These early summer days are all riotous with promise and beauty in all directions. With my spare time, what little there is of it, I've been planning and dreaming about and working on our big front porch. It's bordered by birch trees and a big verdant ash tree, all of which provide the most beautiful shade almost all day. Jesse and I kept looking at each other the past week agreeing "We really need a little table out here where we can eat." So I hopped on OfferUp (have you seen this? It strikes me as a nicer version of Craigslist) and the first thing I saw was the perfect table set. We ran to pick it up and I spent yesterday morning there with the warm breeze blowing gently through the speckled shade.
My days are full of little things like that right now; I'm so thankful, just thankful over and over and over again for all the Lord's provisions in ways beyond what I could have ever imagined for this moment, for these days with my young children. There is so much beauty. The raspberries with what must be thousands of bees flitting among the brambles; the big green strawberries burgeoning, waking up to little arms around my neck and birdsong out the window, soft white pea blossoms, the yellow rose hedge lining my garden, little girls living in their swimsuits all day, the list could go on and on.
We discovered one of our inherited barn cats in the hedge with a den full of kittens last week, and she let us move them all indoors. She is a darling cat and an inspiring mother. I've spent an embarrassing number of evening hours since Friday sitting on the floor alone by the box containing her and all five kittens just watching and contemplating my own motherhood. As I watch her patiently center her whole world around meeting the needs of these minuscule creatures, it reminds me of the importance of putting the needs of my little girls ahead of my own self-centered longing for comfort or quiet or productivity. As I watch them clamber all over her in a chaotic tangle, I feel convicted over the lack of peace and faith I often demonstrate in my motherhood journey. In so many areas of my life I see more and more how I am so self-focused, so driven by my own wants and needs over those of my loved ones. To lay down one's life is gain; to die to self is to live. This is foolishness to the modern woman and yet the truth still stands and it takes a skinny calico to remind me of it this week.
I am knitting the body of the Suzanne cardigan Lyddie picked out; I am afraid I will need to order another skein of Knit Picks Swish DK but will see how far I can get with the skein and a half left. I need to finish several more inches of the body and then pick up a bunch of stitches to make the border... like a button band, but no buttons. She won't need it until fall so I have plenty of time to get more yarn and finish if I need to.
I'm reading lots of things here and there including pre-reading the last couple weeks of Lyddie's school books, but mostly this week I'm working my way through a chapter of "Wise Blood" by Flannery O'Connor each night. It's not easy reading for me, since I'm not a master of the abstract and I feel like her stories are a little too abstract for me to easily understand them. My brain always tries to land on concrete symbolism that isn't necessarily there; perhaps I subconsciously try to separate myself from the characters and the contrasts by inserting symbols to keep myself removed from experiencing the story, but sometimes the darkness and the light are just there. Like real life. I don't think we always need to read what is pleasurable and light-hearted (though there is a place for that too) and I have a knowledge deep down that walking through O'Connor's stories changes me and makes me to see my world in a slightly new way. Although I don't live in the US Southeast and haven't even ever traveled there, I think maybe hidden in deep are truths in her stories that are very relevant to the Rez. So I persist.
I can hardly believe we are nearing the end of May. Come, dear sunshine, and cheer our hearts!
Joining up with Nicole for Crafting On