Today we had to skip school. It was too beautiful to be indoors. It was in the high sixties, dry, sunny, and no wind.
Since one usually feels miserable on sick-days, today we took our sick-day on a day when we were all feeling great. This way we could take full advantage of the lovely weather.
I finally did something I have been planning to do for the past seven years. We have a clearing in our woods where we hung a hammock and have a simple wooden bench. At first the kids and I were only going to hang a rope from a tree limb. But the project took on a life of its own and we ended up sawing, sanding, drilling and making a beautiful tree swing. The tree limb overhangs part of a hill, so the swing doesn't need to be pushed very high to be eight-to-ten feet off the ground on one side of the arch.
My goal is to plant some bulbs and maybe a Lady Banks rose & red honeysuckle around the woods so it's filled with flowers. We are already blessed with yellow jessamine winding wildly all through the woods in the spring. Sparkleberries and huckleberries are everywhere in the summer.
Once we had a British bishop come for an afternoon lunch. He peered into our back yard and politely exclaimed, "Ahhhh, what a lovely gaah-den." I was absolutely delighted at his words because I had never looked at our yard that way. My more cultured and erudite friend, Susan, told me that in England they call their yards, "gardens," so he probably didn't mean anything more than "You have a nice back yard." But that didn't take away the enchantment I felt at the image of my children romping my beautiful garden with flower petals falling all around their heads (Lady Banks Roses will do that at the end of a bloom).
So we hung the swing, and Rose took off up the hill. She was gone for 30 minutes or more. When she returned she was pulling a wagon containing sandwiches, hot tea, popcorn and warm Lenten whole wheat chocolate chip cookies (which were sinfully delicious).
Each of us had sandwiches made the way we like them (Max: PBJ; Ella: PB; Meggy: ham, lettuce, tomato, mustard & mayo (no the children don't fast); LMk: PBJ; and Me & Rose: sautéd mushrooms and tomatoes on health-nut bread).
I sat on the bench with my sandwich and watched the children as they ate. The leaves have gone somewhat beyond their color and have begun to turn maroonish and brown. The light seemed to give everything a pinky glow.
Rose and LMark were sitting side-by-side in the wagon. Ella was swinging sleepily on the hammock with her leg in the air (I don't know why). Margaret was kneeling in the pine straw to the side of the swing. And Max was kicking himself slowly back and forth in the swing, with his arms wrapped around the ropes so he could eat his sandwich. It was very quiet.
"...Mom, dis is the best day evah."
So I have been thinking. The reason mothers take so many pictures of our children is because we look at certain moments and can't imagine anything more wonderful or more beautiful than what we're looking at right now. But sometimes there are those moments when I'm glad I don't have a camera, because I am certain my mind will recall it better than a camera ever could.
So this image is it.