It is a capital plan for children to keep a calendar—the first oak-leaf, the first tadpole, the first cow-slip, the first catkin, the first ripe blackberries, where seen, and when. The next year they will know when and where to look out for their favourites, and will, every year, be in a condition to add new observations.
The Garners take great delight in watching the wonderful changes that occur daily this time of year. We try to make note of them in our family journal, entitled Our Circle of Seasons. As a family effort, it does not meet the standards of the Charlotte Mason Nature Journal as a discipline, but it enables us to record joyful observations, even if sporadically and in different shades of pen with different handwriting depending on who has been inspired to contribute.
Today, however, The Daughter made quite a ceremony of bringing to me The First Blueberry. And I remembered – AHA! – I should make a note of this very first blueberry a la Charlotte Mason in a Calendar of Firsts. Then I recalled the tree frog on the front porch, the mushroom that had just popped up, the gardenia bud that had just bloomed, the hydrangeas that had finally opened, and the ligustrum that is blooming and smelling so heavenly all within the last day or so. The sheer abundance of recent firsts almost gave me perfection paralysis. “What about the first butterfly we saw? When was that?” or “When did we first see the brown thrasher babies branching? Was that Tuesday or Wednesday?”
Yet, in honor of The First Blueberry, I persevered and discovered a wonderful printable Calendar of Firsts produced by Winter’s Promise. It is a beautiful resource! The pages will go in a notebook downstairs by the kitchen table, where we keep our family Circle of Seasons Journal. Hopefully the proximity to our big kitchen window and the backdoor will remind us to use it.
So The First Blueberry brings both delight and a delightful new discipline in keeping a Calendar of Firsts. Who knows ~ at this rate, I might actually start the List of Flowers, Trees, Birds, etc that is recommended for the back of the Nature Journals. Perhaps this summer we will expand our weekly Nature Journaling; moving towards the daily walks, the daily dry brush illustrations, and daily reflections that make the connection with nature and our Creator God a daily discipline, a daily praise. It’s never too late for a new “first!”
What sort of Firsts have you noticed this week?