Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Year's Day in the orange groves

On New Year's Day we took a long hike down in the valley below our home.  We were tired when we started out, discouraged from an argument, wearily determined to turn the tide for 2013.  I hoped the blue-sky day and the outdoors would refresh our souls.

And, amazingly, that happened.  I guess sometimes you don't know how soothing an afternoon will be to your soul. How quiet hours can reset you when you spend them lying in the grass and eating oranges... and talking or not talking... and just being still.

^ Lena has become especially attached to these shiny black beetles lately.

^ more bugs

^ 36 weeks pregnant, Lena's first orange of the day, and our town in the background on the cliff's edge

^ picking olives and clutching her prize

I love these photos because they capture a moment in our lives, a moment that will soon be past when our little boy arrives in just a few weeks.  They also capture so much of what we enjoy right now, from the Sicilian oranges hanging from the branches to Lena's complete fascination with bugs to the hugeness of my belly to Lena's love to snuggle on top of us whenever we lie down.

They also capture my husband in so many ways as a father: the way he is completely at home in the outdoors, his playfulness with Lena, and the quiet way he encourages her to explore creation: to hold bugs, touch amazing plants, pick olives straight from the trees, and sit peacefully in the grass watching bees buzz from flower to flower.

Our lives are so complex.  Yes, there is eager anticipation.  Yes, there is crippling sorrow.  And always there is deep, abiding joy.


  1. You are so eloquent in describing your dear husband. What a great father he is, in so many respects. These photos tell such a winsome story. I just love that little fist clutching a beetle, and the curiosity and dominion displayed there.

  2. Wonderful pics! The picture of the orange is delicious and I love the ones of you with your castle in the background. Such a special season in your lives when the boundary lines have indeed fallen in special places.

  3. Thank you for sharing! Rev Yates talked about how integral sorrow is on Christmas Eve. These photos make me feel quietness and joy. I am in such a happy time right now, and find myself frequently swallowing (or sharing appropriately :) my fears of what *could* happen next to hurt or disappoint.

    1. I know the feeling of being in such a happy time and wondering what crushing blow will come next! But I also know the place of being so hurt and wondering what else will hurt. So maybe it's just a state we live in here on this earth, no matter what happiness or what sadness fill our lives. I cling to Romans 8:28.

  4. Love the pictures of those I LOVE LOVE LOVE. Also love the oranges, scenery, word picture you paint. Thanks. :)

  5. Beautiful!! I'm so glad you had a refreshing New Year's Day! You look adorable, too!

  6. Love, love the pictures!! What I would give for a fresh orange !!

  7. Your little girl is too cute for words. That sunglasses picture killed me!

  8. Sounds like a great way to start the new year! I would love to be able to walk out and pick fresh orange off the trees...they're soooo much better that way!

  9. loving the pictures of your family!! too cute for words!


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