We have been looking for an affordable used vehicle to replace our old one that died. We drove out after the Spring Fling to take a look at a station wagon that seemed to fit our criteria. The body isn't perfect, but it runs great and the mileage isn't too high. It also happens to be purple. Lavender, actually. We're the proud new owners. Who doesn't want a lavender station wagon?
We went to a homeschool book club/discussion with a couple of families from our homeschool co-op. The book was The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo. Camille had finished the book but I hadn't, so she read the last couple of chapters aloud to me while I drove to the organic farm where the book club was being hosted. We laughed aloud and marveled at the characters, but she thought that it ended too quickly. We enjoyed visiting with the other families. Each person participating (children and adults), read a question about the book aloud and gave their opinion on it, and anyone else who wanted to add anything chimed in after them. Since I have never required that my children answer essay questions or quizzes or write book reports after reading something, we have only discussed books in the most organic of ways. I didn't know how Camille would feel about answering discussion questions (she sometimes panics when she feels put on the spot), but it flowed quite naturally, and it was fun to hear the kids' take on things.
Here's my favorite passage of the book. You can get the feeling of it even if you don't know the specific circumstances.
"Could it be?" said Leo.
"Yes," said Peter. He did not look up at the ceiling. He kept his eyes on Leo Matienne. "What if?" he said to the policeman.
"Why not?" said Leo back to him. He smiled.
"Enough," said Gloria.
"No," said Leo Matienne, "not enough. Never enough. We must ask ourselves these questions as often as we dare. How will the world change if we do not question it?"
"The world cannot be changed," said Gloria. "The world is what the world is and has forever been."
"No," said Leo Matienne softly, "I will not believe that. For here is Peter standing before us, asking us to make it something different."
I love that.
You might know that we love to check out the parks and wild areas in every small town that we drive through. This one, on our way home from book club, was no exception. It had the customary slides and swings and playground equipment, but the girls mostly wanted to play by the river and admire the cows across the way.
We did our usual Tuesday-in-town. This time to run errands, register our lavender station wagon, go to a homeschool class at the nature center, and play with friends. We had extra time before class so we stopped at a cafe for gelato. Yum! However, after eating, Ayla screamed at the top of her lungs because Sylvia wasn't immediately sharing a toy that she wanted. OK. Apologize, rush everyone out and on to the next thing. "Mama, I'm so tired."
I almost wrote that I never tire of this life, but that's not true. I do sometimes. Sometimes, I'm very tired. But we seem to be building a life where the little things bring us back time and again. There are so many things to be grateful for, so many little things to see the beauty in.
It's more true that time and again I forget that I'm living my dream life. And time and again I am reminded. Camille searches for a rainbow opposite the sun until she finds one and points it out to us all. Sylvia rejoices loudly and messily in a muddy creek. I enjoy a well-timed laugh with a friend. Ayla delights in picking dandelion after dandelion, sampling the purplest violets. My husband points to the silhouette of two young deer outlined against the fading sunset.
Every time that I forget, the joy in remembering washes over me again.