"Oh, Mama, look! It's like a gnome's ski trail!"
A bird of prey had been hunting mice in our pasture and indeed, it was like a gnome's ski trail.
That long, delicious sort of exhale that means that the small and jumbled pieces of a messy day are finally falling into place.
Our Monday was off to a rocky start.
Finding our groove again post-holidays can be sticky. We've been busy packing up the Solstice decorations and buttoning-up house projects; juggling teenage sleep schedules against those of our hungry sheep; looking everywhere for our misplaced daily rhythm and homeschooling mojo after so many days of travel and celebration.
We're also figuring out (again) how to homeschool these two very different kids while running a business and managing a small farm and cooking meals three times a day. (Three. Meals. Who knew these people needed to eat so often?)
It's like we've thrown too many balls too high into the air and we're racing around trying to keep them aloft.
I was crabby, they were crabby. It wasn't working.
And so we headed for the woods.
The woods. Our woods. In the constant shadow of the hill from November until February. With it's muffling snow and gurgling creek.
The fire pit, forgotten last winter was quickly found again and a fire kindled once more.
Cold toes, warm fire. I remember.
We brought a thermos of soup that we sipped as we warmed our feet by the flames. There were branches to gather, and logs to chop, and smoke and fire to keep us busy.
And – like magic – our collective grouching and grumbling was paused as we sat there in the silence of the forest.
We talked, we laughed, we found our centers once more.
The woods. The fire.
Our winter haven. Our Monday place.
And once a week our hair and coats will smell of wood smoke again.
Gnome trails or otherwise, we certainly found magic here.
And – yes – our rhythm and mojo once more.
Because Monday, as it turns out, is the nicest day of the week.
We had just forgotten.