the first week

We’ve been experimenting with making our own pack baskets.  The first one, though quite sturdy, isn’t terribly functional.  It will make a pretty basket for around the house though.

The coyotes have been so loud.  Seraphina calls back to them from the porch and various windows.  She speaks their language nearly as well as she is beginning to speak our own.  It sounds as though they are right outside my window just now, as they very well may be.

The first baking day of the school year we usually have a celebration.  Since this time around it happened to land on the day before shopping day, our options were limited.  While the older boys helped an elderly neighbor out for a couple of hours, I took the younger ones apple picking.  The sheep are grazing in the orchard just now.  Licorice has grown a great deal.  She’s fully weaned, but she still comes running when she hears our voices.

We baked what I referred to as strudel, though it really wasn’t.  The crust wasn’t thin and crisp as the term strudel would imply.  Iain said it should properly be called a “cake wrapped pie”.  It was gigantic, that’s the same tray that I serve our Thanksgiving turkey on, and incredibly delicious!  We made a smaller, unsweetened one for the tiny girl.

Seeking to reconcile our old schedule with the new, the end of the week found us at the pond.  On of my goals this year is to get us all outside as much as possible.  I like, maybe even prefer, the beach in the off season.  It’s so quiet and peaceful.  When Iain and Elijah were little, we lived down the road from a lake where they used to dump a big load of sand every autumn.  We would walk down with shovels and they spent many a happy hour digging away.  When they grew tired of the digging- did that ever actually happen?- there were kites to fly.

The ruins of a giant, grand, old sandcastle greeted us that first week.  We come prepared with lots of extra towels, changes of clothes, sweaters.  And our lessons continue on in this place in their own manner.  The older ones are teaching the younger ones to swim, though I can’t imagine that carrying on for much longer.  Still, the water is bracing, it feels strong, like having the courage to jump in fortifies them and I’m content to have them out in it as deep into the season as they please.

Galen who will spend much of this year studying animals, gets to encounter them in their own world.  In his own world, which they are both equally a part of, whether it be a snail found resting at the water’s edge or the great egret that we’ll pour over guide books reading about later.  Mairi Rose and I draw forms, letters and numbers- both giant and small- in the sand with our fingers and toes.  The learning experiences provided for little Seraphine are too numerous and abstract to recount.  Lessons of balance, endurance, time, repetition, consistency and change.

Every week that I manage to end at the pond, connecting with nature and each other is a week I will consider a success.


3 thoughts on “the first week

  1. Carie

    well I think you’ve definitely started as you mean to go on! What a beautiful way to end each week with time outside in big wide spaces, I hope you get the time and sufficiently hospitable weather to continue :)

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