Friday, November 18, 2016

Call me Harrold

"It's too comfy, Mama. I can't sleep on it." Paugie's perspective is always unique and even if it doesn't make sense, it's always endearing.

As he agonized over writing his letters during school, Paugie pleaded with me: "Mama, when you explain it that way, it's conservationing me and I am incapable of doing what you're asking." Perhaps I'm confusing him.

The kindness and love in Paugie's heart is reflected through so many things he does, including his persistent use of the "I Love you" sign flashed at each of us throughout the day. He has a hug and smile ready for everyone he greets. When someone gives him something special, his first thought is always of his brothers and how he plans to share his newfound treasure with each of them. How can we bottle up that character and pass it generously to every living human?

"I love you more than anyone has ever loved you", he stated this morning as he leaned against me while we sat drinking our hot tea. How I melted into a worthless puddle on the floor...

I walked down the stairs to see Paugie sitting on the couch with his eyes closed, talking out loud. When he heard me, he looked up and said, "Mama, I prayed because I needed to and then I prayed again because I know He loves to hear my voice." So right you are, beautiful human.

As we looked at the globe (our latest treasure from the thrift store), Paugie jumped up and cantered upstairs to grab one of his books. He enthusiastically brought it to me and shouted, "Look! The boot of Italy!" In a minuscule map at the back of one of his books, he showed me the parallel to what he had seen on his globe. He has an incredible eye for small details and their importance.

After spending the day with Gumpai, Paugie came into the house and I said, "Hey Paugie." He corrected me and said, "No, call me Harrold". Hmmm... Gumpai?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Water upon the rocks

As my favorite (new) coffee mug shattered across the floor this morning, the meltdown was sadly immediate. I have always said I would not cry over a broken cup, but alas, the 20 minutes of sobbing that ensued clearly made me a liar to myself. After Daddy ushered me out the door and pointed me in the general direction of the nearest coffee shop, I felt my head clearing a little and some small insight amidst the fog of frustration and exasperation that so easily overcame me this morning.

The broken cup indeed contributed to my sadness, but was not the true catalyst to the wellspring of tears. The persistent build-up of hope deferred, expectations unmet, and seemingly impossible log jams barring so many paths I (we) try to navigate has consequentially left me with a full bucket of frustration, with unbelievably few healthy outlets by which to process and alleviate it. So, as we continue to wait (for so many things that seem imperative to us from where we stand), I must, daily, choose to be content, to find goodness in the many truly great things that surround me, to persevere when strength is gone, to look up when I keep stumbling on the rocks below.

There is so much going on in this picture. This is but a moment in a day full of moments - my life is FULL! 

Precious baby toes in ice cold Oak Creek water. Magical. 

It's so easy to find laughter when I'm surrounded by these humans. Lipstick face (pictured here) informed me yesterday: "Mama, Kelton and I are going to Forestry School when he turns eight." Geniuses. 

We discovered a spring in Oak Creek Canyon with delicious drinking water pouring out of it. Gold mine! 

Putting his whole heart into school work. Love it!

Surrounded by Super Heroes... you know you're jealous.

Adventuring in the great outdoors brings us endless joy and surprises.

 He provides even for the tiny creatures in the wild, giving them water upon the rocks. 

Monday, November 07, 2016

Out of the Ashes... [Flag]

As we drove up to the mountains again today after spending a few days in the desert, I caught a glimpse of the Peaks, and the tiniest human behind me said what my heart felt at the sight: "Home, Mama. Home!"  Even though our time in this season is no doubt of short duration, a part of ourselves easily belongs and finds rest, hope, joy and excitement in what we find in each day here. In the eloquence of the Tiger in our midst: "Mama, adventuring is good for my heart. It fills me with so much joy. I think the mountains are kind of magical." I didn't argue.

We hoped hopped onto the dirt road leading to the cabin, and the boys rolled down the windows and turned up the music. Paugie, smiled up at me with cold cheeks and showed me the "I love you" sign on his hand and Madigan shouted from the back, "Mama, this is the best, right?" Yup. I promise to post pictures of our adventuring in a couple of days when I have happy internet access again.

While adventuring through a remote forest road last week, we came across an old burn, where what remained of the forest trees were blackened snags and stumps all about. The boys quietly took it all in, and then slowly started pointing out the signs of new life springing up everywhere amidst the blackness. Yellow flowers happily swayed in the breeze and green grass covered the forest floor (particularly of note because if the trees had remained as they were, the grass wouldn't have had sufficient light to grow). Paugie said, "See Mama, out of the ashes, new life will begin." "And beauty will rise", I said to myself. Out of this darkness, new life will come.

The uncertainty of what lies ahead gnaws at me sometimes, so the uninhibited joy I see in the faces around me and the confidence they have that "all of this" - the beauty that surrounds us in the forests and meadows - is made for our pleasure... well, it gives me renewed perspective each day and so much hope.