Two of the Best Pages from the Books Below

I'm doing my part to make the world this perfect.

The Books Below

One of the best things about our house is that it's stuffed with good picture books, and these four remain in my (Very Large) circle of favorites.

Just like children, they're cheeky and full of quirky whimsy and simple wisdom, along with humor that arrives unexpectedly, like a little boy pulling down his pants in the middle of a bridal shower.

In case you aren't familiar with them, here's a taste:

If you haven't read them, go find them now!

*Sorry for the rotten phone pictures. Our computer died, and I don't know how to do photo stuff on the new-to-us replacement, so phone it is for now.


Real Time, Or, "Three-Two-One: Blast Off!"

This just happened.

Where on earth is that boy's mother?!


Old Messages

Celts in ages past thought they knew just where
Our threadbare world grew thinner still,
And Heaven drew near to fill the space,
Like wind flows through a rent or tear.

Find you a shard of stone that juts in air,
Perhaps a foggy moor with no one near,
And Time, the steady rule by which we live,
No longer curbs us in with stubborn grip.

The inner self, bound per decree, stands free
To simply be with no restraint. No gates
Rise tall between what's past and now
Or even block the sight from what is yet to be.

These patches stand aloof from all around
And feed a need within too often bare,
But will not welcome drifters in without exchange,
For one must lose something if one would gain.

Some hunt for sacred spots with purposed will,
Though I've found most by stumbling in,
Heedless of that to which I near, until
I cannot make the choice to skirt around
Nor gain what I may not wish to bear.

A bedroom, crammed with odds and ends,
Unlikely though it was, became a timeless spot one night.
In the dark it rose between the dresser and the bed
To fill the room: in darkness, unseen light.

No one guessed a box recording sound
In the home of new-wed man and wife
Would speak again untouched and fresh--
No less the man and wife, much older now,
Who lay and listened as ghosts took on flesh.

A father's words that were unheard for eighteen years,
His voice a form of presence while no longer here,
As if no time had passed made joy and pain
Just as they had before spring up again.

And then into the silence spoke a friend--
Life and warmth he was, who died too young
For us to know he'd go, which left,
As is the case, no time to say goodbye,
Just this voice for us to apprehend.


Real Time

I'm whooped and ready for a nap, and a quick walk upstairs to put Cadence to bed made me want to curl myself under covers and fahgettaboutit. The entire upstairs hall (i.e. the boys' bedroom) was covered yet again with a layer of clothing, toys, shoes, socks, books, etc., mostly from Sir Aidan Raphael.

Then I came downstairs and picked up multiple pairs of his dirty socks from the library (a new pair for each time he's gone outside to play in mud today) and stared around at the staggering amount of mess he, Skylark, and Cadence had achieved this morning. I called him downstairs from his bed to put away an armful of stuff I'd accumulated in 30 seconds. Trying to be gracious, I asked him if the upstairs was messy. "Yeeeees, " he murmured, looking up at me through his lashes, knowing full well why it was such a wreck.

I then moved in for the coup d'etat.
"Who made all that upstairs mess?" I gently asked.
He brightened considerably. "Dod dib," he said.

I tried to stifle my laughter but was unsuccessful.
This boy knows children's catechism 1 & 2, at least.

Q. Who made you?
A. God made me.

Q. What else did God make?
A. God made all things.

*Edit: For those who don't know Aidan and now think he's a shrewd little liar, he misunderstood my question and thought I was asking who made the upstairs. (In his mind, obviously God, because it is part of all things.) When I explained and then asked a second time who made the mess, he, again with a murmur and looking up through those eyelashes, "Me dib."
The End.


Real Time

Subtitle: Now You Can Guess What Sort of Week It's Been

A few minutes ago, one of the girls asked when we were leaving to pick up the cousins for a sleepover.

"Well, we have to finish our stuff first," I replied with my usual clarity, "And also I have to burn the sap down."

Burn the sap down.
Unfortunately, that was true clarity.

It's been a profitable week in the sugar-bush business.



The homely song of red-winged blackbirds rises over the sound of rain, and flashes of red, gold, and black cross the treetops. Lent is a good time to be tired and sick. It's a good time to remember human need and frailty while also remembering joyous life ready to burst through the surface-- Love hanging heavy on a bony tree. 


Here lies the end of August through the new year, and now I'm caught up to 2019. Give me a handshake!