This morning we awoke to the first snow of the season. It was met with the expected first snow glee--requiring an underwear dance on the deck (a little tradition I began in college) and a snow-suited foray into the semi-dark morning. The mitten situation shed a bit of reality on the season to come (has there ever been a 4 year old who enjoys mittens?) but I was doing my best to persevere with my joy. As I get older I have been appreciating more and more the differences of each season, and very much so the subtle beauty of the starkness of early winter. The simple act of fetching wood from the porch inspires a photograph.
November is raw, but real. She's hiding nothing.
The snow quietly settling on the frozen grass and the wood stove sparking to life was calling me to stay home for a quiet day. But, today is Tuesday. Which means homeschool coop--a raucous, wonderful crowd of nearly 100! homeschoolers (including parents and babies) packed into our rental space for the better part of the day, which we divide into 3 sessions with several classes each session. It is amazing, sometimes exhilarating, and always exhausting. My quiet day didn't happen. Of course the kids had a great time rolling in the snow down Belfast Common, snow ball fighting, and eating snow with their friends (never mind all of the crafting, physics, ecology, research, and space studies going on). The playdate extended into the afternoon, as friends joined us at home, and sleds were pulled from the barn rafters and hauled around the dark yard by headlamp.
Its all good, and seems to be the way of November. Crammed between Halloween and Thanksgiving, the time of year when all things non-holiday get scheduled, and pre-holiday preparations are already in the works. Early last week Rob and I didn't see each other at all for more than 10 minutes (discounting sleep) over a stretch of 3 days. As a family we've been soaking up bits of quiet time whenever the opportunity arises: late morning solo art projects before swim, quick games of cards after lunch, late afternoon tree sitting just for quiet (she even took her nature journal up there--love that!) projects on the brain that beg to be squeezed in between errands and lessons (Juniper's honey drops--a recipe she made herself and gifted to her piano teacher); sand play indoors, and yes, a bit of school work as well. Lately our schedule has been loose, but good, with many late afternoon impromptu reading sessions or math work, and early morning risers who get right to work on their own, self created reading, writing and film projects. Despite my attempts at direction we seem to be dispersing at low tide, heading about our personal explorations. Its all busy and sweet and good.