MLK Greetings from the Jarretts!
The tree is down, thank-you cards are sent, and we’re still celebrating the rich gifts of the season—a God incarnate, a healthy family, and you, our beloved circle of friends. Here’s a brief, belated update from our busy home.
Emily launches Wisdom Dances.
Staying true to her life’s purpose, Emily quit her job at the Minnesota Council of Churches to launch her own business teaching dance. She’s more joyful than ever, bringing dance to older adults, using dance to reunite people with natural and agricultural cycles, and performing with the Ethnic Dance Theater—check out her upcoming show March 15-17th. Gwyn always assumed that Emily danced for work anyway.
Elizabeth is caught in revision mania.
Yes, this is year seven working on her novel, Hannah, Delivered. With so much experience revising, she’s making lemons into lemonade by also writing a book about revision, currently titled Seeing Anew: Revision and the Writer’s Open Heart—not likely to be a blockbuster. She continues supporting others as they develop their books, now teaching online and publishing a monthly blog. Her week teaching at the Madeline Island School of the Arts is now an annual favorite.
Gwyn turns four…
The theme for her party? Cats. Face paint whiskers for everyone, cereal kibbles eaten from bowls on the kitchen floor, the “kitty-pokey” in the Ball Room, and a cat cake—“Exactly what I wanted!” She’s thriving at a small Waldorf preschool in our neighborhood, making friends and crafts and play-play-playing.
…starts getting ideas…
Gwyn: “Let’s give Mama another Harry Potter book.”
Emily: “We already have them all. There aren’t any more.”
Gwyn: “Let’s write her one.”
At the Walker Art Museum: “Mama, you put three ideas in my head. First, draw with squiggles. Second, make a museum in the kitchen nook. Third, make a skating rink in the back yard.”
…teaches her introverted parents how to live with passion…
“I don’t want to die. I want to keep talking.”
“I’m very talented at staying awake. I like being talented.”
…and is a budding actor.
After falling obsessively in love with The Wizard of Oz, after memorizing the songs and the lines in the soundtrack, Gwyn had to be Dorothy for Halloween. Grammy sent a thrift shop dress with matching bow for Toto. Gwyn’s two favorite scenes are when Dorothy slaps the lion on the nose (such courage!) and when she throws water at the wicked witch. Gwyn does a convincing “I’m melting!”
The “Back Forty” is fruitful.
We’ve been homesteading our tiny city plot in our “spare time,” with improving results. This year we bested 183 pounds of produce, including a whopping fifty-six pounds of tomatoes, from which we canned three varieties of salsa. If we’d bought all the ground cherries we ate, we would have spent $160! Gwyn munches broccoli off the plant and swings from the lilac tree. The garden nourishes our spirits and bodies. Tune in next year to hear about chickens…
We share creativity with the neighborhood.
In July we hosted a dance/theater troupe’s performance in our newly resided garage. About 80 friends and neighbors attended three weekend performances. Then we participated in dozens of follow-up shows starring Gwyn as the barking dog. We also planted a Poetry House in our front yard; passers by are invited to read a poem on their walk.
On the road.
We took our annual family road trip to the Badlands, and were pleased when other kids scrambling over the rock formations brought out the hiker in Gwyn. One night we camped in a buffalo grazing area and slept with the noise of heavy hooves and huffy breathing just feet from our tent.
In July we traveled with the Hughes family to Sea Ranch, CA. Uncle Billy taught Gwyn how to feed snails to the sea anemones.
Emily did a four-day Qi Gong retreat on the North Shore in September. Meditating at nightfall beside Lake Superior was one of her year’s highlights. Elizabeth and Gwyn scrambled on the rocks and pretended to be seagulls.
Love begets love.
In September we spent a week in New Mexico celebrating Elizabeth’s sister’s family union. Marcy married Scott, they both made vows to the boys, and all four of them bound themselves to the land in beautiful Miranda Canyon south of Taos. Gwyn was so taken, we shared the vows that created our family with her. Gwyn also bonded so powerfully with her cousins that she and Tono now tell strangers that they’re brother and sister.
Rhia warms up.
Largely because Gwyn’s first chore has been feeding Rhia, our chronically ornery cat is growing friendlier. New medication for hyperthyroid has helped. It’s great to have our cat back.
The Jarretts in politics.
Gwyn and Emily went door knocking for the Vote No campaign for one hour (to reject an amendment to our constitution that would restrict marriage to one man and one woman) – with the help of snacks. Months later, Elizabeth was surprised when Gwyn wanted to play “door knocking.” On Election Day, Gwyn spent 2½ hours voting with us, with great results for our state. We hope that our public institutions will get to work cooperating for the common good!
Blessings for 2013!
We invite you to join us in dreaming up a better world and living into those dreams.
Emily, Gwyn, and Elizabeth