Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fall Gratefulness

I had a great idea for a catch-up know, just in case anyone's still checking this site. It was going to tie up the activities of the last month into a witty, concise little package and remind my myriad readers how creative and erudite I can be. But alas, it was a middle-of-the-night epiphany and you all know how long those stick around. You'll have to make do with this...

You'd think with the month I've had, I would have taken the time to write. We haven't been busy, just falling easily into our fall routines. But I've been savoring the space and trying to keep everything but the absolute essentials at bay. This last week has been a little busier, but so full of delightful happenings, I had to take the time to record my gratefulness.

I'm still oozing thankfulness for the opportunity to spend the weekend out at Twin Rocks with a really great group of eighth graders. I led worship for the Samuel School retreat and was reminded how much I adore this age group. They were so thoughtful...and playful (I still have rug burns from being unexpectedly included in rec). They are such mixtures of child and adult, of serious and silly. And though they may have seen me as much older, we are not so very different.

We also went to the beach as a family this month...just for the day, but what a spectacular day it was! No more words about that, just these images.

Plans for a new dinghy just showed up and Bryan is like a kid at Christmas without the batteries for his new toys. He's picking up wood tonight and then I'll need to drag some cushions out to the garage steps so I can hang out with my boat-buildin' man. We're all excited, as we're quickly outgrowing our current dinghy. The new one will be 11 feet long, but is a nesting dinghy which breaks into 2 pieces and nests together so it will more easily carry all of us and our gear, but won't be too difficult to lift onto the deck. Each end of it floats, so you can stand in the stern and pop off the bow for the transfer. How nice to have a winter project to while away free weekends.

On the bread-baking front, I've been on a ciabatta kick, trying out different recipes and techniques. Oh, and indiscriminately eating the results. And I just found out I get to be one of the crowd of recipe testers for Peter Rienhart's new cookbook. I'm ecstatic, but no, I don't need any more taste-testers, thanks for offering.

I'm glad that it's candle season, and I've been intentionally taking every opportunity to add flickering points of light to my rooms. I've even tried reading by oil lantern so as not to wake Bryan with the big light. (It doesn't work very well, but I can manage for as long as it takes to read an entry from my favorite book of prayers, something I've been using again recently). The dining room table is set with fall colors and I hung my purple sari over the back door. Scarves and hats are out, and gloves are tucked into jacket pockets for impromptu excursions. Can you tell I love fall?

I'm grateful for school this year. Here we are on the first day...

Here's a more typical day...

We have worked hard in past years to develop some independent study skills, efficiency about chores, and cheerful attitudes toward learning. Superstition says I shouldn't jinx myself, but I think it's too easy to complain about the hard times and not rejoice in the good ones. This is a good time. Not perfect, but very, very good.

We've been experimenting with radish seeds recently, since they are supposed to sprout in one day (they don't, but they're supposed to). The girls are fascinated--OK, so am I--with the idea that all our energy comes from the sun and the color green. Each plant that, one way or another, provides all I consume, is rooted in the soil of its ancestors and drinks strength from light. Would you remind me of this if I start to feel anxious or deprived in these unsettling times?

Tuesday, the girls and I went on an extended food pick-up. Tuesdays are always vegetable days, but this week, we stopped for milk and eggs and left with demi-glace too (chicken AND beef), a gift from farmer friends to season our soup season. Then it was off to another friend's farm in the foothills to raid the apple trees for the last of the fall apples. The air was cool and still, the light golden as we worked together (not very hard) to gather baskets, heaps of abundance. The car smelled spicy and delicious as we drove to retrieve our CSA share (which included, among other treasures, an almost 3 lb. beet!). Gratefulness overwhelmed me as I rolled home in my cornucopia on wheels. We have been given so much; I never want to take it for granted.

Can you see in my face my hope for this season?
Even as the light outside fades, I will choose contentment and drink deeply from the true Light.


Michelle said...

Bethany-I love to read your blog and see your pictures. Your life is a vision of contentment and I for one glean much wisdom from you.

Thank you for being exactly who God created you to be.

Adeline said...

Bethany this blog is a blessing, I love that you love fall, candles, reading, cooking and are optimistic, joyful and adventurous. I feel like I am getting to know you, and it's making me smile big!