I know it’s mid April. But I started this on March 31st. It’s how I roll.
March was a complete blur.
Snow and cold weather and insomnia and ill health interrupted our morning walk schedule. I don’t think I realized how much I need our regular morning walks to stay connected to the rhythms of nature. Looking out the window is not the same. I was reminded of the days when my only intersection with nature occurred from my front door to the car, then the car to the office, and in reverse at the end of the day. We recovered somewhat sporadically riding bikes at First Landing State Park, followed by a walk on the beach (love those!) and a few evening walks under a sky strewn with stars and Jupiter overhead.
The Daughter had planned to play the piano in the AHG troop Talent Show, but came down with a sinus infection that wiped her out. Literally too limp to perform, she was still vastly disappointed, resulting in tears, resulting in more congestion… By the end of the week, she had perked up considerably, just in time for a Big-Apple-inspired party with her AHG group. It was an early evening event which included dinner, so Mr. Garner and I celebrated our brief status as free range parents by sitting on the deck of a local restaurant situated alongside the intracoastal waterway, soaking up the Mid-March sun, sipping wine and holding hands. We watched a fulsome moon rise in the deep blue sky just as the sun was melting away in the west. The next morning in joyous serendipity we happened to be awake in time to watch our golden moon sink into the west, just as the sun was brightening the sky in the east. Mr. Garner took some pictures.
Then it got windy and cold again the following week…and then it was my turn for a teeth aching, ear-plugging sinus infection…Sigh.
Our Charlotte’s Way Thursday group met only once in March, a casualty of illness and external commitments. I hope to get back on track with April. Dum spiro, spero! Still, The Daughter and I continued to memorize our hymn, In Christ Alone, and started learning a traditional hymn based on St. Patrick’s breastplate called “I Bind Unto Myself Today.” I found this hymn in the Episcopal hymnbook when I was the part time church mouse at Church of the Epiphany and immediately fell in love with the tune and the text. It’s not well known, and I could not find a decent recording of it, that does not turn the lilting Irish tune dirge-like. I did find this sprightly instrumental version by the Guitar Pastor! He looks fun! There are several verses to the hymn, and the text is here if you’re interested.
We made the drive back up to GMU to pick up #1 Son for another doctor’s appointment and visit home. The traffic was great, the weather was great, and we enjoyed having our boy home! This time I had a box ready for the electronics that would be forgotten, but he remembered everything. Go figure!
In March, I found the music of Ola Gjeilo. I wish I could remember how. I can’t remember if it was a suggestion on Spotify, or something on Facebook, or someone’s blog post. I want to thank whoever it was! He is a young Norwegian composer, based in New York City. On one of my better mornings I sat wrapped in a blanket on the back patio, sipping coffee that curled up into brisk morning air and listened to his unique setting of the mass while the sun rose. An experience I highly recommend. A clip of excerpts from Gjeilo’s Sunrise Mass can be found below. Visit Gjeilo’s website for CD’s and downloads.
The week or so that I spent on the couch enabled me to catch up on the Swedish production of Wallander. I had already watched the BBC version with Kenneth Brannaugh whose acting was, as usual, phenomenal, but his portrayal of the title character was very bleak. Each installment opens with a plaintive song in a minor key and features videography that lingers on long quiet scenes of Wallander driving silently through Swedish landscapes, and what started feeling like requisite shots of the depressed detective falling asleep in his chair with a bottle. The Swedish version is less bleak, and developed the supporting characters in a way that the BBC version did not. I have not read the books, and probably won’t anytime soon, but I think I was more convinced that Krister Henrikssen’s Wallander could actually solve a crime. And that was reading subtitles and lip reading (smile). Both productions were filmed on location in Ystad, Sweden, and after seeing the villages, one begins to understand how a store like IKEA becomes so popular. The apartment of one of the police recruits is the size of one of our bedrooms. I think what I found most refreshing about the Swedish version is that the characters, the actors, look like regular people. There are fat people and thin people, beautiful women, and ordinary looking women, gorgeous men, and ordinary looking men, old people, young people; some have slightly imperfect teeth, and some have gray (yes!) hair. American TV actors look like as if they’ve been squeezed out of a Mattel Toy Factory.
When I wasn’t watching Wallander, I was working through the bookstack, and started with Think by John Piper. John Piper is addressing an anti-intellectual strain in certain segments of the church, (Ahem), but also provides a helpful perspective on apologetics, and genuine inquiry vs faith-baiting. In The Spiritual World of the Hobbit by James Stuart Bell, the author pulls from Tolkien’s Silmarillion to flesh out characters and provide context and history, from Scripture to frame the discussion of character development, and from Tolkien’s own writings and experiences in WWI to explore the concepts of faerie, and war, and Middle Earth. The Daughter will be reading this once I figure out where to plug it in to the schedule! The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey was a pre-read; The Daughter starts this book next term. Tey reminds us that “history is not told in the accounts, but in the account books,” in her intriguing novel in which an experienced police detective ignores the published history with its reliance on hearsay, and in true detective form seeks only verifiable facts in order to set the record straight (again) with a truer look at the situations that surround the last few months of the infamous monarch Richard III. I started The Silver Chalice, by Thomas Costain, and plan to read a few chapters each day hoping to finish around Easter.
As March closes and April begins, The Daughter and I are in the last week of her second term of Year 7 Ambleside/HUFI and looking forward to our week off. We were assigned the epic poem Ballad of the White Horse by G.K. Chesterton for the second term, and The Daughter and I have fallen in love with it. I’m sharing snippets of it in some posts I’m (slowly) writing for the Weekends with Chesterton. I start off the posts with one entitled, fittingly, Ballad of the White Horse!
The Daughter spent some time pulling together her Bible Basics badge for American Heritage Girls which required she brush up on many of the Scriptures we had memorized over the last two years. It was not as easy as she thought! Despite this deadline, memorization took a back seat in March, and it was noticeable. So we are renewing our commitment keeping those Scriptures firmly locked in heart.
Towards the end of March, it was worth getting up a bit early to see a silvery sliver of moon hanging aside the diamond bright brilliance of Venus just before sunrise!
I took a few pictures…