Burnt Offerings

by Stefani on 5-October-2008

Hi y'all!

We're back from the woods, feeling refreshed, happy to be occupying our little piece of the world again and sort of sad too. We miss our Granny. We miss the pine trees and the stillness of the country. 

We had such a good time, but it was also nice to come home. I love the moment when we come piling out of the car and into our house after the long drive. The boys rush straight out to see their chickens, check on the progress of our fall garden, and dig through the pile of mail to see if anything has come for them. They dive into their play, refilling every corner of our home with the sounds of life. 

Now and again though, one of them will walk by me as I'm unpacking, doing our laundry, making a list for the grocery store, and he will say, "I wonder what Granny is doing right now?"

Me too. 

It must be so quiet there now, without all the bustling boyness of us. 

Just before we left, my guys conspired to do something to "help Granny out." They wanted to rake and burn her leaves for her. 


There was much jumping, giggling, rake-wielding, wheel barrow pushing, "stand back from the fire" mayhem.

  Fire Lovers

Wheel Barrow

Their voices echoed off the pines and another of my childhood memories became part of their own stories – the smell of burning leaves, the sight of smoke rising through the woods, reflecting the morning light. 

The knowledge that we had only minutes left there before we set off for our long ride home, weighed heavy on our hearts. So, we just kept raking as long as there were leaves. 

And then we gathered around our fire one last time – feeling it's warmth and letting it's smoke soak into our skin and clothes. Each of the hearts beating around our circle wished this time didn't have to end. 

I can't help but think that something of all that love, and that perfect moment rose with the smoke and lives on now, deep in our woods. 

Smoke In the Pines

Lisa Clarke October 6, 2008 at 6:54 am

Just last week I posted about the smell of burning leaves in the fall, and how it was so *not* a part of growing-up for me.

Funny how diverse backgrounds can come together to find commonality in making things and raising children. It’s one of the reasons I so enjoy reading the thoughts of other creative mothers.

Linn October 6, 2008 at 7:09 am

Sounds like a beautiful trip. I love your writings about the link with Granny.

Sarah Jackson October 6, 2008 at 7:31 am

Oh, what perfection. A few days in the woods sounds like just the right thing right now. That bittersweet mix of not wanting to leave, but being ready to come home is what we feel whenever we come back from grandma’s place at the beach.

Anne October 6, 2008 at 7:39 am

Welcome back…the smell of burning leaves brings back so many pleasant memories.

michelle October 6, 2008 at 8:27 am

Hey, I loved this post. It was so sweet of y’all to burn granny’s leaves. I love this. My boys go and help their granny when it’s time to rake her leaves. Even now that they are older, and I hope they will continue this tradition until they are old men themselves (that’s me saying I hope my mama is around for a long, long time yet).

cloth.paper.string October 6, 2008 at 8:34 am

that last picture is glorious, stefani!!
and that saigon cinnamon? amazing. i made granola and oatmeal apple pancakes with it this weekend. i’m hooked.

Angela October 6, 2008 at 8:38 am

playing in the leaves and then setting them alight – sounds like pure bliss for little boys! 🙂

Amy October 6, 2008 at 9:27 am

Returning home is bittersweet in moments like those.

Baba October 6, 2008 at 9:41 am

Good Job Boys! Helping Granny is a wonderful gift to her. Keep it up.

Katie October 6, 2008 at 11:17 am

You have such a gift for evoking feelings and memories. I love to read your work.

SO glad that you are back! And that you are back with a pocket full of memories to share…

Caroline October 6, 2008 at 12:14 pm

I love the last picture of the smoke in the trees. It makes me long for some outside time to relax with family in front of a pile of burning leaves!

elissa Finger October 6, 2008 at 12:33 pm

ok. lovely post, but that last picture is BREATHTAKING.

Colleen October 6, 2008 at 2:33 pm

Wow I love that smell…

On a totally different note, where could I buy Saigon cinnammon? Thanks for all your great posts I enjoy them so much!

Cassandra October 6, 2008 at 6:53 pm

Oh, this is lovely. It makes me yearn for my granny, but she’s been gone for years and years… Thanks for sharing a piece of that love.

Mary Smith October 6, 2008 at 7:32 pm

I love the smell of burning leaves and fall bonfires. Lovely photos and words.

OMSH October 9, 2008 at 4:15 pm

It does!

Precious memories in the making. The smell of a campfire always draws me back to very specific times and they are always childhood times.

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