The Sweet Spot

We were in the garden, Maizey and I, last Sunday.   Tension seemed to be mounting as we fought off the cucumber beetles-- the little newly transplanted squashes and melons were succombing quickly. Already riddled with holes after only a few hours of lapsed attention, we squished the bugs between our fingers and dug around the little plant stalks looking for the ugly squash bugs (which are too big for finger smooshing, so they are placed with a little prayerful thought, under our shoe).
Agnes Nancy Place Litter #2,
Double-wattled Kune Kune boar Jenny x Mahia Love
To temper this violent scene, I should let it be known that we are a pretty non-violent family. We let the squirrels nest in our eves. The birds return each year to their mud nest on the side of our home. The bats have a huge family just under some trim boards. We remove all spiders to the outdoors, or more often, just ignore them. Snapping turtles dig our gardens to lay their eggs.  Still, we make an exception with cucumber beetles, squash bugs, and tomato hornworms (we even typically remove slugs rather than squashing, which I think is pretty generous of us)-- so we sat there, in the evening sun, as the black flies swarmed our heads, the mosquitios buzzed our ears, and the no-see-ums chewed visciously at our ankles--  we sat there squishing bugs.
Then we were both looking in the sky, craning our necks into the glare of the setting sun. We could hear them before we saw them-- a redemptive flock of geese overhead--we called to Shawn and Ella to witness this beauty, this perfect V, flying over our perfect life. How often we let the little things ruin an otherwise wonder-filled day, failing to be amazed by irritations and imperfections. Amid this unhappy chore of protecting plants and being a meal for others, there was stunning beauty, holding the balance amid the unpleasant, creating the sense of deep perfection-- made only better because my girl knew it-- looking at me in awe, she said, "THIS has been the best day!" 
My girls playing midwife on the homestead-- learning is everywhere!
And it WAS a great day-- and aren't they all??  This one, punctuated by our first baby-bat rescue (to be followed by many more), an anticipated skit at church, some family down time in Bar Harbor, the doula experience of newborn piglets and then, the geese overhead!

How awesome is it that Ella is out here doing her non-fiction
homeschool reading for the day while covered in piglets?

Our summer days have been filled, thus far, with long days in the garden, work that is exciting, lounging with farm friends (including the newborn piglets), visiting with, and sometimes living with all manner of wild creature--to TODAY, when a swarm of bees flew directly to our home, swirled above our barn, then next to it, and then, like a little tornado, swarmed right into the empty bee hive from last year's attempt at bees. This, only 1 hour after ordering new bees-- and a day before sending payment. 

Here is our little tornado-- I told Shawn that I ordered money to fall from the sky on Father's Day, just for him.
The world is amazing. The small miracles that fill each day abound, if only we are there to honor them. When each day is filled with a sense of  gratitude, when awe and wonder become normal, when each day we search out the thread that weaves love, light, and abundance-- that is the sweet spot. We are so lucky to have found it most days-- and we will keep striving to find it in each moment.

At one week old-- outside sniffing the earth at the Nancy Place Homestead