I just came across a sweet, lyrical book called All Creation Waits that brings nature study and Advent together!
Every Charlotte Mason educator and everyone who loves animals and nature needs to read this beautiful book. I fell into Gayle's descriptions and found myself transported to a pond near a wood. Then suddenly it was like I was falling into The Secret Garden all over again.
Here's a little taste:
Walking the northern Michigan hardwoods where I was raised, restless, I make myself stand still. Somewhere in these eight hundred acres a black bear is sunk in sleep. A month ago already, beneath some fallen tree or stump, she dug a den rounded to the curl of her body. She raked bits of bark and grass over its floor and eased herself in. I crouch, close my eyes, and imagine that ball of furred muscle lax and loose somewhere nearby.
For weeks before she lay herself down, her whole self had been shifting, making ready for another life. Late in summer, just when most berries and nuts ripen, she grew ravenous. Seven, eight hours a day she camped in wild raspberry, blackberry, gooseberry, and huckleberry patches, pawing and licking fruit into her mouth, then, to rest, dropping to her belly and breathing in the fallen gems. Cloyed of sweet, she sniffed out savory—jewelweed, swamp thistle, cattail, and saxifrage—snacking on yellow jackets, ants, and beetle larvae along the way, finishing the day in a grove of beechnuts or hazelnuts or hickory nuts—tripling, even quadrupling her usual day’s calorie intake. Still the trustworthy voice inside her urged, Eat, eat more!
In honor of this special book and to celebrate the greatest gift of all, I will be giving away copies of All Creation Waits and autographed copies of Hildegard's Gift during the month of November.
The countdown is on, so stay tuned!
Now, because we are living in a time where the foundation beneath our feet feels moveable and unsafe, I leave you with this, from Emily Dickinson:
“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -
And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -
I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.
Best Wishes as we enter the holiday season!
When Megan Hoyt first stepped into a tiny library in East Dallas and checked out The Fairy Doll, time stood still for one brief moment. A book! A lovely, magical book about a little girl, overshadowed and overlooked, the youngest of four, just like me! she thought. Rumer Godden gave way to Madeleine L’Engle and Frances Hodson Burnett. Soon, a sturdy, low-hanging backyard branch became a thoughtful spot where some rather large ideas began to take shape. If reading James Barrie can make a girl flap her arms and jump off a garden wall fully expecting to fly, books truly do pulse with life.