Now We Begin Again

The secret of the Universe.

A somewhat random assortment of quotations for a Monday morning:
“I do not understand the mystery of grace — only that it meets us where we are and does not leave us where it found us.” ― Anne Lamott
“[E]ducation is not just about utilizing a particular curriculum, or ensuring that critical reflection in a community follows a particular formula. It is full of intangible and random events. It is not just taught in the classroom, but lived in the midst of the community in ways that are not even fully quantifiable.”  ―M.S. Bickford on the educational theories of John Westerhoff
“The trouble with trouble is, it starts out as fun.” ―Anonymous
“One of the few things I know about writing is this: spend it all, shoot it, play it, lose it, all, right away, every time…give it, give it all, give it now.”
— Annie Dillard
“You can tell people of the need to struggle, but when the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire.”
— Leymah Gbowee
“There are opportunities even in the most difficult moments.” — Wangari Maathai
“Throughout my life, I have never stopped to strategize about my next steps. I often just keep walking along, through whichever door opens. I have been on a journey and this journey has never stopped. When the journey is acknowledged and sustained by those I work with, they are a source of inspiration, energy and encouragement. They are the reasons I kept walking, and will keep walking, as long as my knees hold out.”
— Wangari Maathai

Gratitude List:
1. First CSA Day of the Season! Today is First Harvest. We spent hours yesterday getting the market room ready. I took a mop to the walls. I need to make an offering to Athena again–the poor spiders had their lives severely disrupted. I actually need to run out somewhere this morning and get a new drive belt for the vacuum cleaner, which I severely overworked. But we’re essentially ready! The curtain is rising on the 2017 production of Goldfinch Farm CSA.
2. Good exercise. Every day, for the past three days, I have awakened with a much greater level of stiffness and ache, but it’s all from the increased exercise of summer. I should plan now for how to maintain that in the coming school year.
3. I am holding someone else’s good news like a secret and precious gem. Not my story to tell, not yet.
4. Feeling like I am getting organized. I am a conundrum. I love to be organized. I love spaces and datebooks and thoughts that are carefully and neatly arranged, but my world tends to fall rapidly toward chaos and mess. Right now, I am finding energy for the creation and maintenance of organized datebook and thoughts. Perhaps the physical spaces will follow, too. getting that market room ready yesterday was a help.
5. Weaving stories together.

May we walk in Beauty and Love.

Laughter and Sufficiency

Some of us in this family don’t handle the cold so well.

Gratitude List:
1. Getting organized. I am finally transferring my calendars completely to computer/phone. No more half and half, forgetting to copy something out.
2. Chili, bread, and cheese. And GREENS!
3. Red-bellied woodpecker at the feeder
4. Sufficiency
5. Laughter

May we walk in Beauty!

Where Does Coyote Go?

Hen of the Woods, Halifax,PA. Altered by Dreamscope.

Where does coyote go to rest in these hills and mountains
cross-hatched by houses and fields of corn and soy?
Where does he lay his head? Where does vixen raise her family?
Where does she hide her young ones?
Where do they find a patch of sun to play in?

Coyote brought us losses. We breathe a sigh in memory
of the soft feathers and sweet cluckings of our little flock.
Perhaps we drew him here with hens, and when they were spent,
he stayed on for fatty groundhog and the tenderness of rabbit.
An we breathe a sigh of gratitude for that.
If only now he brought us rain.

(I’m not sure quite what that is–I think it might work better in a prosey form, but I have become accustomed to lining out my thoughts like poems, considering where I want to breathe in the spaces of the phrase.)

Gratitude List:
1. Sleeping until just minutes before the alarm went off. I think I must have slept even more deeply last night.
2. Watching my children grow and learn and become themselves. Sometimes when they start to talk about what they are learning or thinking about, I find myself watching them from outside myself, marveling at these creatures that I know so intimately and that I do not know at all. Where have they come from?
3. My colleagues. Yesterday after a meeting about our accreditation process, one of the other teachers said to me that he found it interesting that no one in the meeting seemed discouraged or frustrated. Anyone can tell you that the beginning of an accreditation process can seem daunting at best. But he was right–the team seemed cheerful and eager. The administrative folks who are holding us through this and guiding the process are walking with us and brainstorming ways to streamline the process even as we take it seriously and fulfill the work of it thoroughly.
4. This steely grey moment before dawn bounds over the hill, when everything gets just a little quieter, even the crickets, and the trees are silhouetted against the sky.
5. My Book of Days (it sounds better than “bullet journal”) Fishing around inside myself for that fifth point, I keep circling around to my little daybook again, abandoning it because I wrote about it a couple days ago, and picking it up again. I have always had a sort of anxious relationship to calendar-keeping, finding it difficult to conceptualize future time, struggling to commit to future dates because the future is so fluid and I don’t want to nail it down. Somehow the little system that I have begun to use in the last week has helped me to visualize and conceptualize the framework of the future. I feel like I have organized the garage.

May we walk in Beauty!