have to work.

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For barn chores in the winter cold, and knowing where our eggs and milk come from.

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For remembering the joy we find when following the yes-to-life energy of a small child.   Small dusting of snow on a frigid day an obstacle to sledding?  Certainly not!

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And for the karma of community, family and partnership in all their forms.  For the unconditional love and measured respect we share with each other, and the moments that we bump into each other, rub each other the wrong way, step on the wrong toes.  All the little moments that propel us toward ourselves each and every day.

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return of the rainbow fairies

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This time of year the Rainbow Fairies return to us, casting their changing constant selves on the surfaces of the house.  The maple tree sheds its leaves releasing our house from the shade of summer , and the low hanging fall sun finds its way into our windows.  Outside the days are shortening as we sink into winter darkness, but inside our little red house, this same light shines more brightly than it does at the height of summer.  As we tuck in the garden and watch the squirrels filling their nests, we see the light wake up in our house and in our hearts.  Now all that we have gathered of the summer’s bounty can bloom within us.

Turning inward we find the core of our family again.  No longer scattered about the yard, hands in the dirt, but lying on the floor among the puzzle pieces or intently bent over handwork projects.  There is plenty of running into each other, of pondering how we will survive the years on top of each other in 1000 sqft.  But along side this are the miraculous moments in which we remember what a gift it is to all be here together.  That in all the many beings in the universe, we have had the good luck of finding each other.

intruducing felix

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“If you have three, you might as well have five,” someone once said to me about large families.

I’m not sure I agree on this when it comes to children.  Then again, I don’t have five kids!  When it comes to farmlette animals, however, it seems there is a point when one more isn’t such a big change.

A week ago Lucien and Opal and I were racing out the door to pick up Mattheus from school when this gray and white guy ran into the yard.  We’ve tried to find his family, we really have, but it seems he found us instead.

All week we’ve called him “laundry basket,” after his favorite sleeping place, but as it seemed more and more that he was here to stay, we settled on Felix because, well, he is a Felix.

He races around the house at all hours of the night and day, exploding from corners to attack tiny bare feet.  He seems to find amusement stalking Enkidu, our (how come he is so much bigger than yesterday, Mama?) seven year old big black cat.  Enkidu looks down his nose at Felix, wishing he would “just grow up, for goodness sake.”  The sunbeam on Mattheus’ bed is already a favorite sleeping spot.  Our chocolate lab, Mosie, is pretty excited about the bowl of kitten food on the bathroom floor, which for some reason needs constant refilling.

As for me, I can’t say Felix feels like he’s part of the family yet, but he is growing on me.  I think he will find his place yet.  Here’s hoping it’s as a good mouser.

the courage to be unfinished

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All these long months I have been away, I have been examining this full and miraculous life that I share with my family.  As I collect years, I am beginning to sense what it means to hold what I am capable of and letting go of the rest so that I can still find balance.  I think in our youth we want to do it all–participate in all that is life.  And I for one have spent many years muscling through, trying to do just that, for I find each hidden corner of life so marvelous.  But, life with small kiddos and doing it all are not good companions.  I have come to see how simple life must be for our young family, so that we may find health`, and be present in all of these fleeting moments of the small child.

But what do we let go of?  What can wait until that all too soon time when they are spending their days at school? It’s hard to let things go, because some force in the universe wants us to be anxious that we will never get them back.  That what we let go of now will be lost forever.  Perhaps this will be true, but I must find the courage to trust that the important things will be waiting in the wings until the time is right.

The great gift of life is that we are all unfinished.  That what we need to become more ourselves will emerge out of the great tableau of life.  That each day we can be reminded that perfection is static and devoid of human personality.  That we can forgive ourselves and each other our rough edges and embrace what it means to be an evolving human being.

Even when we don’t blog for four months 🙂