Every day in the summer, morning comes early. The sun rises before I do -waking birds and squirrels and the puppy. The birds sound louder when you’re just waking up – especially the woodpeckers. I want to stay tucked under the covers – especially this past week, when our mornings are colder than they should be. – but the birds wake the puppy and all 90 pounds of him are eager to run.

The kids are cozily nestled under blankets, the old dog is curled in a chair. She burrows under afghans in the night and grumbles when she’s disturbed. The puppy is standing on my legs and whining. So up I go, trying not to wake my husband and the kids. The puppy and I make coffee and then I let him out to run after rabbits in the woods.

I take my coffee (or last nights long-infusion tea) to the table and plan my day. I have to write down all the little things – like skincare and coffee – to make sure my to-do list looks motivating. It’s so nice to start the day with tasks that are easy to check off.

Every day follows a similar pattern. Tidy the house, feed the animals, teach the children, tend the garden. I feel like my little would is a poem in progress. I write a line, sit, think, erase a word or two, change the layout, read it back, think again.. day in and day out writing a pretty poem to read aloud to Christ.

Every task is tiny and simple. But I’m learning (so slowly) to see the richness in each one. They all come together – from the pretty glass jar of eye cream I unscrew in the morning to the glow of sunlight on soft rugs and a clean floor – to build a deep, imaginative inner life. This is daily life – my home whispers to its occupants. Daily life is beautiful and joyful. Clean and fresh. Alive with potential. Embrace it all.

There’s something deep-rooted and unshakeable about the everyday environment of childhood. I know that the images and memories – soft, green carpet, shiny wood floors and the feel of roller skates rushing over them, the cool basement, late dinners with the whole family – have nourished me in ways I can’t fully appreciate even now. They’ve settled into my bones.

In my homemaking, it’s the magic of home I’m always focused on. Home as an altar, as a nest, as a work of art. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it so much.

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