Walking in Place

Another ski date, this week. Oh, I love when it is perfect, that snow.

Just as good as that was the very ordinary family hike in the foothills this morning. We moseyed along a stream bubbling with snowmelt, the air full with the smell of willow trees before they bloom with spring leaves. Little feet splashing in mud, sliding on ice. Little hands holding our big ones.

And a very special treat was a hike with a friend and her baby (mine were home with papa). So much talking and sharing, so much to say about life and motherhood and marriage. So much sun shining on our faces.

Sometimes it is hard to get out on the land, away from our obligations and the busyness that creeps in even when we are always on guard against it. Sometimes it is a great push (against whining and time constraints, stress and no snack) to claim this space for ourselves and or families. To insist upon it.

It is a holy thing to me, these hours spent wandering our homeland. These mountains have carried us through the seasons–from winter on into spring and beyond, from our free and easy years into the slower footsteps of family life.

When we are planted in place, I’ve noticed, we can’t help but grow.

Dark Nights, Getting Brighter

(Or, an update on last month’s small change–making room in our life to observe an eco-shabbat)

 

Take the day and give thanks–thanks for the work, the rush, the busy-ness and the gifts they bring.

(Life made rich and, truly, possible, by all that doing.)

Say thanks, and enough.

Mark the calendar with the evenings that are ours alone. Guard them as precious.

Let darkness fall unhampered. Full upon the home.

The heart –our dinner table!– lit by candles, oil lamps.

So much to say in that warm light

(Oh, my husband, how good it is to sit here with you, in the darkness that returns us easily to each other.

To ourselves. To the music we make.

To the love we discovered those many years ago in what could be another world,

but lives, renewed and fed by these quiet evenings.)

A night of watching the candles burn low, the oil run out, the wood turning to ash.

The source of our warmth and illumination no longer removed and intangible,

but here before us–solid and finite.

When the light goes, and the stars and moon come through,

and we find ourselves beneath the same night sky as our ancestors,

(My, the many dark nights we emerged from!)

we can take our time finding the words to that old, half-forgotten song.