June 27th will mark a year since the launch of this blog, and I am okay with the amount of posts that I’ve published, the things I’ve created, and the amount of work that has come my way since then (which was more than I envisioned doing). I must remind myself daily that I have one major calling on my life, even before I sit down to write a blog. It’s called Motherhood— thus, the lack of content. When I think of my my daughter, I think of a rose garden, and how diligently I would tend to it if we ever had one. Taking care of it through all seasons until the very day every petal blossoms and she is ready to be let go and let out fearlessly into the world on her own. Her sweet-natured, gentle and wild disposition causes me to marvel. Each passing year [she just made five], she grows in wisdom and beauty. I feel that she understands more about life and the world around her more than my little mind could ever grasp when I was five years old.
& THE BERRIOUS.
When I share about my life with people I meet, I want to say–“I’m a stay outdoor mother“; rather than uttering the words, “stay at home.” My life is genuinely sweet; except on Mondays… those laborious Mondays. It’s the only day that I’ve dedicated to chores and everything to do with “staying at home“, to empathize with my working husband and kindred to the rest of the world for a day. I try to accomplish everything that needs to be done at home until I am completely exhausted. Besides Mondays, my life looks [majority of the time] like these pictures that I took with Jaymi’s camera that I hope to someday soon inherit.
And this sight is just fine for me. I think our lifestyles as mothers and fathers should be tailored to our own personal lives, and not compared to another family or what the world thinks it “should” look like. I am an introvert, but my daughter is not. She is my social butterfly that I take to nurture in peaceful places like the Berrious. It is where I feel the most inspired, motivated and free to teach without distractions. I get to hone her creativity, focus on her talents, help her to seek out her gifts, and let her imagination run wild among these trees. I believe she finds herself and sees God more clearly during these moments in the wilderness. It’s also here during these simple times that I see the hand of God at work in our lives and find my purpose in motherhood.
We named her homeschool, The Secret Garden. A part of this was inspired by the 1911 novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The idea of it came from the origin of the word “Kindergarten” — [mid 19th century] literally means ‘children’s garden’ in German. When my sister-in-law, Emiel, shared the meaning with me years ago– I just knew that I would take Evie’s homeschool to a garden. We have several places that we go to read, write, color, draw, explore, and create together- just the two of us. I am unaware of time when we’re outdoors. At home, I am hounded by the minute and hour hand that seeks progress in every little detail. It’s draining! When we’re outdoors, the only hand of time is the sunset. The Berrious is one of those secret places, one of our Secret Gardens.
Jaymi was with us on this day. And when she is around, her camera is always within reach. I don’t know what kind of camera she has, nor the lens- but I could not see myself going back to the iPhone camera if I had a camera like hers. Something about peering through an eye hole is more exciting than holding up a screen. Anaïs Nin said, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” I feel the same way about pictures I take of my family… because it seemed like yesterday that she was just a toddler.