We Went to the Woods

We Went to the Woods


The teething continues. At least I think it does. Everyone has a cold and that misery tends to overshadow mere teething. On Thursday after a particularly sleepless night and a long afternoon with fussy children. I complained:

I’m just so… TIRED. Every time I go to the kitchen to make dinner there’s a dirty diaper or a hurt finger or a hungry baby. And the constant chatter and prattle. And all I want to do is sleep for five days.


Of course sleeping all day—or even staying in bed all day with a good book and a box of chocolates—is NOT an option. So yesterday I decided that the next best thing was an outing. Colds and 36 degrees outside notwithstanding, we were going to try Thoreau’s solution. Some nature therapy to cure our cranky moods. Or at least to put a dent in my cranky mood.


I bundled the children up in lots of layers, packed some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and raisins and string cheese and a bottle of peanuts, and convinced my sister to come with us.


Oh it was just what the doctor ordered. It’s amazing how sunshine, fresh air, trees and sparkling water and yes, a bit of exercise, will improve one’s outlook immensely. Even if all the kids are still sick and the boys are still teething. The afternoon was still too long and cooking supper was an uphill battle and the night was terribly, terribly, terribly long with Anthony unable to sleep except in microbursts because of the trifecta of teething, a head cold with runny nose and cough, and killer gas with machine gun farts. When he did sleep he moaned and snored. Mostly he fussed and fussed.


But still I think there’s a corner of my soul that is refreshed for having been out there watching my children finding pine cones and pocketing pine needles, climbing boulders, tossing stones with satisfying plops, and poking things with sticks. Just like the ripples of Ben’s stone seem to disappear in the enormity of the pond, the effect of the sun and exercise might get lost in the greater chaos of life but they are still there somewhere, small, unnoticed but working in imperceptible ways.







God is for us a refuge and strength,
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock,
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam,
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us:
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

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  • Thank, Kathy, that worked!

    By the way, the ornaments can be purchased at Aquinas and More. They have a huge selection of absolutely gorgeous religious ornaments. I had such a hard time choosing just six when I bought mine and I was even limiting myself to those that were on sale at the time (what they currently had in stock in the store). If I had allowed myself to look at everything… well, I could have broken the bank. They have just about every famous Madonna and Child, all sorts of saints including St Michael, St Maximilian Kolbe,  and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati and a lovely St Francis that I bought for my sister but didn’t get a photo of. They have ones with the photos of St Therese… not just the holy card images. Oh they are so lovely! They are really high quality too, with the picture on both sides of the ornament. (And now Ian owes me a kickback for my infomercial.)

  • For you from Evlogia:

    One thing that I really believe is that the greatest ascetics are mothers. They are far more ascetical than any monk going off and doing his own will. A monk (or anyone) can choose not to fast. You can choose to break the fast, you can choose to break your spiritual disciplines. But a mother can�t choose not to feed that child�Motherhood is an image and real foundation of what authentic self-denial is.
    -Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen, Reflections on a Spiritual Journey

  • Dorain, No kidding. I posted this and then moseyed over to Scrutinites to see that you were writing almost the same thing.

    I’ve got an album called Advent Promise that I think I bought off of iTunes last year. It’s very Advent-y. And then a bunch of songs cherry picked off of various Christmas albums. Things like “People Look East”, “On Jordan’s Bank”, “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence”, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten” and of course a bunch of versions of “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. Then a few of my favorite Christmas tunes that are a little less Christmas-y: Adam Lay Y-Bounden, In the Bleak Midwinter, Once in Royal David’s City. And then there’s an Ave Maria I like just ‘cause. And then Dom just bought an Advent album from a local religious order called the Brotherhood of Hope. The album is called A Season of Hope.

    Man, I wish there were an easy way to grab an iTunes play list and turn it into text in a blog entry. I find myself wanting to publish playlists far too often and I can’t figure out how except to either do a screen shot or to transcribe it manually.

  • Thanks, Sharon, Katherine of Evlogia always has the best quotes. I think I saw that before; but it is so beautiful it bears re-reading. Daily. I think that it really is dead on. Although I’m tempted to take on more fasting and asceticism during Advent, I’d be better off working on embracing the asceticism of motherhood with a happy heart. Or at least work on doing it without grumbling and complaining and screaming and yelling. It’s one thing to go through the actions grudgingly, another to do them with real love and affection and tenderness.

  • FYI: The pictures from your blog have disappeared from my computer at least—about a week agao, actually.  Don’t know if it is just me, or not. All I get are white squares….

  • Cathy, That’s odd. I’m posting them to Flickr and then linking to them there but I know I’ve got the settings so that anyone can see them.

  • Cathy J: I can only surmise that some kind of firewall is blocking the “hotlinking” of images. Hotlinking is when the images are loaded from a different site than one you are looking at and a particularly aggressively configured firewall will consider that a security risk, although I would consider it a very low one.

  • Melanie, I had the same question as Dorian about the songs on your Advent playlist.  So, I got my answer but wanted to encourage you (whenever you have time), to do a blog entry about playlists.  It is always an interesting topic.