It's quiet here. I'm settled into Hibernate with a group of wonderful people from all over the world. For the next few weeks I'll be giving extra attention to that space, but feel compelled to still share here as well. Perhaps even more so as I've been deeply inspired by the good things that are happening there. But alas, lessened writing time combined with a need for seasonal quiet are taking precedence.
Our winter has been mild, too mild for my liking. The temperature has been plenty cold, usually below freezing, but I'd love to be snowed in for a weekend. That's not too much to ask in January, is it? This mild weather has me thinking about sugaring already. We still have quite a bit of work to do in order to boil here at home. I'm sure Adam will still spend time down the road at my uncle's, helping out in his sugar house during our town's annual maple fest.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves. It's winter still, and I haven't given up hope yet.
Adam is heading to northern Vermont next week but it looks like I'll stay home to help Emily get to her various classes and such. (Structured school is a wicked inconvenience!) Maybe he'll take pictures and share tales of winding snow covered dirt roads, upon his return. I hope so... this winter loving girl will hang on his every word.
Among the hand knits this holiday season... gloves for Emily.
I wasn't so sure I'd have a word this year. Most years I do, but they just sort of show up sometime around December 28th and claim me. This year, things felt pretty silent as the new year approached. No "family healing", no "step into your power" appeared. Honestly, I thought the message was possibly be quiet.
But then, as these things go, my word for 2015 presented itself just as I had planted both feet into the new year, fully intending to "be quiet" with my thoughts and actions.
The word, cherish, came to stay. To guide me.
At first I wasn't sure I needed a reminder to cherish anything, I thought I was doing a pretty good job of that. And then it occured to me... this is it.
In less than one year, my one and only will be considered an adult. It's a strange thing really, this seemingly arbitrary number we've assigned to adulthood. Of course, parenting goes on forever but not in the way we've known. Emily will vote in the next presidential election which I'm so happy about because she is an exceptionally informed citizen and will make a careful, educated choice. She's also planning her first "road trip" with her lifelong best friend... they'd like to go to NYC, Montreal or Quebec. Who knows if they'll be able to take the trip next winter or not; my point is - what am I to say other than don't forget to keep your phone charged and let me know that you arrived safely and send a postcard and... and... and!
In less than a year, we enter a new chapter. Sure, there are years of college and transition into adulthood ahead of us, but our time of all-hands-on-deck-parenting is coming to an end. And so I cherish.
I cherish our choice to homeschool which has kept us much closer as a family than the cultural norm, it is the single best (and hardest) parenting decision we have made. I cherish family dinners and weeknights together with no worry of homework or needing to get up early to catch a 6:30am school bus. I cherish that we enjoy each others company and that she feels trusted and respected enough here to not be climbing the walls for a life beyond our home. I cherish knowing that no matter how much I worry if I did a good enough job, people outside of our family always comment on her poise, maturity, and intellect.
I cherish that we are nothing alike yet bound eternally. Cooking is her least favorite activity and steak is her favorite vegetable. Crafting seems entirely too fussy to her, unless it is origami, which I loathe. She is an expert manicurist while I haven't worn nail polish since my days of waitressing, and then it was only to cover up my always present dirt manicure from gardening. She dresses impeccably, I wore thrift store hippie skirts and patchouli at her age. She has a brilliant mind for politics and history; knowing more than most adults about world leaders, foreign policy, wars throughout the ages, and the comings and goings of ALL the cable news anchors (ahem). I barely keep up with the weather forecast.
Nothing alike, yet totally compatible thanks to mutual respect and appreciation for our differences. And so I cherish this life, right now. The growth and the memories, the dreaming and the waiting, lessons easily learned and those that have come the hard way.
This is Scout after I say "chickens!" It's a working dog's equivalent to "say cheese!"
This is a different way for me to approach a new year. There is no action required on my part - to cherish is actually the opposite of "doing." Now that I think about it, maybe it is true that I need to simply be quiet in 2015. Sounds just about perfect to me.