Friday, March 28, 2014

For Oso

Osoberry is one of the very first wild plants to leaf out and bloom here in the Maritime Northwest. It's in full bloom right now. The flowers are an important early nectar source for hummingbirds and native bees when nothing else is in bloom. It produces a bitter fruit that feeds wild mammals, including the bear, (thus the name Osoberry) Seeing and smelling the blossoms of this plant everywhere right now is a constant reminder to me to pray for Oso, to pray for hope and new life where there seems only to be devastation.

I'm not even one of the people directly affected by the tragic landslide in Oso, but still there is nothing that can prepare you for the sight of FEMA and emergency shelters at local schools, crossing paths with a red cross truck on the morning drop off, seeing a truck with "department of homeland security" emblazoned upon it in your City Hall, knowing people who are searching out there, seeing six news trucks with satellite dishes like vultures along the river, seeing another news truck at a horse barn nearby, seeing flags at half mast and knowing it's for your community, hearing ages of children who died and being slammed with the reality that you have children the same age, seeing the detour sign for Darrington, watching your town fire chief get into his car in town and realize you know him from the news briefings, realizing that the place you go to buy jojos for your son is a main shopping store for the people of Oso, remembering living out that way and how beautiful it is out there, hearing heartbreaking stories from dear friends and realizing that everyone you know is affected in one way or another by the tragedy of it all.

There is no reason or sense to be made of any of it, but there is this hope we hold inside that won't leave us. There can never be a good reason that babies and grandmas and daddies die suddenly, but we can be sure that God is walking with each person in our community and we can have the hope that there will be small bits of beauty to emerge from the ashes of this devastation.

We already see it in the community and the way teens stand in the rain selling stickers that say "4 Oso, " the way a child wants to contribute what little they have to provide comfort for others, the way every where you turn someone is helping and the way when someone is crying for what feels like no reason, that someone, no matter whether you've never hugged before, you are hugging them now. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Day in the Life

Books of photography beside my bed.

Recently, I have been taking the time to step back from things and focus on rest.  It is easy to begin to spin your wheels, wondering why you're going so fast in the first place.  This is the place I was in by about November.  Do you ever have that feeling where if you do anything, it will be too much?  This is what happened to me.  And so I just didn't.  It feels good to begin to have the time to sit and do nothing but watch a movie, to go on a walk with a friend because there's time, or to read a book that's been on my shelf since high school.  I guess it's not a new idea.  God did it after His frenzy of work at creating the world.  This thing called a sabbath rest had deep roots that grow and revive our souls.  If you have not taken rest for yourself, maybe today is the day.   Rest doesn't have to look like sitting in a chair doing nothing.  It can be fluid and active and full of life.  On Friday, I decided to do a "day in the life" project.  From the time I woke up, until it was time for bed, I recorded with my camera the life my family lives.  It made me realize how our somewhat simple life is so very full.

Yes, this is what I wore to drive one son to school and one to the bus stop.  I promise, I did get dressed.

Soap, handmade by a friend.  Jojoba oil in the background.  I have very sensitive skin and am always learning more about how to care for it.

In the bathroom.  Sometimes the only quiet place I can read these books.

My powder.  I have skin that is not perfect.  This is my one cover my skin with a powder so that the reds are not so red.

Rent.  Tenants of my parents' dropped off rent that day.  The girls played this together in the morning while I tidied up.

Koa dog.  

Large part of the lunch my son grabbed for school because he woke exceedingly late that day.  

The sight that greeted me on our dining room table that morning. 

It has been muddy and it is spring.  You can see this in the things I swept.

Apparently this is the best way to consider a math problem.

The van with which I drove my boys to school.

I ran outside to feed the chickens, who I am now keeping in the pen because the eagles are around.  Our Marans hen and her baby, which she hatched late in the fall when it was very cold.

When I come back inside, they had collected every couch cushion and were doing their math while sitting on top, princess and the pea style.

Simple breakfast.

Heading off to fiddle class. 

This is what the youngest does during fiddle class instead of trying to play.  I think she likes to listen to the music anyway.

This is what we are trying to learn to play.

On the way back from fiddle class, we stopped at a local nature preserve. 
Beautiful heather.

Every single local photographer must go here to this barn and take pictures, so I did.  

Pretend tractor.

We heard and saw small, loud birds.

Not feeling so good, but still gives it a thumbs up.

Home and reading.

Sewing her animal shapes.

So thankful that he works from home.

"Organizing" the pantry.  Notice the pencil?  She is supposed to be doing her schoolwork.  Oh well.  She is a preschooler.

Vocabulary work.

Home from school, he refused a picture from the front, so he ran, saxophone and all.

He is a french fry chef.  He makes them often from scratch.

My kitchen window.  Celery start, box, branches, lichen-dyed wool, a shell with reminders to pray....

Reading and marking favorite poems.  

Writing a particularly relevant poem out.

Picked up from the bus, met friends at a trail and walked.  Not a normal day...there's blue sky in the Pacific northwest, so we tend to go a little nuts when that happens and be outside a LOT.

They must examine ditches with swiftly flowing yummy flood water.

Javelin throwing in his future?  

My friend's doggy.

A new form of curling has been invented.  Take an alder branch and push it along the sidewalk and you are writing with bark and wood!  Summer olympic event perhaps?

Some of my most favorite people ever.

Alder catkins.  I think.  

4H meeting.  Learning about egg candling. 

She's feeling ill...

My eldest won't abide by my photographing her candidly, so here is some beautiful crochet work she was working on.

Calligraphy by the eldest.

Goodnight Koa.