Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Begin Again

We've started back in that way we do, both resisting and loving the restructuring of our days into something a bit more productive, at least in the literal, pen-to-paper sense. Truthfully we've been producing things all summer - things like rest and contentment, things like space to breathe, things like friendships. It has been good, but it is time now, again, to get back to it. So we do - reluctantly at first, but getting better all the time. This year, 5 of my kids are being formally schooled. 8th grade, 6th, 4th, 2nd and Kindergarten.

On the first day, just after bible and prayers were hollered over the din of shrieking toddlers (isn't that how everyone prays?), I cracked open "A Wrinkle In Time" to share with my kids. This is my very favorite part of homeschooling. When I get to pull something dearly loved out of my past and hand it right over to my kids, like the precious heirloom it is. It has been many years since I've found myself in the pages of one of Madeleine L'Engle's award winning children's books but oh, it very nearly felt like the first time.

They just don't make books like this anymore. Not that I've seen for kids. The beautiful writing. The sophistication of ideas and plot lines and the grand supposition that, yes, you, little one, you can hang with a quick little lesson on quantum physics right smack dab in the middle of a child's fantasy. This type of book elevates thinking. It inspires and challenges, yet it avoids boredom by being unspeakably beautiful. It's real, good, thoughtful. It is art, life, science and faith all wrapped into one. It's a work of art, a labor of love.

Long after I closed the book and slid it into it's spot on the living room shelf, it stayed with me - just like a good book does. We went about our day with the usual swirl of laundry and personalities and meal time drama that consume our days, but my thoughts kept turning back. I think I know why.

Everything that I love about that book? Those are the things I love about our life. The things I want to cultivate in our days here together. A place where kids can be kids, but are spurred onward to be curious, to push themselves, to take on more and more responsibility, to ask questions. To seek the good, know the truth, rise above and claim rightness. To love life, art, science and faith. It's everything I want for my kids and, truthfully - myself. To know what it is to experience beauty in the every day.

To walk with God. To love one another.

It's the beginning of another school year and my friend tells me - "I feel like I've been run over." Yeah. That. But also? This:

Life is raw, real, relentless. People aren't perfect. Plans are almost certainly made to fall through and there never seems to be enough time.


And it's a good, good life.

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