Sunday, July 31, 2016

Finding a Flow ...Anchors and Flux

I know how important it is to have rituals in life. "To every thing there is a season.." rings with the deepest truth of life, we humans feel centered and happier when we have rituals and seasonal times of reflection.

 This is something I have been trying to build into our family over the last couple of years.

In Spring we get the yard ready. We go to our places and have a celebratory picnic. We take a lot of nature walks, reveling in the new warmth (even if it's still chilly), looking for signs of green at every turn and when it truly arrives, we revel in the green and flowers.

Summer means popcicles, fireworks and lightening bugs on the 4th of July, playing in the sprinkler together, picnics by the creek, the Summer Reading Program, playing outside all morning and resting in the heat of the afternoon. Grilling and pickles and garden veggies. Summer Ends with The Fair...

Autumn means Leaf Walks to collect colorful leaves and crunch all that will be crunched!  Making our Seasonal Window Hanging- we make at least 4 a year out of wax paper and leaves, glitter, or paint.
Autumn Means hours at the park playing under the trees, reading books, early evenings, and the tinge of sadness that another year is winding down.
 And then we swing around to the Holidays and winter...The Holidays means a new window hanging, The Christmas Tree Hunt, decorating the tree, the Advent Elves and their secrets and surprises and letters of encouragement and Advent Projects...
Can you see Clemmie and Calvin nestled down on the window sill?

Decorating the Tree
Winter means Long days at home. Winter is dark and cold and the days feel long and people feel crowded. There is sickness from the lack of sunshine. But there is coziness and time for creativity. Snow fun and lots of time for books and school and sewing projects.
Playing with their friends next door after a blizzard.
sewing with a sleeping Ziggy on my back.
  I see all that we've built into our life, the way we try to honor and embrace the season we are in, to take the time to say "We can't do this any other time of the year, this is special."

School, newborn Ziggy, reading our Language Arts out loud while Ziggy nursed.

So when it comes to the year, yes I feel like we have an ebb and flow and definitely anchors. Some thing I want to write here while my kids are still young so I remember. I think the one thing I have done pretty well is to set my bar pretty low. The things I do with the kids aren't things that are hard for me to do, or take a ton of work. I enjoy them, they add a sense of stability and rightness to my life.

I have been fairly intentional not to build things around things that feel like work. They are important to my kids but I want to continue doing them for me.  Even when my kids are too old or uninterested I want to take time to make a new window hanging for that year in each season, or at least have a specific window hanging we've made back up. I want to take time to revel in leaves that crunch, I want to enjoy the ritual of decorating the tree and sitting in it's light with a warm beverage. I want to take the winter days to read and sew and enjoy quiet days at home. I don't mean any judgement to my Mom, she did what she needed to do, and she did a million things I am so grateful for, but as one of "the babies" I felt a huge sense of loss when she started to drop traditions because she was so busy with the older siblings who were teenagers.

I know down the line my kids are not going to want to join me, but I know that we lose so much when we stop honoring the seasons in small simple ways. And I hope to always offer that haven and safe feeling to my children. I don't cook fantastic meals or make Holidays all about the foods, that stresses me out. But I try to find ways to honor the seasons in simple ways and I hope I always will.

Tree night, store bought cookies and cider by the tree
So that's how we honor the season of the year...Now I want to talk about how we honor the times of the day and the ebb and flow and flux we need in life. That will be the next post...

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