Thursday, May 11, 2017

What Robin Told | What Mother Saw

I had a moment of homeschooling bliss the other day, a moment of such beauty.

We were in the garden planting onions. (Yes! The fellas planted onions this year.) (All 800-900 of them.)  I hoed the furrow while Diego and Truen placed the pine needle-like seedlings along the row, then covered and tamped with loose dirt.

We heard a woodpecker pecking out a new hole on an old, dead spruce.  We heard a catbird mewing in the trees nearby.  We began to talk about woodpecker nests, which we have never seen, which led us to robins' nests, which we have seen in plenty.

Jamie started reciting a poem recently memorized --

What Robin Told
by George Cooper

How do robins build their nests?
Robin Redbreast told me
First a wisp of yellow hay
In a pretty round they lay;
Then some shreds of downy floss,
Feather, too, and bits of moss,
Woven with a sweet, sweet song,
This way, that way, and across;
   That’s what Robin told me.

Where do robins hide their nests?
Robin Redbreast told me
Up among the leaves so deep,
Where the sunbeams rarely creep,
Long before the winds are cold,
Long before the leaves are gold,
Bright-eyed stars will peep and see
Baby robins–one, two, three;
   That’s what Robin told me.

Eliah was off playing in the grass. Jamie hopped through the dirt as he recited the poem. Diego and Truen were industriously planting onions and thinking about bird life and lore. And my heart was full.

I thought, "This is what I'm doing." My life right now. Planting beautiful thoughts. Cultivating an awareness of life in the world around my children. Teaching them to work. Depositing a bank of poetry and bird lore. Noble stories and ideas.

In essence, giving them a mental landscape to draw from as they get older.

Little glimmers shine through now and then, the elusive and intangible "results" that every homeschooling mother pines to see, and it has nurtured me along the journey.