Saturday, November 20, 2010


The weather has been beautiful, perfect for walks in the woods and gathering leaves with the children. Alex amasses piles of them, "This one has PINK in it, this one has brown spots that look like a leopard, this one has a yellow splotch in the middle of the red..." To Alex, every leaf is precious. Every leaf is loved.

The sun sets early, though, and the sudden chill brings us indoors. We get on our new slippers and set Pandora to children's folk music or piano sonatas. A pre-heating oven call us the kitchen where there's dinner to be made and things to bake in preparation for Thanksgiving. Some children sit and draw while others chop apples, crack an egg, roll sausages, or grease a loaf pan.

When my husband comes home from work, he steps in from the darkness into savory and sweet smells, gentle music, and soft light. A baby runs to him and a cat purrs.

Evenings are for books. We're taking time off from extracurricular activities that had us running out at this time and instead we've established autumn evening school. The children work one on one with each of us as the others wait and read quietly. Each fleece-jammied child is eager for his turn with me. I hear my husband working with my oldest son in a nearby room. I can't make out the words, but his gentle instructing tone is soothing. Some last thing baking is now ready and it's time for prayers and bed.

I am thankful...

for the embers of autumn warmth
and burning glory of the trees
for the harvest moon above
and crunching underfoot of leaves.

for the gathering at the hearth
and for the food and thoughts we share
for the evening's quiet repose
and for home and love and prayer.