I revelled in the summer heat
When others fried
And went inside.
Trusting, I smiled
When hot became warm,
The return of summer's norm,
Simply a mild forewarn
Of climate's transform.
Too soon it seemed
Leaves turned to gold.
Yet still no cold!
Larch and aspen--behold!
Facing autumn serene and bold.
Fun while it lasted,
No keeping frost at bay,
Friendly warmth gives way,
How I shiver today.
Lord help! I pray.
I grieved, pleaded, implored:
Perfumed rose, spotted fawn,
Warbler song, emerald lawn,
All gone, all gone!
But...was that a trumpeter swan?
I'd missed the mist,
The glitter of snow,
The hush, and the slow,
The late sunrise glow--
All my friend Winter will bestow.
I have to admit, I am probably the biggest baby in the world when it comes to winter, inwardly grieving, mourning, whining and complaining. But this scene today reminded me of its blessings, because without the cold, the mist wouldn’t rise up in the first rays of sunlight!
And the frosting on the cake, a few minutes after snapping this photo with frozen hands, was watching a flock of Trumpeter Swans fly overhead as they return to Calgary for the winter.
This also reminds me of one of my favorite Biblical poems:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord… sent…to bind up the brokenhearted… to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. [from Isaiah 61:1-3]
Even though most schools are closing for the summer, learning doesn’t stop. In fact, learning outside of school can be one of the most valuable ways to increase our–and our kids’ and grandkids’–knowledge and understanding in various fields of interest.
From what I understand from working in the education field, and from personal experience, learning comes easier when we are enjoying ourselves and taking part in activities we are keenly interested in.
What are you looking forward to learning about this summer? Or, should I say, what fun things are you planning to DO this summer? (I’d seriously love to know–leave me a note below.) I believe that these concepts–learning, fun, doing–all go together.
If you are interested, Practical Homeschooling magazine just published my article on the subject, in their issue #146. I wrote it about a conversation with my young children, who thought I was insane when I told them I loved to learn. I think I convinced them that “learning” and “school” were two different things, by keeping track of all of our summer activities and showing them how much they’d “accidentally” learned.
The lines between school learning, learning at home, and home schooling have definitely blurred over the past year. If you find that learning at home has been a positive experience for you and your children, and you are planning to continue that in the future, you might want to have a look at homeschooling resources like this one. At $4.95 U.S./Canadian, you can’t go wrong!
What am I looking forward to learning this summer? I want to learn how to use all–or most–of the features of my new (to me) camera.
I have been struggling to learn how to use the manual settings. It’s partly re-learning, since my photography-teacher dad taught me how to use them in the 70s, before I got lazy with point-and-shoot cameras.
Yes, I have watched many videos and read lots of the manuals, but the most effective way I have learned about it is, you guessed, using it. Trial and error, and making mistakes, only nowadays without wasting expensive film and the cost of developing it!
I am fortunate that I enjoy walking and exercise, am a morning person (as are many animals), it is summer time right now, and that I enjoy the quiet and solitude of the forest. All of those give me inspiration to power on through the frustration, to try and try again to get good shots.
The hundreds, even thousands, of out-of-focus animals and flowers, and borrrring landscapes, have taught me valuable lessons. I still haven’t figured out how to take clear videos, unfortunately. Sigh.
If you want to see some of the shots that did work, have a look below. At any rate….
I wish you and yours many happy learning experiences over the summer!