The Big Picture: Real Time

Summer's been a sea of slow, simple, busy, beautiful, heartbreaking, ordinary, too-swift days.

Living them is always enough, and I haven't felt like blogging, but I break this drought with solid evidence that photograph-happy bloggers (i.e. ABIGAIL HERSELF) are stupid.  I'm in the middle of canning right now (and by "right now," I mean "two minutes ago before I ran into the sunroom to put up this post"),  half-sunken in a slough of cucumbers, beans, and squashes; peppers, herbs, and peas.  I found the time, however, to snap the following picture when I looked down at the work of my hands and found it lovely.

Ah.  Freshly-picked dill weed, pungent and bright. Peppercorns,  dark and round.

Then I laughed and took this picture to show the truth outside the frame.  A sloppy vision of shredded zucchini, pickles ready for canning, elderberries, and a half-ne**id sidekick.

Then I took this picture to show the frame yet larger.  Front and center is a box of miscellaneous stuff my dad just dropped off for me to sell on Ebay some fine day.  Unseen are the pounds of green peppers behind me, and the stack of canning jars on the floor to the right.

Then, to top it off with a death blow of hilarity, I took a picture of the garlic skins, elderberry leaves, peppercorns, and playdough on which I stood.

At least the madness is mostly confined to the kitchen.

In less cluttered news, here are my dirty feet next to the season's first bowl of tomatoes.  One hundred and twenty four plants, the majority grown from seed indoors and nutured into adulthood, are dying of blight, so I'll probably showcase every last bowl of these red beauties we get, with true gratefulness.

Father of grain, Father of wheat,
Father of cold and Father of heat,
Father of minutes, Father of days,

Father of whom we most solemnly praise. 


Better Things To Do

"If we loved children, we would have a few. If we had them, we would want them as children, and would love the wonder with which they behold the world, and would hope that some of it might open our own eyes a little. We would love their games, and would want to play them once in a while, stirring in ourselves those memories of play that no one regrets, and that are almost the only things an old man can look back on with complete satisfaction. We would want our children tagging along after us, or if not, then only because we would understand that they had better things to do."

Anthony Esolen, Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child, xii.

I just encountered the quote above while trying to create this year's NYS IHIPs.  It's rare that I cry, but today, still touched by the sadness of recent events and overwhelmed by all I Must Do, as well as those innumerable things I think I must do, feeling flubbish and utterly inadequate to the tasks at hand, unready for the new school year looming on the near horizon, and, above all, unworthy of the beautiful weight of rearing these little souls, I had a brief cry in the bathroom.  

Thank you, Mister Esolen, for giving a sane word in a sea of frenetic voices. 

(I guess at least one of the girls is eager for formal hlearning to begin...)