In a recent newsletter, I wrote:
This Advent, I am recommitting to time in nature. We have finished school for the term, and my goal is to take my children for a walk in the woods to start our day – each day. We will probably miss a few days, and that will be ok. I won’t be planning it, it may be quick some days and others we may linger. But in a distracted world that is too often artificial, predicated on the idea that we can solve our problems the way we can debug a computer program, I believe nature goes a long way to remedy our misperceptions.
Today is the start of Advent and the start of that recommitment. I wish I could say that I spent several hours in the crisp winter sunshine with my children today, but we decided to take them to a performance of Handel’s Messiah yesterday evening. Every single one of us went to bed at midnight. So Advent began with bleary eyes and short fuses, instead of a sense of calm expectation that seems like we ought to feel in this season.
But life doesn’t stop because the church calendar says that it’s the start of a new liturgical year, and I’m reminded that this season, like all others, will exist in the tension between cultivating those quiet moments while still making it to choir practice on time.
I had hoped to walk through the woods early this morning, but instead allowed myself the extra sleep I knew I needed, and decided to content myself with a walk through the park as my youngest son cycled ahead of me. He zoomed ahead, while I enjoyed walking past a grove of birches while the bells of the priory church ring out. Even though this isn’t my church, I love it. It sits on top of a hill next to a castle, overlooking the river and the surrounding city. It is far older than any building from my hometown in Indiana, and real people ring the bells every Sunday.
My repose was not to last, and the tension returned. My son’s hands were cold and we had no gloves. In his tired state, it was a struggle the rest of the way to church. Perhaps it’s best to begin these things with a reality check.
What I’ve read today:
I think it would be nice to track what I’m reading throughout the season.
Today, I read a page from The Cloud of Witness. This is a lovely book that Charlotte Mason gave to her students. It follows the liturgical calendar, and each page has some poetry or quotes related to a theme.