Today, we went for a nature walk with camera in hand to document our November World. We took a hike up the hill behind our house looking at the colors and also following some deer tracks. At this time the predominant colors are brown, green, straw, blue, and a little white. It will not be long before our entire landscape is covered in white. Usually, by this time it is already blanketed in snow. We are not complaining though. It is nice to be able to hike these trails this late in November wearing tennis shoes.
Ice and snow on the trail.
The Continental Divide, in the distance, covered in snow.
On a hike, last week, I saw this beautiful flower. I have been looking for this flower for about 3 years. It is the fairy slipper and is an endangered species here in Colorado. It was only about 3 inches tall.
Whatever is foreseen in joy Must be lived out from day to day. Vision held open in the dark By our ten thousand days of work.
The hand must ache, the face must sweat. And yet no leaf or grain is filled By work of ours; the field is tilled
And left to grace. That we may reap,
Great work is done while we’re asleep. When we work well, a Sabbath mood Rests on our day, and finds it good.
-Wendell Berry, 1979, no. X
I read this poem a few years back on the blog that takes its title from this same poem. I was struck by the beauty and realism in this poem for us homeschooling families. We work hard and yet the growth is up to God. It is to Him we look. Yet we don't leave the fields unplowed. Indeed, "the hand must ache, the face must sweat." But it is God who gives the increase as the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians. We are not in this alone and that should give us great comfort.
A few weeks ago, in the library, I came across a book of poetry by Wendell Berry. I was eager to read it because of my experience with the above poem. So I have been reading my way through it and then this week I came across an article, on The Gospel Coalition, about our need for Wendell Berry's perspective on nurturing as opposed to exploitation. Read it here: https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/wendell-berry-and-the-revitalized-pastor
We have such long winters here in the mountains that one almost forgets what summer is like. Yet, it has finally arrived and we are thoroughly enjoying it! Along with baseball games or practices every night here are a few signs that summer has indeed arrived.