I stood over the kitchen sink and ran my hands over three shiny Jonagolds just before peeling away the skin. Normally I would not peel them but one of mine has four little teeth up top, surfacing and tender. A breeze was coming through the window, dancing in circles around my neck and shoulders. My arms were covered with tiny goosebumps. As I peeled away the colorful layer of red, white and yellow stripes, the colors that have been perched on my windowsill making me smile these last few mornings, a calmness came over me. In this moment, preparing comfort food for my little ones, I recognized that another change of season is before us.
I simply core and dice apples, put them in a saucepan with a splash of water and cinnamon and let them steam until they are tender. I serve them warm, full of love. I don't usually eat them, but tonight I put them on my plate and sopped them up with a sauce of red wine, mushrooms and thyme, crusty bread. It tasted divine.
I am reading A Million Miles In A Thousand Years by Donald Miller. Every so often I read something that changes me for the better, forever. That is how I feel about this book. I read each chapter and then I read it again before moving on to the next chapter, making sure that the words, the sentiment, the roots of the tale take hold in me. I don't want the story to end, just like I don't want to stop photographing these loves of mine covered in sun and dirt and happiness. I swear, I could watch them play all day. When the sun has set and the house quiets down, when I have a glass of wine and put my feet up, I always think about them for a few minutes. I am glad they have gone to bed and I am glad they know all about summer. I wish that as they grow they will become confident yet humble, respectful and adventurous. That they will in fact, learn to share and extend kindness to all. That we will expose them to life as best we can. That one day they become the keepers of their own stories and have their very own epic tales, their own meaningful narratives to share around the family table while eating slow cooked apples.
This morning Theo and I were sitting on the porch together. I asked him what he would do if he had fifty dollars? His eyes got as big as a full moon, his smile as wide as the sea. He said he'd build a house on top of a mountain and paint it blue. If he could get two more dollars he would paint the front door grey, like a dark grey, not the light kind. He said he would hire a plumber to help him build an elevator that would go up to the attic because that's where he'd like to live in his house. He said that Dad, Me, and Sully would live next door and he would mow our lawn; actually that he would need two more dollars to mow our lawn. And any time we wanted we could come over and ride his elevator. Then, after a long pause, staring up at the sky, he said....yeah, I better get fifty dollars because this is a really good plan.
. . .
My work is loving the world.
Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird-
equal seekers of sweetness.
Here the quickening yeasts; there the blue plums.
Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.
Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?
Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me
keep my mind on what matters,
which is my work,
which is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished.
The phoebe, the delphinium.
The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.
Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,
which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart
and these body-clothes,
a mouth with which to give shouts of joy
to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,
telling them all, over and over, how it is
that we live forever.