Our homeschool year is in full swing. We are doing the work of learning, work that includes early morning hockey practices, violin and cello lessons, Sunday afternoon science experiments, and plenty of math and reading. One of Jack’s reading selections is Frederick by Leo Lionni. Frederick is the story of a little family of mice who all seem to be busy getting ready for winter – all except for Frederick:
“Frederick,” why don’t you work?” they asked.
“I do work,” said Frederick.
“I gather sun rays for the cold dark winter days.”
And when they saw Frederick sitting there, staring at the meadow, they said, “And now, Frederick?”
“I gather colors,” answered Frederick simply, “For winter is gray.”
And once Frederick seemed half asleep. “Are you dreaming, Frederick?” they asked reproachfully.
But Frederick said, “Oh no, I am gathering words. For the winter days are long and many, and we’ll run out of things to say.”
~ from Frederick by Leo Lionni, published by Alfred A Knopf, Inc. 1967
I suppose we have been engaged in some Frederick-like work as well. The autumn blue sky beckons, and we set aside our indoor pursuits. We are off to the park, to the apple orchard, or to our friends’ 20 acres. We soak in the sunshine and the colors, just like Frederick.
Back at home we continue our savoring as we cook some of the apples we have picked, and yes, even carve out time for a Halloween celebration.
The days are getting shorter; Daylight Savings Time is expiring even as I write. But as the cold, dark, winter days approach, we plan to be well stocked with memories of autumn warmth, light, and fun.