Thursday, May 20, 2010

my place

There is no end to work -
Work done in pleasure, grief,
Or weariness, with ease
Of skill and timeliness,
Or awkwardly or wrong,
Too hurried or too slow.
One job completed shows
Another to be done.
And so you make the farm
That must be daily made
And yearly made, or it
Will not exist. If you
Should go and not return
And none should follow you,
This clarity would be
As it never was.
But praise, in knowing this,
The Genius of the place,
Whose way forgives your own,
And will resume again
In time, if left alone.
You work always in this
Dear opening between
What was and is to be.

{Wendell Berry from The Farm}

This is a excerpt from Wendell Berry's 38 page poem/love letter/instructional manual on farming. Andrew Peterson gave it to my husband and me for Christmas two years ago, and just this morning I sat down with a cup of coffee by an open window and read it. I lingered on the words {which I am often want to do}. As always, Berry's descriptions of {his home state of Kentucky's} landscape and farming transport me to my grandparents' farm in North Carolina.

{a piece of my grandparents' farm}

This particular passage leapt out at me. Recently I have had some in-depth discussions with wonderfully brilliant writers about pursuing the glimpses of beauty {as in the Garden of Eden and the new Heaven and new Earth} that we see in our everyday lives. One poem we read referred to those moments as "glimpses", another as "wormholes."

Are we to receive those glimpses with gratitude and move on? Or do we follow those glimpses, knowing that while nothing is truly perfect here, it is not in vain to hope for {and work towards} a more beautiful stay while we're here?

This passage is a beautiful picture of our both small AND significant roles on this earth {and our relationship with this earth}. We have important work to do. But it is within God's greater work. We are just in "this dear opening between what was and is to be."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

I need to join GOODREADS

seriously. If you've come within shouting distance of me {or my internet self - wait, that sounds really creepy and schizophrenic} you know that I love books. LOVE them. a lot.

My sidebar lists what I've read in the past few years {although it's far from comprehensive because we all know I do a lackluster job of updating things around here}. And I really should start a list of our favorite children's books. I've done a review or two here before, and on more than one occasion expressed my love for
Caldecott books.

Books reveal a lot about a person, don't you think? What interests them. What fascinates them. What inspires them. What they want to know more about. What phase of life they are in {i.e. mother to preschoolers}. Or what simply entertains them.

My magic bedside table is host to an astounding amount of books. Books on loan from the library, on loan from friends, on loan from my mother, or from our own collection. Some I've already read {and haven't put away}. Some I'm reading. Some I've yet to read. But they are all teetering next to me.

So because I haven't started my own Goodreads account, I'll list them here. Mainly for posterity. But perhaps this may pique your interest and put something else on your to-read list. Or perhaps this is simply fodder for book-hoarding mockery...

* The Pastures of Heaven - John Steinbeck

* The Farm - Wendell Berry

* Lord of the Flies - William Golding

* The Age of Miracles - Ellen Gilchrist

* Ahab's Wife - Sena Jeter Naslund

* Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence - Sarah Young

* Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud, A Memoir - Cornel West

* Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids- Kim John Payne

* Books Children Love: A Guide to the Best Children's Literature - Elizabeth Wilson

* The Educated Child: A Parents Guide From Preschool Through Eighth Grade - William J. Bennett

* The Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading - Jessie Wise

* Honey For a Child's Heart - Gladys Hunt

* Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy - Louise Bates Ames

* A Child's Garden of Verses: A Classic Illustrated Edition - Robert Louis Stevenson

What's on your nightstand? Anything I should add to mine?

Sunday, May 16, 2010


this series hardly needs explanation.

old-fashioned friends

Easter morning was bright and sunny (oh, the good old days. I never would have guessed I would be skittish at the first drop of a rainstorm).

After church we all gathered at Sevier Park for a church-wide Easter Egg Hunt. I snapped a shot of Ella and her friends perusing their goods, and fell in love with the picture. Their postures, their semi-serious looks, the grassy hill, the big old house in the back - it makes me think of a Depression-era photo...

and here's what it would look like if you were rummaging through your grandmother's old box of photos and came across it...

{lovely models Ella A, Ella O, and Liv}