It had been a day of bickerings and fuss. Nothing was right. So we dropped it all and left. We took to the hills to replenish our minds and hearts. The yard was littered with fabric pulled carelessly from the storage shed, toys were strewn about, and children still scrambled.
"Just leave it," I coached myself. "Just forget about it and go."
A simple "picnic" had been packed, consisting of tea, cookies and a book to read.
When we got back, this evening, I reread the wise words of Charlotte Mason, and I will let her take over from here. (all quotations are taken from Chrlotte Mason's Home Education, volume 1)
"All the time, too, the children are storing up memories of a happy childhood." (p.43)
"Every hour spent in the open is a clear gain, tending to the increase of brain power and bodily vigor, and to the lengthening of life itself." (p.42)
"Never be within doors when you can rightly be without." (p.42)
The flowers it is true, are not new; but the children are;and it is the fault of their elders if every new flower they come upon is not to them a Picciola, a mystery of beauty to be watched from day to day with unspeakable awe and delight." (p.53)
"a love of nature, implanted so early that it would seem to them hereafter to have been born in them, will enrich their lives with pure interests, absorbing pursuits, health, and good humor." (p.71)
"Children should be encouraged to watch,patiently and quietly, until they learn something of the habits and history of bee, ant, wasp, spider, hairy caterpillar, dragon-fly..." (p.57)
"In the first place, do not send them; if it is anyway possible, take them; for althought the children should be left much to themselves, there is a great deal to be done and a great deal to be prevented during these long hours in the open air." (p.43)
"If the children are to have what is quite the best thing for them, they should be two or three hours every day in the open air all through the winter, say an hour and a half in the morning and as long in the afternoon."(p.85)
"On fine days when it is warm enough to sit out with wraps, why should not tea and breakfast, everything but a hot dinner be served out of doors?" (p.42)
"And this is another reason why mothers should carry their children off to lonely places, where they may use their lungs to their hearts' content without risk of annoying anybody." (p.81)
~ I had to laugh at the wisdom of these words, written over a hundred years ago!
"They (children) must be left alone (in nature), left to themselves a great deal, to take in what they can of the beauty of the earth and heavens." (p.44)
Little notes of interest:
On our walk Tommy discovered a Sycamore tree, and asked why the bark looks the way it does. We also stumbled upon numerous mole tunnels, and I'm sorry to say, the children were taking great delight in pushing down the tunnel mounds with their feet.
We read our Little Red Hen Book, and Tommy kept saying, "Oh poor little chicken with nobody to help..." He was gleeful when the hen denied the lazy animals her hard-earned bread.
I'm so glad we decided to escape the chaos and walk. Tommy said, "This was the goodest picnic I ever seen."
On the way home, He and Mary Margaret fought over a stick the whole walk back. But that's life, isn't it? We have these grace-flooded-winged -moments, and then we're back to ordinary time. People may ask, "But how do you have the time to do all this?" The simple answer:
I take it. I take it so the worries and obligations of living don't crowd out what is truly important in my life.