Sorry to have disappeared for a bit. Our last two months were filled with a lot of things-- travel, snow, holidays, illnesses, celebrations, and of course homeschooling. I also finally finished painting all the wooden furniture as a protection against future mold. While I prefer the color of natural wood, I will admit that I am really liking the bright new colors. Lime green and turquoise make me smile.
In my last post I mentioned a possible move on the horizon. In the end, we decided not to take the job offer up north. Making decisions about our future is often agonizing-- weighing all the pros and cons, ifs and whats. I often feel like we're living in some alternate retelling of the Grimm's tale The Fisherman and His Wife as we weigh things like cost of living, location, homeschooling environments, and lovelier views over the landscape. And where does it all stop?
I'm not going to deny that, like the fisherman's wife, I have often wished I could control the rising sun. However, I don't think this makes me any different from the other people on this rainy island. At the end of winter we're all a bit sullen and desperate for warm sunshine.
As luck would have it, these early days of March have been quite sunny. The kids and I are loving sitting in the sunshine every morning. It's a bit blinding at times, but I'm not complaining. I feel like a bear unfurling from her wintery sleep. It's amazing how a few days without clouds can be so rejuvenating.
Inside this den, my days have been so busy. Homeschooling my three has definitely become more than a full-time job. I know that others manage to homeschool even more children than I have and still find time to blog, but for the life of me I can't figure out how they do it. I have some theories (mostly involving gremlins), but suffice it to say that I wish I had more time in the day to share the wonderful things that are happening over here. These children continually leave me awestruck by their growing minds and abilities.
We've also taken a couple of field trips with the not-quite-local homeschooling group. One of which was to the little butterfly house in Stratford-upon-Avon. I'm not sure what I loved more-- seeing all the amazing butterflies or being so warm that I had to take off my sweater. It was a nice change! The last time that happened we were in Italy.
|This is the life!|
Speaking of change, there is more of that afoot. I'm reminded of a card my mother-in-law gave me while we were sorting and packing for our move to Switzerland five years ago. It said, "If nothing ever changed, there would be no butterflies." --Our lives are so full of transitions, I think of that card fairly often.
Einstein recently received some grant funding that necessitates a temporary move to Italy for some unknown quantity of time this summer, and he has also been invited to apply and subsequently interview for another job-- this time on the mainland. It's almost funny.
All of these transitions definitely make me think about butterflies-- do they know what's happening when they closet themselves up? Are they cognizant of their own form metamorphosing... of what their future holds?
I watched some of them emerge bleary-eyed and soggy from their chrysalises, and they didn't quite seem to have it all together. I can relate to that. Some of them found a perch where they could drip dry, but some of them didn't. They fluttered about in a wild panic, but were weighed down by their damp wings. They hit the stone walkways with an inaudible whack and just lay there stunned by their own predicament. One minute they are a fat caterpillar, the next minute they're stewing in their own soup. And next thing they know? They are airborne into a completely different creature. What am I? Where am I? What has happened to me?
Again, I can relate. Moving overseas with children has some stinging similarities. So I hung around the chrysalis cage for awhile and gingerly picked up my fallen comrades. Not all of them were going to make it, but a few of them gave it another try. They latched onto a branch and hung there in stunned silence, feeling the heat warm the last few drops of soup from their bright wings.
My own wings have finally dried out after this last move, and it definitely shows. We have been getting a ton of homeschooling done lately-- meaningful, artistic work that leaves me speechless at times. In our enthusiasm we are making huge progress. It's the kind of progress one can only make in times of complete stability. Who knows how long that will last around here, so we're making the most of it...
Kind of like these cute ants. Steadily onwards.