The six year-olds have an idea. They want to go swimming.
– Really? It’s MARCH. You want to go swimming? The lake is freezing right now.
– We know we’ll wear our wetsuits!
– Your hands and feet will freeze….
They won’t be deterred and their enthusiasm is contagious. In the time it takes to collect wetsuits we have a group of nine gathered, all going to the lake.
We get to the lake.
They run in.
They RUN out and we think – is that IT? Did we come down here for a three second dip? It seems so….. at first.
they go in again,
Until they have gone in and out EIGHT times and lured three others in with them.
It seems swimming season has begun.
There is something very exciting about starting to put little spring accents around the house. This morning while on a little walk with my family we gathered this tiny bouquet for our table. Instantly the spring energy is in the house. For me it is a fresh and light feeling. Try it!
It was a very dark and mostly rainy Solstice but we brought the light in with our Solstice Spiral. Collecting cedar boughs, preparing the apples and candles, creating the spiral and, most importantly, practicing the walk were all part of our day here. Through the spiral we cultivate our inner light so that we may send it out into the world. Happy Solstice! xo
We sat together and read the story of St. Nicholas before the children put out their shoes for him to find and hopefully fill.
This is what they found the next morning when they woke up.
There were nuts and fruit, a small package of chocolate treats, candles and animals like the ones St. Nicholas might have seen along his way. After admiring the display they brought everything inside so that they could really see what it all was.
They set up their animals in the advent wreath which needed to be lit right away! We knew something similar was happening next door….
And then the fun began, cracking nuts and making walnut boats.
In some of the legends of St. Nicholas he travels by boat from town to town bringing food and coins to children.
The children ran through the forest to our Neighbours house. They know where we are going and what we are doing as we been picking apples from this one special tree for years now. Each spring we give our friends tomato, pepper and basil plants for their garden. In exchange we get to pick their Spartan apple tree.
The boys climb the tree and start filling boxes. They are skilled at eating and picking at the same time! This little fall ritual has warmed our hearts for years now. It is so simple, yet keeps us connected. We so value this and always look forward to seeing each other.
We were imagining our community Thanksgiving day full of play and freedom- a day together to celebrate this special occasion of thanking the season, thanking each other, thanking the land and all its bounty. The beach was calling as was simplicity. So we packed up our Thanksgiving feast loaded up all 26 of us on various boats and headed out to another island. Yes, island hopping to a smaller one with no human inhabitants.
Our annual co-created alter was largely made of found objects this year- crab shells, rocks, dried kelp, wild flowers, clamshells, and even a carved sailboat (with a feather for a mast). We shared our connection to these items and what they represented to us. The rock that is stable and will be here long after we are gone, the branch that has natures’ perfect design, the nest that weaves all of us together, the gratitude for living in this part of the world, the wood that is all around us, and joy to be sharing the day.
We were blessed by the clear skies, warm air and time together. Our meal was perfect, delicious and easy. Once our bellies were full of our traditional homegrown Thanksgiving foods we hiked, swam and slept. The sun set as we headed home and we piled on our jackets and remembered it was October.
When we arrived in Keremeos my Dad had already the peaches laid out ripening to perfection. He had gleaned them from a new orchard that was not being harvested- almost like farming ‘dumpster diving’. The outside woodstove fire was lit at 7am the next morning.
We sipped our mate, began peeling and cutting the peaches and waited for the fire to get roaring hot and the hot water bath to boil. Each batch was carefully placed in the boiling water.
For me, canning becomes more about the shared experience, old timeless skills and the connection to food than the end product. Of course all winter my family and friends will savour the sweet taste of Summer.
We spent last Thursday digging through soil for treasures that will feed us and others through the winter. Two of our favourite varieties come out of this garden; Yukon Gold and Fingerlings.
We dug first with hands and feet so as to minimize damage, then we moved on to forks and lastly we brought out the chisels. Then we had some very enthusiastic “sand crawlers” who followed behind the tractor and collected what came up. Very dirty, very tired, very happy potato diggers we were.
From the eyes of a five year old boy, Hay Bale Day is the day the tractor together with the old New Holland baler drive out to the field and start making bales.
The grass has already been cut and has been drying for several days. This boy has been waiting for this special day for weeks. He has been watching the weather and waiting for clear skies so that the hay will dry down properly. He has had his special shirt ready and waiting for this day. It is also the day that the farm truck and flat bed trailer drives into the field and picks up the bales.
All the farm children and friends gather to run behind the trailer as the adults quickly move the bales. The children ride way up high on the hay to the Cow Barn. Our cows chew their cuds and watch their winter food being carefully loaded into the barn. This day we feel a sense of group accomplishment, physical exhaustion and fill up with a feast. We tap into the ways of the farmers before us.