Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Daily Adventure

Last week Salome' invited every willing sibling into her space shuttle under the kitchen table for the afternoon's first adventure. "To the moon!" she ordered her faithful make-believe shuttle, which offered ample room, natural pine knots for knobs and no animal or snack restrictions. The smooth take-off only rattled my coffee cup and saucer, which sat proudly on the surface as an appropriate hood ornament. The phrase. "If walls could talk..." would not surprise a child in this house, as every piece of furniture seems to have an imaginative alter ego.

This morning Malachi, in a similar mindset to his sister, propped up a marvelous toy catalogue we'd received yesterday in the mail. He gave each little sibling markers and paper while he guided the creation of tiny paper people to fit into the castle, which stood magnificently over a two page spread. "I'm sure this is too expensive for Christmas Mommy, so we can play with it just as it is in the book!" our nine year old exclaimed happily.

I marvel at the way our children use the resources at hand to experience joy in the moment. Their unfettered imaginations soar boundlessly as I watch from the sidelines, chained to the cold metal bleachers of my practical reality. Freedom lies in one place and I am humbled daily to seek to live it, it is in the childlike faith and trust of the One who is unseen who unlocks the captive soul and fuels the imagination.

Two weeks ago I embarked on my own adventure. For eight years I have sought a place called Safe Pasture. I'd read a passage in scripture, Psalm 37, which inspired me to find a piece of land where Dennis and I could build an expansive house with smaller dwellings around it where many could find refuge. As I stood on a parcel of land which from a distance could have been the very spot I'd envisioned, I felt disheartened. For under my feet the soil was uneven and rocky, while the grass was sparse and dry. As I lifted my gaze, the surrounding fence seemed to speak of trespassing rather than invitation.

The following day, while heading home from the Children's Art Museum, I glanced through my rearview mirror at our five littlest ones happily chattering in the backseat of the car. It suddenly dawned on me that Safe Pasture is not a place at all, it is we. When we pour out God's grace, and are fueled to love and live radically, we are the Safe Pasture. To soar or to rest, the daily adventure is soul to soul, not of flesh. And to dwell is to fully live in the adventure of the moment with those we love. Imagine that!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One potato, Two potato...

Some weeks ago I discovered that the gorgeous bush I had lovingly nurtured in the herb garden was a weed! On the same day I removed a scrawny, overgrown plant from the roses on the other side of the yard. To my delight, uprooting this "weed" revealed three beautiful red potatoes, which appeared to be a thank offering for the tiny plot of earth the potato vine had borrowed, grace to my unintentional neglect. Ezra admired the three cold potatoes. She and the faithful, battered garden frog thought it curious and delightful to find lunch in the rose bed.

Amidst my days of preparing the garden for winter, I worked in the front flower bed where I discarded everything. The plants, which were lovely in their season, had to be removed to make room for stronger plants and spring bulbs which would be hearty enough to face the coming harsher weather. As I stripped the patch down to bare earth, Ezra kicked off her pink, rubber boots and dug her toes into the soft, cleared earth. Delicate brown toes enveloped in fresh dark earth, no blooms will ever compare to such beauty.

I felt lazy when I left the weed in the herb garden. Two days ago I noticed it bore stunning red blossoms which now stand gazing at me in a vase on the table. I accept them as a sweet gift, they remind me that there is purpose in all things in the seasons of our lives.