This post needs to be green. This whole blog ought to be green today, but I can either play with templates or write a post.
Green is the color of Ordinary Time, and according to the liturgical calendar, that’s what begins today: ordinary time. I love ordinary time. The holidays are officially over. For many of you, they may have ended a week ago, but for us the holiday season rolls along until the Feast of the Epiphany, which was observed yesterday. But now the Christmas decorations and all their accompanying excitement are packed away for another eleven months, and the quieter pleasures of humdrumity are upon us once more.
Ordinary Time is like returning to a nice steady beat after a rousing drum solo. I married a drummer; I can appreciate the merits of a good drum fill. But a steady background rhythm has a merit of its own: a comfortable reliability, like a heartbeat. And that’s where we are today. Today we return to the ‘normal’ stuff: nature walks, Flylady, board games, historical fiction, a new artist with whom to get acquainted, a new symphony ditto, occasional tea times, poetry, birdwatching. Each child has her own set of plans. Yesterday Jane plastered a new notebook with stickers in anticipation of some happy quote-collecting. The fancy gel pens her aunt and uncle gave the girls for Christmas have inspired her to capture some favorite passages (mostly from the Redwall books, I’m told) in sparkling, mother-blinding color. She also intends to devote a span of time every morning to practicing her drawing, following the advice of her drawing guru, Mark Kistler.
Rose has taken over the filling of bird feeders and wants to ‘learn everything there is to know about birds,’ so she informs me. Beanie wants what Beanie always wants: stories, Sculpey, and snuggling. She’s a girl after my own heart. Wonderboy has no plans that I’m aware of, but his therapies will provide the bassline that anchors our schedule. And there’s a homeschoolers’ astronomy class planned, and weekly visits to the city rec center for the homeschoolers’ games day. Not Too Much Stuff: just enough to keep us contentedly busy.
For my family, this mellow rhythm will continue (barring unexpected health crises or other shakeups, which, by now, I have pretty much come to expect) for about three months past Ash Wednesday and through Lent to early April, when (presumably) the new baby will arrive. I like a nice three-month chunk of time. It’s a season-sized piece of the calendar; it’s just the right amount of time for beginning and completing new projects. I have a patchwork blanket planned, a novel to wrap up, and a small stack of books I’d like to finish reading before my arms fill up again. We’re all re-energized and ready to slip back into the comfortable beat of Ordinary Time, the pleasant iambic pentameter of the year.
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From the Archives: Life on the Trail