impossibleway: (Winter)
A last little bit of Winter, I think.  The forecast for the next while shows lows being what the highs should be.  If ever there were a time to consider the very real possibility (or reality) of climate change, I think now is it.  And it's probably too late, in many ways.  I often wonder if my children will still see regular snow later in their lives.  This Winter has been the one that wasn't.  I've tried to seize every possible moment to enjoy the cold and snow, knowing it won't stick around long.

Flowercicle

For now, though, ice and snow on the Appalachian Trail.
Here's a frozen coneflower from the dripping eaves at the "Ranger House."

Partnership Shelter

And here's Partnership Shelter on the Appalachian Trail.
This one boasts a shower and a sink.  And a phone nearby to order pizza.
It was just right for a week when we all had sniffles.

On the Trail

Oddly, the trail was clear in the snowy woods.
Willow and Roan played in the woods, while we walked.
The snow was pitted from all the dripping and melting.

Needle Ice

There was considerable needle ice, too, which is nice to see.  The ground is still cold and there will likely be some snow in March, right?  I don't like feeling that the natural world is just as up in the air as this human one.  This is the most unsettled I've felt in some time.  Spring feels like it has sprung here in town, and I've taken down the insulated curtains.  I needed the sunshine, anyway.  If Winter won't stick around, it's time to embrace Spring.  I guess we get an early one this year.
impossibleway: (Autumn Fern)
We went to the Big Bend yesterday, out the long and bumpy road to the place away from it all, except mosquitoes.  Oh, the mosquitoes.  Willow is wishing for frost and I am, too.  This Summer is just too much for me.  I could go on and on, but nature!  We went to see it!  The way to keep away from mosquitoes is to keep moving, so we did that.  I had a vision of leisure and sitting in the sun for a long time, but this was not a relaxing sort fo trip.

On the Secret Trail

Roan took me on his secret trail to one of the chimneys.  I am sad to report that the bags of cement from ten months ago were for a communications tower down the road.  Oh, well.

Take My Picture

Laurel asked me to take her picture (in the blazing sun) and then made this face.  I am all the time trying to figure out who she looks like.  It's either my Grandma Lois or my great-grandmother Virgie.

Mushroom on the Fallen Oak

One of the oaks in the pictures from last Fall split and fell.  It was a little disappointing (though more to the tree!).  The children were able to climb on the top of a tree that had been riding the winds not long ago.

Gnome Picnic

We had our insect-ridden picnic, though the gnomes seemed to enjoy their acorns much more.  You can see a rather wild looking fellow off to the left there.  He's the Arkansas Traveler that came to us from Stacey.  She's so good at gnome-making and I'm so excited for her etsy shop to open.  Tanya made the Three Little Gnomes and the Tomten, of course.  We are covered up in gnomes, with plans for making more.  I'm a gnome glutton.

Here

And there's this spot. It's a little stone that stands under a tree in the softest tall grass, just on the edge of the woods. There were Indian pipes around the base of it.  I couldn't get a picture of it with the bright sun, but bury me here. Or sprinkle me. Roan says he will carve my name on the stone.  It seems like the perfect spot.

I suppose that's a little morbid, but I think of those things.  Not with sadness, but with a feeling of the passage of time.  Willow says people and things are changing.  I don't think that I have made her sentimental or nostalgic.  We do talk about old times, but I think it is interesting that she has noticed that.  All this hot, dry weather makes me feel so unsettled and really, truly concerned about climate change.  I don't know.  I try to keep that to myself and see what is now and good.
impossibleway: (A Winter's Solstice)
It's our wassail, jolly wassail!
Joy come to our jolly wassail!
How well they may bloom, how well they may bear
So we may have apples and cider next year.

~Traditional


Wassailing

Inspired by the Tullyport Christmas stories from Sparkle Stories and our love of apples, we wassailed the trees yesterday.  Since our story had coincided with Lammas Ull, I made the quiet decision to do it with the children when everyone woke up.  It was interesting timing, all of it.  A neighbor had just shown up with a big tub of a popcorn as a thank you for lending her the apple picker back in the Summer.  With a cup or so of cider left, we set out after quiet time, just as the sky was beginning to turn pink.  Since most of the trees belonged to Don, we didn't have a way of knowing which one was the oldest.  Not wanting to leave any out, we did all the trees, including our own Arkansas Black, and there was enough to go around!  Our tree has grown so much in the past year that we may well have apples from it this Summer.

There are lots of reasons and thoughts behind these rituals, some more acceptable or palatable than others.  For me, for our family, it is about connecting ourselves with others around the world and in the past.  It reminds us that we are all in this together.  It's also a way of really saying "thank you" for the ways that food is provided to us throughout the year.  Becoming a sort of substitute orchardist and gardener to the Roland's trees and berries has been a tremendous blessing.  We eat better all year long because of those plants.  Their efforts would be squandered even moreso, otherwise, and I do believe they have responded favorably to being looked after.

In the Spiral
impossibleway: (Dodecahedron Lantern)
Brace yourself.  I've been saving for awhile and it's time to clear out.  The computer is making this dreadful whirring sound as I open dozens of tabs at the same time. . .And with that, it is time for breakfast and another full day. 
impossibleway: (Barefeet)
At the water's edge

Windblown and salt-encrusted
We head out toward the islands
Today the waters are mercurial, restless

With every dip and rise, our hearts plummet and soar
Stomachs dance and smiles grow wide

We inhale the scent of seawater
Each sharp and salty breath
Envelops, anchors and soothes us

Choppy waters give way to soil and moss
We skip ahead, propelled by the promise of even ground
And cheese sandwiches

In the woods old growth dwarfs us as we leave the shore behind
Feet dance and backpacks thump

We inhale the soft scent of spruce
Each earthy and verdant breath
Envelops, anchors and soothes us

We didn't know it then
But years later it would be these moments
That would call us home

~Tobie Wahl, as featured in Taproot
impossibleway: (Northbound)
Foggy VistaThe time of The Fog has arrived, and each morning is shrouded in clouds.  I forgot all about it, oddly.  Here's what I've been saving up for July.


*Needlefelted Ladybug :: Willow would just love this.  I am always so bad at Christmas stockings and we've never done gifts for St. Nicholas day, so I'm collecting ideas now.
*Say Yes to Outdoor Play in Winter :: Enough said.
*A Rural Struggle to Keep the Family Fed :: An NPR story about our local food bank, which is celebrating 11 or 12 years in operation.  The story is still much the same today.
*Mapping children's chances
*Alex's Chicken and Mushroom Marsala :: On a lighter note.  Maybe I'll make this some time.
*One Hundred Dollars a Month :: A frugal food and gardening blog.
*Bee Sting Cake :: Goodness, this looks good.
*Spruced-Up Vanilla Cake :: Making this for our Christmas in July tomorrow.  I even have the pan!
*Why I didn't quit sugar :: I don't think I could ever quit sugar.  Interesting post and articles.
*Blueberry Dumplings :: Made these and they were wonderfully easy.  Not too sweet at all.
*Take Along Mouse House :: So very sweet and inspiring.
*Waldorf Inspired Unschooling :: Maybe this is us.  I don't do a lot of direct teaching, but I do have a fair amount of environmental controls in place.
*Family Budget Calculator :: Find out how much The Man thinks you should be spending on food.  Our estimate was about twice what I think we really spend.
*Sheet Pan Pizza :: Wonderful crust and sauce.  This is what Pizza Hut ought to taste like without all that grease, light and airy, slightly crunchy.  It may have redeemed thick crust pizza for me.
*Butternut and Sweet Potato Soup :: Hoping to make this if Carrie has a surplus of squash this Fall.
*Simplicity Monday: Too Much :: Good reminders about keeping it simple as our children near adulthood.
*Black Bean Bisque :: Always looking for more things to do with beans.  Interesting blog, too, about feeding babies French foods.
*Soft Boiling an Egg :: Instructions found within this post.  I've never had one.
*Fighting Fire with Fire: Why Some Burns are Good for Nature :: When I was working for Smokey, he'd just started to turn his thoughts from avoiding all fires and using controlled burns.  Bless his heart, that dear bear is costing us now.
*On Minimizing :: Always nice to have reassurance.  I take toys downstairs every single week, always thinning and trading.
*My Take on Cronuts :: I'd not heard of these things, but it seems they are a Big Deal.  Huh.
*The Times They Are A-Changin' :: I know Bob didn't want to be a topical songwriter.  Still, I like this speech and photo compilation.
impossibleway: (The Little House)
Inauguration

I've never had my own proper clothesline, never, for all the air drying I've done.  When Mike and I were first married, we lived with my parents for nine months.  During the Summer, I strung line up on my old swing set and hung clothes out there.  When we came here, I spent seven years using Mrs. Houck's clothesline.  But, the house is sold now and it was time to become serious about building our own line.  Mike's been working on it in bits and pieces since Saturday.  We used this tutorial (as well as this one)and it is very classy.  He mastered new skills like digging post holes, cementing posts and admitting that I am just a wee bit mechanically inclined.  Just the last two lines and it will be done.  It's right outside my kitchen window and just a few steps from the washer in the basement.  A wonderful birthday gift.
impossibleway: (Sap Bucket)
Quite the variety this month.  Here you go!  I've got to get started on the day, once my foot wakes up. ;-)

* April Nature TableBoundaries for Gentle Parenting :: Good reminders here.
* Vermont Finds High-Tech Ways to Sap More Money From Maple Trees :: Still need this year's supply of maple syrup.  Maybe we'll get it at the Ramp Festival.  Surely, there won't be a blizzard then.
* How to Build a Clothesline :: A nice starting place.  We'll need one soon!
* I pledge allegiance to the Earth :: A little Earth Day art.
* Back to the land again: Folk schools teach skills for modern-day survival :: We've been to the John C. Campbell Folk School.  I wish they could become more financially accessible to the masses.
* Silkki Bliss Bonnet :: Sigh.  Would be lovely for a late Autumn baby. . .
* A Polar Bear's Tale :: Prettiness.  We all need places of prettiness.
* Baked Apple Pancake :: With a gluten-free option.  Ahh, Fall.  I'm not ready to see you yet, but it's always so nice when you arrive.
* Maternity Top with Elastic Waistband :: Cute.  Not sure if I can pull off the look, but I'm not needing maternity yet (and I feel so proud to say that).
* Ladies Maternity Patterns :: A trip back in time, some of these.  I've taken to the notion that I will sew any new clothes I have this time around.  What's out there is either too expensive or too flimsy.
* 1974 ::  Found this through Ginger.  Wonderful photos of a wedding and reflection on a marriage.
* Baby Bonnet :: Adapted for a doll Virginia's size.
* Lazy Days Skirt :: Free pattern.  Love that.  I have some fabric that's not enough for a dress.
* Secrets to Sheet Pan Pizza :: I'm going to try this next time I make pizza.  I've been looking for something with a little more oomph.
* Three in a row :: Crossing my fingers and hoping and praying we can fit three carseats across the back of our car.
* Trains, Punks, Pictures and a Books You Maybe Shouldn't Read :: Love the photos here.
impossibleway: (Ranger Brandy)
I like to read non-fiction.  It's always been that way.  I've read about folks climbing Mt. Everest, wandering in the desert, living among the laurels in a cabin, 1001 questions answered about trees and about Hard Work.  I've always been one to prefer manual labor, the kind you can see real results from, instead of pushing paper across a desk or tapping away on a mouse (and I've done my share of that).  But, even when I did such work, I found ways to make it more physical, like jumping into wells or walking all the way around a lake to find the trail didn't connect.

We Took to the Woods and One Man's WildernessSummer is the season of such work and in it I take much pride.  There is the work of getting the laundry dry, getting it folded, getting the plants watered and weeded, scoping out wasp and yellow jacket nests, constant assessments of the yard to see when it should be mowed.  All the while, I have people at my feet who are creating more work, ever-changing and yet, predictable, too.  Sometimes I feel I do a whole day's work before anyone else wakes up.  Other days, I feel so scattered that my children decide they will take the laundry off my racks for me, scattering diapers and clothespins across the floor.

I liken my house to a factory sometimes.  We make people and food and laundry and DNA-laced dirt.  It's funny to think that one little patch of land could do all that it does, but here we are doing it.  Living, growing, bickering, loving.  Periods where the way seems hard or I need a little motivation, I pick up my favorite books about hard work and give them a read.  One could have an entire life where labor-saving devices took on the work and there were just quick jaunts from house to car and car to office.  Exercise would consist of standing in front of a video trying to sort out which motions might target just the right places.  Or one could just work.  These books keep me moving on.

The Hard Work ebbs and flows.  Summer always marks its arrival with tired arms from pushing mowers and holding weed-eaters.  There are things to pick and can and I never really understand reading about folks who can just relax all Summer.  Or relax at all, but such is the season of Little People Underfoot.  Fall finds us tying up the loose ends before they all blow away in the Winter.  And Winter has its inner work, a test of endurance before the jubilation of Spring.  And so it is, on and on.  I am getting better at it, learning to love Spring and finding my joy in Summer.  I was never meant for heat, but I am learning to take it.  All I need now is a big glass of ice water and a good book to read in stolen moments.

Here are my favorite books on self-sufficiency and work:
impossibleway: (Ranger Brandy)
This is the forest primeval.  The murmuring pines and hemlocks,
Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight,
Stand like Druids of eld, with voices sad and prophetic,
Stand like harpers hoar, with beards that rest on their bosoms.
Loud from its rocky caverns, the deep-voiced neighboring ocean
Speaks, and in accents disconsolate answers the wail of the forest.


~ Longfellow

I did a little illegal driving on Friday.  I felt dirty the whole time, though it wasn't my first taste of going Places I Ought Not. 

The reason it was illegal is because there's not a public right-of-way across some private land to access the National Forest in this one particular spot.  Rights-of-way are funny things.  Most new subdivisions have them, they are part of local ordinances these days, but that's not always been the case.  There are still technically inaccessible tracts of land that have no public way to get to the main road.  And, to be expected, there are disputes.  The Forest Service hasn't been able to solve this one and doesn't recommend folks drive out the way I did, but the AT's out there, so I'm not sure how it works out.  Complicatedly, I suppose, with several home-made nasty signs about cameras and prosecution.  We drove Mike's parents out this way once and they locked the doors as if they heard banjos playing off in the distance.

If I'd been stopped, I suppose I would have said that I was hunting flowers and trying to get the children to sleep.  It's the truth.  Honestly, most people are concerned about hunting rights around here.  They might not use the old farm anymore, but they surely don't want you over there on it hunting up their deer.  They'll come lumbering up in a truck or on an ATV so fast, you'll think they materialized out of the dew on the grass.  But, I drove on and no one chased me down or eyed me warily.  There was no one around that I could see.  Just me and the awakening land.  I got out here and there and took in the sights.  The wet road tried to pull me into the ditch.  I found some weird flowers that have me waiting for an identification.

I encountered a stone bridge that struck me.  It's not the first time I've seen it, of course, but I always marvel at such things.  At one time, The Man cared about Natural Places and gave money to them.  They had a hey day, largely in the middle of nowhere.  Masons built stone bridges and retaining walls and stairs on long-forgotten trails.  It's strange to see them now and compare them with the way things are done a mere forty years later.  The jobs I hoped to find in natural resource management are vacant, with no money or plans to fill the positions.  New forest roads have concrete retaining walls and conventional bridges.    More like interstates through the woods than anything else.  Now the stone stairs and bridges gather moss and remind me of better days and I wonder if we'll ever return to them.  It's more than a recession or a depression, it's been a change of values that has taken money away from the Forest Service.

The natural world goes on without us, whether we feed it money or not.  It carries on, being both tidy and untidy at the same time, miraculously beautiful in the most effortless way.  A tree falls in a storm and then decomposers come along and start the long process of returning it to soil.  No one hurries it along.  I am beginning to feel that not hurrying is a great skill to cultivate.



On Taproot

Mar. 24th, 2012 06:13 am
impossibleway: (Make Gardens Not War!)

A couple of weeks ago, now, I got the first issue of Taproot in the mail.  Since I hadn't subscribed and I didn't know where it came from, I was confused, but also feeling like I was in a secret club, for once.  Turns out, Nova Natural Toys sent it to me, having my address on file from when we purchased the Roan's hammock.  Works for me.


It was a quick read, which surprised me.  The first article is one about soil, which seemed a bit daunting.  I can't say that I was excited about it, rather deep-thinking for a first article.  But I read through it and onto the others.


The whole issue is about soil, literally, and how its health affects our own, mentally and physically.  How growing children is like caring for soil.  But there are other things.  Spring tonics and herbal infusions (which I know Carrie would like), various recipes involving massaging your food, raising liberated women, making a sort of basket out of a burlap bag. 


I was most excited for the article about getting The Man to let you have chickens in town.  That's my dream, along with bees, but I don't know that I'll ever see both realized.  For now, I enjoy eggs from free-range chickens when I can get them, reveling in their golden glory.  And there were egg recipes, too.  Goodness knows, you can't have an article about chickens without recipes for all those eggs. 


On the whole, it was pretty good.  About like reading a bunch of blogs in one spot.  A touch of introspection with some swear words thrown in (which I am never a fan of), but still, Mike and I have decided to subscribe and see where it goes.  It's a good nudge for us to stay on track with our garden and food preservation.  It sure is a different point of view than Hobby Farms.

Nowhere

Mar. 15th, 2012 07:02 am
impossibleway: (Mike Panorama)
To say that Mike and I are in need of a vacation is an understatement.  Today is his eleventh day of work and I can't see why we're going to load up in the car, drive 300 miles away and stay in the city.  But we are.  Going to visit his family always renews my appreciation for things back home, places not quite so fancy or commercial.  Sometimes, people turn their noses up at living in such a place, calling it "redneck."  Few places to shop, no glamorous restaurants, but the truth is, those things come with a price I'm not willing to pay.  If I could be a hermit, I would.  Mail order my food and grow the rest.  Nowhere suits me.
impossibleway: (Barefeet)
Sometime soon, the days will lengthen noticeably and Mike and I will find ourselves driving up to Nebo Mountain in the warm, late-day sun with the windows down.  It's something we've done every Spring for awhile now.  Despite the burdens we leave in the valley at our little house, we will feel them lift as we gain elevation.  I am very much looking forward to that drive.  I can't be sure when it will come, but it will.  I believe it.

For now, I am wrestling with my anxiety and heavy thoughts--mulling over my commitments, deciding to cut back, remembering that my life is happiest when I am with those I love in the place I love.  Like Stephen Mather, I need the natural world to heal me.  And so, I work in Nature Day by taking yet another drive (our chosen luxury) to seek out old trails and soak in sunshine from the driver's seat.  I stop for a bit, let my feet crunch in the leaves as I paw through them, looking for signs of Spring.  Getting back into the car, I feel a little like I am getting into an airplane.  I float above my troubles (real and perceived) for just a bit before drifting in for a landing in our driveway.
impossibleway: (Barefeet)
This is one of my favorite poems about progress as it is currently known.  Susan's post inspired me to dig it up and ponder its words again.



It's changing here.
I know it.
Everywhere you look
somebody's putting in
a new road,
a new house,
a new business,
a new something-or-another,
and I know we're growing,
we need some of that . . .
but we're changing the beauty out of things.

It's not like
you can't tear down
a mountain.
Anymore, you can
and people do,
more or less?
So what's one mountain,
more or less?
Level off the tops,
we might have something to farm.

I never thought much about progress
until now,
and I certainly never thought of myself
as against it,
but it's turning out I am against it.
And it's not because progress is bad.

It's because progress--
the way we're doing it--
is so ugly.
A mountain is beautiful.

I'm young
I know that,
and probably rash,
but I swear
I hope I die
before the only thing that's left
that takes your breath away
around here
is the smell.



~ Jo Carson, collected from her life in Appalachia

Paradise

Feb. 11th, 2012 08:16 am
impossibleway: (Barefeet)


What can I write about a special place?



There is something that keeps me coming back,
season after season,
to look at the same rocks,
the same moss,
the same land.



If a small patch of land,
the top of a single mountain,
is so amazing,
think of our whole world
and the treasures it holds.
impossibleway: (Warning)
Earlier in the week, it dawned a chilly nine degrees, but yesterday we found ourselves running the grass at nearly sixty. I must admit I was delighted to see the forecast. That is the joy of January--still not certain it's Winter, yet entirely certain at other times. Willow ran around outside for so long yesterday she gobbled up her entire supper and asked for more food later! That is the joy of adequate fresh air--healthy appetites! Since I did the major clean-out here at home, it's time to clean out my bookmarks and share what I've found at five in the morning during my only quiet time of the day.

  • Willard Suitcases :: This is a collection of photos of suitcases and their contents that were left behind by patients of a mental hospital.  Very interesting to see what people thought was important to bring with them.  This website loads slowly because of all the photos.
  • Beeswax Star Bunting :: This is a Christmas craft, but could easily be made with any shape you like for any occasion.
  • A Low Impact Woodland Home :: For [livejournal.com profile] elvenjoy.  A hobbit sort of house and other homes the fellow has built.  I can't think now where I came across this, but it's worth a look.
  • Hollyberry Nature Table Decoration :: While this is also Christmas, I feel the need to point out that holly trees set their berries way back in the Summer.  The berries turn red in the Fall and need several frosts to soften up so that birds will be able to eat them.  That said, this would be a fun way to teach about how Summer is a preparation for Winter.
  • Orangettes :: Candied orange peels, because my thoughts always turn to citrus this time of year.  Mike brought the most wonderful orangettes back when he went to Sudan and I have been hoping to duplicate them ever since.
  • Candied Tangerines :: This might make tangerines more appealing for those of you who, like me, are not really fans but seem to end up with some anyway.
  • When your child doesn't want you to declutter :: Practical advice for decrapifying respectfully.  I've used some of these tactics myself, though I can't say choosing the best three out of five would work well with a very young child.
  • Old-fashioned play builds serious skills :: Really, really like this article.  It tracks the beginning of mega-budgets for toy advertising and how giving a child "every advantage" could really do just the opposite.
  • The problem with cute kids :: Challenging thoughts.  I admit to thinking the whole, "You're cute when you're angry thing."  Real emotions, real people, real respect.  Willow is one of those children who won't take the cute treatment.
impossibleway: (The Little House)
We have been home almost twelve hours now.  Mike spent the past three nights sleeping on the floor, so he happily reunited with our bed.  Roan didn't require constant night nursing and Willow didn't roll off a tiny crib mattress onto Mike.  I am learning to take trips away from and visitors as an opportunity to renew my appreciation for the mundane.  Life with small children has enough twists and turns that it's really enough variety without adding anything else.  Back to laundry every other day, waiting for the mail man, mittens and hats and getting ready for Christmas.

It is good to be back to my small town of 6,000, after leaving a place of 800,000 people.  I have no taste, whatsoever, for city living or suburban living.  Whenever we go to the Atlanta area, I feel like The Little House when the hustle and bustle started closing in around it.  It's just too much for my introverted personality.  I need a life more in tune with natural forces to feel that there's any meaning beyond spending and driving.

The big Winter moon lit our path home last night, reminding us of a world that is more than pavement and drive-thrus.  We haven't seen stars in some time and Willow thought the the streetlights were stars.  No matter how hard I try, I just can't get to liking city life except for a day or so.  But, I guess the family we visit would not feel right trading in their Starbucks for our hiking trails.  They say snow is nice to visit, but that's all.  To each, his or her own, I guess.

A big bright spot was that we finally got to meet Ginger.  She had become a bit of a mythic figure in our household, sending gifts from afar, being one of my first customers in the early days of my etsy shop.  We met at High Falls State Park and talked and walked a bit while Willow played on the slide and Mike took pictures.  Roan did his usual trying to eat mulch and smiling.  Willow took to her quickly and even got Ginger to go down the slide.  She gave me the most mammoth (and that's a real size) pecans that the only fitting thing to do with them would be to put them in a pie.

So, now we are home with our sights set on a $15 Christmas tree just over a couple hills.  Laundry and groceries and Roan being reunited with his rug and floor.  Sifting through the clutter we brought home and picking chip crumbs out of the car.  Time to settle in and really prepare for Christmas.
impossibleway: (Tulip Tree in the Hemlock)
"The oldest task in human history: to live on a piece of land without spoiling it."
~Aldo Leopold: A Sand County Almanac

FL000012.jpgWhen I was young in the mountains, I thought ahead to the future when my parents were gone and their property was left in my care.  I envisioned allowing the pasture of the Old Davis Homeplace to return to its natural state, as natural as it could be having seen all the human intervention it has.  It's been a long time since I've thought about it.  Right now, my days are filled with busy thoughts and my life feels like a whirlwind from the moment I met Mike.  We are preparing for more guests and I am reminding myself of simple things, of the seeming stillness of the natural world, of its patience and ability to allow and recover from change.
impossibleway: (Mama with Willow)
"We're almost done with our hike.  The trail is getting shorter."
"I wish it could get longer."


This is the exchange I had today with a child on the hike I led for Public Lands Day.  It was a simple walk through the woods, about half a mile where we stopped now and then to examine nuts and plants.  I get nervous when I agree to these kinds of things, but by the end we end up feeling more at ease with each other and there is less pressure to impress.  Often, it is just enough to be there in the fresh air.  These are the moments I wish we could all hold in our minds when we are faced with the choice to spend time inside or outdoors.

Much of the restlessness melts away.  Bad moods shift.  Focused curiosity takes over and children show us that they can be some of the best naturalists if we just give them the chance.  They deserve it.
impossibleway: (Barefeet)
Our pastor often reads passages from the Cotton Patch Gospel during his sermons and I have to admit that I like it.  It's quite a different experience from the King James-only churches I was used to growing up. 


On Monday, Roan fell asleep while we were on Whitetop and I took his picture laying among the ferns and grasses, being careful to avoid the blackberry vines.  It made me wonder about a Bible translation set not in the Holy Land you and I know, but in Appalachia where Moses would be found among the mosses and ferns instead of a basket in the water.



Every place is Holy, after all.

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