20 September 2018

a boy, his blocks

generous of noggin, starshine boy will tumble if not gingerly propped. each time he has been caught by loving hands or otherwise landed in a mother-made mountain range of pillows -- white and frothed, like whipped cream peaks, swan-soft.

and then boy met blocks. joyfully, he will pick one upon which to lay his morning drool and baby sighs of great satisfaction, rubbing lower gums where teeth emerge -- also like whipped cream peaks. swan wings. etcetera etcetera. if it is "s" the boy chooses, softly we turn the pages of the almost-wordless swan book kept by his mother's bedside in childhood years. how swan was a would-be middle name, maybe still for another. we need another block set for "ulysses" but there's enough for a second name, "louis." s for: saxifrage, and stars, sage, sicily, sea salt, silent s's, sun beams, sommeliers, sparrows, and so on...

05 September 2018

four seasons: a journal

last year i started a quiet homesteading project; a seasonal journal. i wanted a humble (pocket-tote-able) space to keep only notes pertaining to the four seasons (so easy for them to get loosely tethered to everything else). my vision for this was several-fold: to catalog practicalities like activity ideas, crafts, in-season food charts, recipes, and so on for each season; to catalog poetics like word lists or quotes about each of the seasons; and finally, to make an heirloom piece to pass on to my children. something i hope they will remember us handling often, a tradition i hope they'll carry. 

this autumn, i'm going to transcribe the notes into this beautiful journal made by my sister-in-law (right now they are in a paper moleskin, the last fresh notebook i'd had on hand). as you can see, there are five separate sections, so i thought: one per each season: spring, summer, autumn, winter. and a fifth yet to decide. perhaps for once-each-season to-do's like a home deep-cleaning checklist, for at-a-glance charts ~ "what's in season" and "seasonal diffuser recipes" and so on.  

if you're reading this, i hope this humble project touches the part of you that holds this same deep, primal need to live whisper-close to nature's rhythms. i've long-felt it but the need has been so intense lately, a feeling i can touch, can point to in my body, but can't quite name. i think i'm not meant to. what i know is ~ it's so much of what i want for my son. 


just a few pages you might put in your own four seasons journal 


seasonal at-home activities 
seasonal out-of-home activities
seasonal market lists
quotes for each season
word association lists
a seasonal reading list for the family
by-season homemaking tasks
birthday & occasions list
gift ideas per season
a thrift list per season 
sewing project ideas

(it's endless, really.)

04 September 2018

a laundry room

well, just as i've uploaded the photos and started to write, i'm in tears. the truth is, it's hard for me to articulate just what a laundry room ~ the dream of one ~ is, to me. how can i tell you about the mother-me who steps the threshold to rinse and soak and steam and fold her own family's (her own, can you believe it, baby's) belongings without, too, telling of the woman who came before, who would squirrel away thrifted baby knits, who would throw them in with her own clothes and whisper a quiet prayer. and, too, of the girl who came before her, who would hide in the basement amongst the whirring wash, at the tender age of five, the only place that felt quiet, safe, where she was un-findable. 

to some, a chore, a room; but to me this is nothing short of sacred, this space a cathedral. i commune with God while doing the family wash. you too? worship. a "passionate hobby" i've said before, and "a love language." i reach out as i write this, bring some baby-cloth to my nose, my lips. i tell my heart of this scent, "keep this like you do his rooster crows and kisses, keep them like banked fires."

i have a hundred-fold dreams for this room. the memory-dreams and the dreams of the sweet-sweat-tear projects that will spin this into the space i'll someday replay the memories in front of. can you see floor-to-ceiling subway tile, amish pegs with a mother's bristled brooms and market totes, a bright brass pendant, penny tiles underfoot, the punctuation of fresh black labels, enamelware here and there and the old-fashioned style clothespins, sprigs of green on the faucet? 

and too, the dreams unfolding already as i write. a tender pile of sewing work (spin the sweater into mittens for roo), brightening the brass, a drawer where hands know to find the candles in a storm (memory etched even with the lights out), where tiny hands can pull lace sheets to build a fort, or a vase for flowers for keeping or giving away. i dream of my children knowing me in this space, watching me stretching for the millionth time on a wednesday afternoon, doing the beloved work of her motherhood. i dream of them knowing the space like their own palms, intimate, humble, open. i dream of them handing me muddied sweaters and trusting they'll come back fresh, clean, newly buoyed with love -- simply because the effort was believed in. i dream of them seeing a door ajar and feeling love. 

i suppose it's something so simple, really. it's the evidence that we care for things here. that as their father and i always say to each other, about this life, about this work of parenthood: "everything matters."