Sunday, May 20

Following the Call

I'm going to take a cue from my reading.  It's time to be done indoors. The outside is calling me.  I'm not able to read them all at once, but these are the reads that are vying for my attention.
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (Harper Perennial Modern Classics)
Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
God in the Yard:  spiritual practice for the rest of us begins today as my summer practice.  I'm going to combine the spiritual practice with blogging practice  posting my reflections here.  If you're working through this book too (I've invited several friends), leave me a link to your own blog posts and we'll have a nice little virtual group.  

I normally lead a book group at the park in the summer.  This summer I knew I needed to say, "no," to that.  I'm long enough into life to know that I need to pay attention to my hesitations.  However, I realize that the 'being outside' element of that was probably very nourishing.  This book will get me out, on the grass, in the Columbines, fingers to earth.

Pilgrim at Tinker Creek has been on my nightstand for several months, a gift from my aunt who buys me books to chew on.  I was waiting for enough room to read it.  As we move into summer, I'm finding that space.  In the first few pages the author describes her home by a creek and says, "I like where I live; there is much to think about."  Isn't that what nature truly causes?  What we call enjoyment is more accurately the act of taking notes on beauty, design, dependence, flexibility, perseverance.  Taking a walk along a creek may be our way of clearing our head, but really we are working with thoughts, resorting them based on our primary connection to the loamy paths and rippling water.  

The Art of the Commonplace:  the agrarian essays of Wendell Berry.  This is the first I've read him and I've barely begun.  Regarding Walden, I doubt I'll actually crack it this summer.  But it's a nice thought.  We'll see. 

As the outdoors continue to call, I am making final plans for the family getaway.  I'm looking forward to changing spaces for a while, trading brick houses and creaking hardwood floors for expansive vistas and zippered breathable nylon tents.  Exchanging what I engage in from school books to sand dunes, from piles of dishes to tent rocks, from cold dark bedrooms to the amazing enclosure of caves.  The outdoors are calling.  It's time to heed the call.  It's time to think about something different.

Saturday, May 12

The Grass Is In

We've been working in our backyard since we moved in three years ago.  Little by little, as the tax return allowed, we added the garage (and then had to wait a year to add the driveway and electricity), the brick walkway, the grape arbor and perennials, the basketball hoop and the irrigation system.  This year we added a little garden, a little staircase and a whole lot of grass.  It takes a lot of water, sure.  But it's amazing for a house full of boys to be able to run and wrestle and play.  And for me to walk in bare feet as I nurture the perennials and note how they are opening and blooming and breathing again.  It all just goes together.