On any given day you are most likely to find us communing with the gnomes and the fairies Under The Old Oak Tree

Friday, May 27, 2011

Simple Joys: Spiritual, Emotional and Physical Nourishment

One of my greatest needs that has been the hardest to meet since we moved here has been finding a new church for our family to attend.  I'm finding this much harder this time than I did in our previous city.  At that point, W hadn't been born yet and it never occurred to me that I needed to find a church to meet his needs as well as my own.  We were lucky with our church home there.  They have wonderful children's programs, and a nursery staff  who were kind and loving and who knew our family well.  We didn't even use the nursery there all that much.  W stayed with us in services till he was a year old and started becoming disruptive.  Before he turned two we started keeping him with us for the first part of the service and taking him to the nursery if sitting still and quiet started to become an unrealistic expectation for him.  He is a toddler and I think that an hour long service is a long time to expect a little boy to sit quietly and not be disruptive, even if he has plenty to occupy him.

Now, with his new job my husband is working on Sundays so I am also left to take W to church on my own.  In the past he did much of the active parenting during church, respecting my need to be able to participate fully in worship as a way to recharge for the week.  We have tried quite a number of churches since we moved here.  Some were just bad fits all the way around.  Others would have been wonderful places for me, but did not have other children W's age or even nurseries for him.  Another, which I thought was going to work for our family only had a nursery intermittently, and we had very bad results when they did not.  The last time we went to that church, I left in tears as I chased W back through the doors after his third energetic running screaming trip down the aisle during a prayer.  I left feeling more drained and spiritually and emotionally depleted than when we arrived.  It was suddenly very obvious, that this church, while lovely, was not going to meet the needs of W or myself on a regular basis and our search started all over again.

This past week we tried yet another church, and I'm cautiously optimistic.  I took W into the service to start, and he loved all of the singing that started the service.  When he started to become fidgety, I took him to the nursery and he had a wonderful time!  The nursery was staffed by a paid attendant (never realized just how important this is in terms of the nursery being a safe and reliable place before) who had her son who is W's age there too.  She met his needs in a kind and loving way and took the boys outside to play.  I could hear them outside having a wonderful boisterous, energetic time while I was in the service and it was really freeing for me.  The service was very different from what I am accustomed to, but it was deeply nourishing spiritually, and I felt recharged in a way, I have not been since we moved here.  The experience could not have been more different from that of the previous week.  I'm praying that our future experiences there will be as positive.  W had not wanted to even go to church again after the experience we had the previous week.  On Sunday, while I was putting him down for his nap, he turned to me and said "Mama, I love church".

After the service W and I stopped by our local farmer's market for the first time.  It was wonderful!  Almost everything I could ask for in a farmer's market.  It's big!  Lots and lots of vendors who grow crops locally.  Many sell plants as well as produce. The prices were quite reasonable.  Most were comparable or better than what we've been paying at the grocery store.  The herb man is wonderful and knowledgeable and we had a wonderful conversation about the uses of different types of lavender.

This is what we ended up buying at the market...

Two bags of lettuce, asparagus, kohlrabi, sugar snap peas, radishes, baby potatoes, a bag of English lavender, a bag of French lavender,  a chocolate mint plant, an elfin thyme plant (which is the cutest daintiest thing I've ever seen), an English lavender plant and a zinnia.

W couldn't wait to try a radish after we read Peter Rabbit hundreds of times this spring.

He spit it back out pretty quickly so I'm guessing he thought the flavor was a bit strong.  He has been eating them in salads this week though.    We have eaten so well this week and the market ingredients have really energized my cooking. Each dinner has featured some ingredient from the market.  So far we have used our farmers' market ingredients to make several salads,  asparagus pasta (as a treat we added some shrimp and I also added lemon juice and dill to the recipe), steamed sugar snap peas,  a lavender cake (heavenly), and roasted kohlrabi and baby potatoes.  I've also taken to having a cup of lavender tea in the evening before bed.  I think we will make a habit of going to the market each week after church.

All in all, by the time we arrived home last week I felt so nourished: spiritually, emotionally and physically.  Even better, I knew that W had been as well.  It makes our situation after this move feel much less desperate too, which is such a comfort.

In other good news this week, we also found out on Sunday that W and I have been accepted into the Parent-Child class at the local Waldorf School for September.  It feels like such a long way off, but it really gives us something to look forward to as well.  We are really excited!


  1. Congrats on the Parent-Child Waldorf class! I cannot wait until my son is old enough to go. My daughter, now 15, attended our local Waldorf school and I loved the parent nights, I wish I could just go and do handwork with the kids everyday.

  2. Seeds, I see you are in Richmond! We just moved from there two months ago. Have we met IRL? We did Sprouts at RWS and just loved it. Such a wonderful, magical school. We have really missed it this spring so I felt that one of the really important pieces of settling in here is to get connected to one of the local Waldorf schools. It's torture having to wait till September though! lol!

  3. I am sure we have at least seen each other, My daughter graduated 8th grade from RWS last year we were at all the fairs, I sold tickets for the holiday bizaar and sold the flowers for the May Faire head wreaths. RWS was an amazing school, I really miss it, I wish they had high school level classes. I cannot wait until Eoghan is old enough to start sprouts! Where are you living now?

  4. We are in NoVA now and not too far away. Just far enough to feel like we can't go down to Richmond all the time. We did go back down for the May Faire though. I've been a vendor at the holiday bazaar/fest of fall for the past two years. It's one of my favorite days of the year! I sell felted wool items. We must have seen each other at some point. Your little guy will be ready for Sprouts before you know it. The school here does an infant-parent class as well which I think is such a lovely idea. I know I would have been really excited about something like that when W was tiny.


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