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Finding peace

I have been in the habit for many years now of telling people that our schedule is pretty easy to work around. We homeschool, so we're home, which makes us flexible, right? Just the other day I was scheduling an appointment and told the woman on the phone that I was pretty open, only Friday wouldn't work. How about Monday, she asked, but then I worried about having enough time for school with choir looming in the evening, so she offered Tuesday, but that's my running day, followed by evening meetings and theater . . . three options later and we'd finally settled on a time that might work, with some adjustment on my part. As I was hanging up I apologized for being the most difficult flexible person of her day. Thankfully she laughed, but I was aghast to realize that somewhere between toddler and upper elementary things had become complicated.

It's just a truth, this busy-ness that comes with the business of life, especially when you blend three people and all their required and requested activities, and especially, especially at certain times of year. Spring, for instance, when everyone prepares to mark the end of another school year with presentations and performances galore. For the past few weeks our every day has been filled with (fun!) (exciting!) (enriching!) activities that have kept us, if not always on the go, then at least getting ready or preparing for the going. Theater, then choir, then theater again, and homeschool group classes, with theater there. Calvin has two different stage plays in his pocket right now, plus three choir concerts on the calendar, then add to that Jon's off hours students and my meeting schedule. 

And I have been craving a bit of peace. Silence in this otherwise cacophonous world.

Last year we dropped our science curriculum in the spring in favor of a more in the world approach. We hiked a lot, identifying plants, trees, and mammal tracks, identifying birds, and learning more about what spring rebirth really means. It was so wonderful that this year I planned an even greater freedom, and scheduled many of Calvin's school subjects to be finished before or go on hiatus during the month or two of the spring awakening. We started that lighter schedule this week, as temperatures warmed again, coaxing buds from trees and migrating birds into our midst.

We hiked at least briefly every day this week, sometimes in multiple layers to keep the chill at bay, but we were rewarded with sunshine, glimpses of bright green, an inner peace that only nature can give, and a surprising amount of new energy for many other things that require our time every day.

American Robin

Brown Creeper

Blue Jay

American Tree Sparrow

Yellow-Rumped Warbler

American Coot

Brown-headed Cowbird (female)

Eastern Phoebe

American Robin

Northern Shoveler

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