June 3, 2008

We are clearing a substantial piece of the scrubby young forest that surrounds our house. I'd guess about a quarter acre we are freeing up. Its hard work. But we hope to make some sunny room to grow blue berries, figs, apples, roses, herbs, flowers, and a vegetable garden. We know where the chickens will live. We'll put a rain barrel under the eave of their coop. And we'll dig in a small pond somewhere. Lots of work, homeschool fodder, and as a result lots of literal and intellectual food to be gathered in the process and products along the way.

A storm roiled in last night, just as we were finishing some serious chainsaw work. Scott Bertram, Joe, and I took down about 5 really big trees along with the brush around them. We had to stop for rain, hunger, and evening impending. Henry is struggling with a deep fear of storms. When he appeared at my side in the kitchen and grabbed my waist to cling for dear life, Scott said something so cool to him. "Of course you are afraid of storms, Henry. You are in tune with nature and, like dogs, you understand real power."

Later, the adults stood in the front yard to catch the wispy cool storm cleaned breeze and appreciate the steam rising off the road as we finished our egg salad and chatted. It really helped Henry to see us there and hang out near us as we enjoyed the end of the storm. It helps a lot, to hang out with "the ones who ain't afraid" (to quote Joni Mitchell.)

Clearing tree tops, Joe found the most beautiful hummingbird nest I've ever seen. It is stitched with lichen and affixed to a fat limb. You can hardly see where the limb ends and the nest begins, delicate, perfect, a marvel. You never saw such a sturdy yet soft place to raise some babies. And with the biggest black widow, nested dead center, that I've ever seen. No one noticed her until after the children were done running around with the nest, showing, squeezing, and breathing all over it. Later, I found the spider myself. I understood her real power, right away. I took her to my husband because it helps a lot, taking a problem to one who ain't afraid. And my knees only shook a little.

1 comment:

Mommylion said...

What wonderful satisfying work. When I was young I lived in a country home that had just the type of setting you describe. I still remember wandering the property, picking berries, digging in the dirt. Perfect childhood stuff, perfect adulthood too...

Being afraid because you are in tune to the power of nature, what a great perspective. Black widows though - I can't even imagine!