Friday, February 22, 2013

guest house

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes

as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house

empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out 

for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.

-- Jelaluddin Rumi, 
translated by Coleman Barks


The Rumi poem above came to me from my mom (which came to her from a friend) at the beginning of the year, at a time when our chain of losses had only just begun. It is such a beautiful poem and so powerful. I printed it out and put it up above my desk. (I have corks there to collect the bits of inspiration that I look to now and then to keep me going.) The photos below it show that life continues...spring is springing here in coastal California.

The days are blending into each other now, in a very natural way. Many of them have their challenges. My current mantra (gleaned from somewhere in my Waldorf-y world) is "warm heart, cool mind." But not a single day has passed during which I have regretted our decision to homeschool. I thought I knew this girl of mine, but she is teaching me so much about what an amazing person she is and is becoming.

This isn't going to be one of those homeschooler posts where I tell you what our rhythm is and all the cool stuff we are doing. Although we actually have done a bunch of cool stuff, the truth is, I am finding it so challenging to get into a new groove. I had a fabulous one going before winter break, but I have learned it was easier for me to shape one with Finnian while Lala was at school. Lala is an enigma...I haven't quite figured out how to best shape our day for her (and for me). I do know she really did need (and does need) this time with me. I am loving that, truly. I am only mildly missing my alone time (although there aren't enough hours in the day and I am not quite sure how I am going to get the taxes done), but I am missing my time with Finnian. He and I have no alone time now, although I am not sure he minds the way Lala did when she didn't have any alone time with me.

As for the nuts and bolts, I can share those. We left the Waldorf-inspired charter we were in for a number of reasons. I will say only that I hope, for all the children there (and selfishly because I spent hours and hours over the past 2 years working on the school), that the school finds its way to success eventually. We moved straight into the arms of several families of like-minded friends (old and new) in the form of a Waldorf and arts inspired homeschool co-op. The kids all get along and we parents are currently hosting 6 classes for them, including lesson-related crafting, knitting (also lead by a dear friend and mentor), world dance, creative writing, world music, and Spanish. It is fabulous. We are also homeschooling through a charter and trying to remain as Waldorf inspired as possible, as this seems to touch Lala (and me!) deeply. We have chosen Waldorf Essentials (through choice) and Oak Meadow (charter approved) as our curricula for now, and are using the non-Waldorf, but entertaining, Life of Fred for math.

 A little less than two months in, I am still a little uncertain of myself, but have been reassured that I am doing well, given how new to this part of our journey we are. Everyone is happier and our family is more connected. We seem to either get startled, crazed looks or excited inquiries about how to do it, when we tell people we are homeschooling. The truth is, we are happy with the choice. I am not sure what the future holds, but then that is half the fun.

Back to add: I have no idea what is going on with the font in this post. Tried to fix it and can't. Sorry!



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