The Bluestocking @ Home

Musings and Reflections


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Nurturing Rituals

Relishing and indulging in some cozy moments, and delving into one of my fall reads; these moments are not only an integral part of my self care, but of continual growth and brain food. Before I was a mom, and a homeschooling mom at that, I was a comparative literature major. And even now as a mom and homeschool mom, I am still a writer, a photographer, and a creative.

Years ago when I started my first blog, simply called The Bluestocking, it was because even after finishing my academic career, I still felt the yearning towards academic thought, having rich and deep conversations with people about literature, art, creativity, and also about the ideas and experiences. Later when I became a mom, not surprisingly, those desires didn’t dwindle, rather they grew. And for a season it was so hard to juggle all the things, but it never stopped me from carving out little moments here and there for my loves.

Later when I relaunched my blog, it felt like it was time for a slight revisiting and revisioning of what being a Bluestocking meant to me after kids, as a homeschool mom. The desires were the same but they now existed in a different framework. Most of my days are here at home. Which suites me just fine, because I am such a homebody! And so I write, photograph, create, cook, imagine, ponder, and dream here. And so I became The Bluestocking At Home.

I used to think that wasn’t enough. I used to think that I needed to make my mark somewhere physically outside these walls to be validated. But as it turns out, I don’t want to and I don’t think that I need to. Though that doesn’t mean that I don’t invite all kinds of good and worthy things into this sacred space. It doesn’t even mean that I won’t move into and through different spheres at different times in my life and in different seasons.

But making time to nurture and feed my mind and my spirit, to pursue my art, to hone the writing that I can release to the world, those things are all vital to the work that I do here with my children. The decision to homeschool wasn’t simply about schooling at home, but about this passion I have for seeing our entire lives as opportunities for growth and learning. Those moments aren’t solely defined by certain hours and years, spent in certain buildings, culminating in pieces of papers telling us who we are. Rather, the goal has always been to encourage each of us to see every day as an opportunity to ponder new ideas, be moved by beautiful art, discover new talents, and never lose our sense of wonder.

As a result, I’ve stopped seeing my pursuits of reading and art as extra moments of frivolous self care, but rather vital components and building blocks to helping foster a love of learning and chasing dreams in my own children. These pursuits keep me balanced and centred, and they ultimately enrich our lives as a whole. Making them a regular part of my life also combats feelings of discontent or doubts about vocation. I’m not stuffing my dreams deep down somewhere for “when the kids are grown”, rather I’m choosing to show my children that being a whole parent is possible. That you can love your kids and be a person too. In fact, that moms are very much people with dreams, goals, and ambitions.

And I realize that for those moms who work outside the home, this might be more pronounced and tangible. But for us stay at home, and stay at home, homeschooling moms, those lines can get a little blurry, making it all the more key to allow our kids to see that a mother is just as complex a being as anyone else they might meet.

And so I read, and I write. I run around with my camera and am forever scribbling in notebooks, coming up with crazy new ideas of things I’d like to try out and create.

What about you? How are you feeding your mind and spirit? What nurturing habits breathe life into your dreams?

Warmly,

Magdalena

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Fall-ing Away

I’m finally layering in little touches of fall decor around the house, and taking the time to nurture my home and simultaneously a part of my heart again. It feels like it’s been a spell since I truly nurtured my home, but that can happen when your heart feels overwhelmed and overburdened, so I am both physically and emotionally embracing the gentle falling away of the old and a season of preparation and nurturing for the chapters that lay ahead.

I must be on the right track because even my loves are sensing the shift and are loving the return of the little touches around the home and in our daily rhythm that used to flow so naturally from me, but that seemed to be wilted for a time. And while I have berated myself and bemoaned the off feeling that I had for some time, they have never breathed a word. But I can see their excitement and their genuine pleasure at seeing the return and it makes me so happy.

Fall is a good time of year to let things go, and prepare the ground for something new. What are you letting go? What are you making room for? Is there anything that you are returning to that your heart has really missed? Or is it time for new pursuits all together?

Warmly and With Love,

Magdalena


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The Last of Summer

It’s that time of year again … my favourite time of year … FALL!

Of course, here in East Texas that doesn’t always mean the same thing that it means in other regions.  Our leaves haven’t started changing much this year.  But a cool front is sweeping in this morning and will hopefully bring with it some lovely chilling air that might coax those brilliant reds and oranges out.

A couple of weeks ago however, the weather was perfect outside and though not “fall-ish” by Fall standards, certainly a break from the Texas heat.  We spent a beautiful afternoon outside enjoying the breeze and what was no doubt some of the last of the summer beauty in the forest.  Today I look out into the woods and I can see as the peeling back of layers has begun.  The rich, lush green has begun to fade and our forest prepares itself for this next season.  Soon we will actually find ourselves rushing outdoors more often and for much longer as fall and winter bring temperatures that beckon longer hours spent in the fresh air.

Our forest in all its summer glory ... and the last time we will see it so lush until next year.

Our forest in all its summer glory … and the last time we will see it so lush until next year.

The littlest among us is already eager to start collecting leaves, acorns and pine cones.  She marvels at each leaf, at its colour and shape.  She is awed by the uniqueness of each leaf and thrilled at the discovery of each acorn she stumbles upon.  In our very own yard the treasures abound, and I never tire of seeing the world through my children’s fresh eyes.
Collecting Treasues

Her biggest concern is that the lawn mower might get to her leaves before she can collect them all.  I try explaining that soon all the leaves in this oh-so-full forest will be hers for the taking but she is three and she is more concerned with the present moment and diligently continues her gathering.

Collecting Treasures

Collecting Treasures

 

Big brother is on the hunt for yellow leaves.  And sticks.  Always sticks. He too is awed by the depth and beauty of the forest.  These are his quiet moments.  Simply being in and with nature.  He has his favourite tree in our yard and he watches it for changes.  It is an oak tree that shoots up high up into the sky, it’s branches layers of canopies that shade us on hot summer days.

 

Into the Woods

The morning’s thunder storm swept through here fiercely but the air smells fresh and clean.  The wind that rushes through the trees now is bold and strong and the limbs sway and bend to its will.  Windows are finally flung open to allow some fresh air into the house as this first taste of fall trickles in.

I am excited about the coming weeks!  I dream of even cooler mornings, of apple cider and comfort foods and sweater weather.  But today, I am enjoying remembering what a beautiful summer we have had.  And as we say our farewell, I welcome that brisk wind that is hopefully ushering in fall!

Happy Fall to you, where ever you are … may it be a season filled with much wonder and joy and moments of stillness and awe!