We needed a slow morning, a gentle start, time for each of us to simply be in our own space and on our own time. New yogurt with raspberry sauce, reading, the last phone call from Simon for three weeks as he travels to Malawi, my lilac finally blooming through the kitchen window.
When we finally all roused ourselves, the children were in a MOOD. Goofy, silly, exuberant, (maniacal?). Not a minute passed without giggling leading to hysterics. This sort of energy leaves me wary. I asked them to gather and come out to help in the garden. I mowed the lawn, stained my hands green, and added a thick green layer to the compost bin. The children worked on pulling grass and laying out leaves in the woodland bed. They were awful. They whined and fought and teased each other mercilessly and complained. I was almost in tears. To be fair, though, it was mostly Asher and Bella. Ana figured out what was what and beat a hasty retreat. Finally, I cordonned off areas, designated work procedures, and generally treated them like (naughty) four year olds. Ana helped nudge them in the right direction, and I went inside to put plasters on my newly acquired blisters (we don't seem to have any dignified plasters in this house).
I think tea fixes everything. It must. Well, I have to put my faith in something, and there are few things lovelier than tea. So I made us tea for lunch, and soon the grumpiness once more gave way to giddiness. A bit too much giddiness (practising French gave way to "do you think i can lick the dirt off of my elbow?!"). Sigh. I did try to remind them it was a Holy Day. Time to get moving.
On the drive up to Grandma's, they began to settle into jolly excitement, and that I can handle. Asher observed that two odd numbers added together always make an even. He is right. I had never thought of that. Clever boy. We admired Daddy's favourite hill. We stopped to watch the bees on the edge of the hazelnut orchard, so very busy in their oak grove. The children ran up and down the rows of trees for a bit before I let them back into the car.
On arriving, I did warn my mother that the children were in fine form. They were sent to the mailbox, but that didn't prove sufficient exercise. Further tea helped a bit, followed by a walk to inspect what is blooming (the cammas isn't quite yet) and a scramble up and down the fallen tree.
We rounded them up and went to celebrate the Ninth Day of Ridvan at Leslie and Kevin's. It was glorious. Delicious middle-eastern food, beautiful Writings, children singing, Bach on the piano, nightingale songs looped in the background, mounds of flowers...Asher and Bella sat in the "Narnia chair" and did not even poke each other during the program. A wealth of beauty and joy, laughter and peace.
And afterwards, a farm to frolic in and run around. Chickens and puddles of cats, gardens and friends, music and baby goats (sorry, no photos! I know!). We did not get home until almost nine, but it was worth every second that we lingered on. Some days fluctuate so much as they meander through their course, their rhythm seems so odd and different. I need to learn to have more faith in the shape of things, even if I don't immediately recognise it.
Also, I am now a day behind. I'm sorry, but an image-heavy post like this takes me around two hours, and I just don't have the time to keep up right now. I'll get there...