It's that time again. The leaves are on the ground. We've changed out the clothes in our drawers and the activities on the calendar. All of our school friends have been back to school long enough that our own rhythm is setting in. And it feels amazing. Like that fire in the wood stove.
Here is what has changed with our seasonal rhythm:
1. Quiet time has been transformed. Thanks to some wise words in comments here (See – you inspire me!) I've shifted quite time from a prison sentence to a half-hour of so of "Mama-needs-a-break". And they get it. They chill. We even hang out together sometimes. I knit, they read or play quietly, we unwind our day.
2. House Blessing. After quiet time we work together to clean one room (or 'area') per day. The kids use to resist this but now… they love it. Love it I tell you. (Yes, really.) They can't wait. Sage did the math on how many days we have chores for and realized there was a day off. "Can we just polish furniture that day, mama?" Um, okay.
I let them choose how they participate and they just roll. The big fluffy feather dusters my mom gave us and the many vacuum attachments don't hurt either. We dust. We polish. We organize. I can't explain it. They freaking love it. I think a big part is because it is to make their space beautiful (who doesn't appreciate that?) and because I don't force them to do tasks they don't like. If the two of them spend 20 minutes polishing the coffee table with homemade furniture polish I'm okay with that. If they need to take all of the pictures off the wall to dust them with a single ostrich feather from Pete's fly tying supplies, go for it. (That was yesterday's turn of events.) Keep it fun and they'll dive in.
3. Chapter and Tea: We're back with the book. We took summer off but are back on the couch again. How I love this ritual. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.
4. The computer is OFF. This one is huge. I have started switching the computer off all day long. I boot up once mid day and after bedtime and that's it. Ta da! I love it. (So do they.) Our mindful, connective, present time is expanding in every direction.
5. Outside time. I don't want to slack on this right now. If we're out constantly out in summer and get sloppy in the fall, then winter will be misery. I chase them out each day late afternoon and then do some work of my own. Then I join them and find the joy in play out in the freshness with them. Their play has been inspired – by the season, by the leftovers in the garden, by their spirits.
6. Early to Bed. I've revisited a more solid rhythm in every part of our day, including a more stable, fall-like bedtime. (Summer has quite an effect on us, dragging bedtime out until it's later than I wish.) They are asleep early, and so am I. Win-win.
And all of these changes? We love. Deeply and honestly. Life feels balanced right now, and I'm enjoying every aspect of my day. Finding the gratitude in all that is right.