I wrote this post almost four years ago and never published it. Today while reading through my drafts I found it and didn't even remember writing it or why (unlike most of my other drafts which were pretty terrible) I didn't publish it. My best guess is I wanted something more poignant and was dissatisfied with the ending. Four years later it speaks to me in ways I couldn't have imagined then; about change and progress and beauty. About who I am . Perhaps just as important I want to remember that day, that season when my oldest was seven and I still had a preschooler and a baby and how lovely life was. And how lovely life is.
So here it is:
I worked with the kids much of the day splitting and stacking our wood mountain. We don't have to heat our house with wood (we have a gas furnace) but burning a fire in the stove on winter days adds a different sort of cozy to our house. So days when we are home in the fall and winter we keep a toasty fire burning. (And I love that burning deadfall reduces our carbon footprint.) It is that time of year for us when we are finishing all the outdoor jobs. Last weekend Aaron finished the new chicken coop and run, we dug up the carrots and beets from the garden and raked all the leaves to save for mulch for next summer's garden. We are getting everything ready for winter. Today Aaron was tiling our backsplash in the kitchen, just one more step in our long list of our do it ourselves kitchen renno.
We love to spend some days like this and it is one of the reasons we moved to the country. Real, hard work that leaves you tired in a good way and with a sense of accomplishment that can't be gained any other way. Wood to burn over the winter, something concrete. Seven year old boys who help the most and feel really proud over their accomplishments in this real task, so unlike a video game or book. Noticing he grew so much since we did this job last fall that he could reach all the way to the top of the wood pile this year, remembering that last year he couldn't do the top four rows. This year he is strong enough to work the wood splitter.
Then there was the tile fixed to the previously blank (and dirty) wall. Haven-Kate when she saw Aaron's results said 'You made the kitchen beautiful daddy.' (Yes, she is only just two.) She was filled with surprise and awe at the change of what had happened while we were outside.
On days like today I am thankful for that wood from our own forest, for the food from our own garden, for the work my husband did on the house himself. For how everyone helped and felt proud to contribute. So often it feels like our life is so the same, when I am longing to make changes, but days like today I can see the differences. On days like today I am thankful for progress.
(Also I have never once regretted taking too many pictures of my family in regular old daily life action. But I have regretted taking too few. Time to get out my real camera again.)