She (wisdom) is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her. Proverbs 3:18
Last weekend was full of wonder. I was speaking at the 2015 Homewoods Gathering, a retreat focused on learning and living out the principles of Charlotte Mason. It was held at the beautiful home of Alex and Cindy Vasquez in Little Flock, Arkansas. When I arrived, I was treated to a walk around Bentonville, a performance in front of the historic courthouse by the Bentonville High School Orchestra, and a delicious meal at Table Mesa with organizers Cindy and Emily.
Early the next morning I took off into the unknown on my morning walk/run. I love this part of exploring new places. Landscapes before 8 a.m. reveal all sorts of delights. Around the bend, I was stopped in my tracks by an intoxicating fragrance in the air. It was wild honeysuckle! Later, Makayla demonstrated how to suck the single drop of honey out of the flower. I felt like she was sharing a childhood secret.
|An Introduction to Nature - Birds, Flowers, Trees by John Kieran (The northern mockingbird is the state bird of Arkansas.)|
Further on, I heard the call of my beloved cardinal. When I looked up, it was not a cardinal but a mockingbird who then sang about 5 other distinctly different songs. Then, as I turned to go back, I stood at the edge of a pasture in awe as a cow gave birth to a calf, ate the afterbirth, cleaned up the calf and nudged it until it stood up and ate for the first time. Breathtaking. A truck crept up behind me and startled me out of my reverie. It was the owner who had seen this a hundred times but clearly was awed once again, judging from the theological discussion that followed.
When I arrived at the actual Gathering, Punky presented me with this little gift -
Funny how every person exceeds our power of measurement.
"We attempt to define a person, the most common-place person we know, but he will not submit to bounds; some unexpected beauty of nature breaks out; we find he is not what we thought, and begin to suspect that every person exceeds our power of measurement." - from The Story of Charlotte Mason