Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Keeping Company :: March 2017

Welcome to the link-up for March!

Starting the Discussion

John Muir was crazy, but he totally speaks my love language.

I mean "beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart"?  Swoon.

His words here remind me of Madam How Lady Why, which is funny because I consider these two men to be total opposites in style and belief.  But they both claim an intentionality in Nature and see "disasters" as the world being formed and shaped -- whether by its own hand (Muir) or by the hand of something higher (Kingsley).  The two were living and writing at the same time, so the connections probably speak more to "modern" advancement and the intellectual climate of the time than to the men themselves, but it's still interesting.

Speaking of John Muir, there was a conversation over on AmblesideOnline's Facebook page and Yosemite tangentially came up.  I was born and raised (and still live) about three hours from Yosemite but have never been there.  This year we are reading both The Wild Muir (as part of our California history cycle) and Halliburton's Book of Marvels, in addition to covering the "discovery" of Yosemite Valley in our history readings.  Talk about getting an itch to visit!  Muir lived and breathed Yosemite, spending most of his adult life there doing all kinds of amazing exploration that no one else would consider. Halliburton relates an inspiring account of his own adventures there and paints a living portrait of the valley.  We have been marking some maps of the park as we read and I've got The Muir Ramble Route on my list to look through with the kids this summer.  (Muir's Trans-California trek on foot ran right through our town and he describes camping in our local county parks, which is a neat connection.)

And one sidenote: I love keeping maps.  I didn't think I would enjoy it so much, but I really do!  I haven't tried anything particularly lovely or exciting with them yet, but I know the possibilities are endless.  This is one aspect of keeping that is under-appreciated and under-mentioned, so expect to see more chat about it from me in the coming link-ups!

From Last Month

A collection from over on Instagram...

lylyfreshty - curatingknowledge
mariasugiyopranoto - adventureadaycm

catieredhead - vlcjrogers - angelaboord
aolander - oneripetomato - sarahjokim

ashleyweakley - tillberrytales - magistramama - convincedofwonders
brc_mackenzie - frannieruth19 - windymorning_3 - littledrops5
rjnsix - hazelnuthatch - obispo98 - raisinglittleshoots

tillberrytales - jeffsjessie - ruthjtd
sarah_jonna - all.saints.academy - ladydusk
And to highlight a couple accounts in particular:

Bestvater's THE BIG THREE from athena_amidstthereeds: time tools, nature journals, and commonplace

LOTS OF VARIETY from amyofhearthridge: nature list, bible + book of centuries, calendar of firsts, and science journal

LOVELY LETTERING from happylhomemaker1
From the February link-up here on the blog:

Carol let us peek into the notebooks of her Year 6 student: science journal, nature notebook, poetry copywork.  These exemplify how in the Charlotte Mason vision for keeping, the notebooks are individual to the student.  You can see her daughter's stamp all over these and very inspiring.

Freely Learned has some fresh tips for nature journaling.

Amy quotes Faith Baldwin on finding hope and beauty in the midst of suffering.

Lots of projects for Lucy's family, including keeping in wood, with cloth, on paper, and more!

And now it's your turn!

The Link-Up

:: For bloggers: Click on the "Add my link" button below, and it will prompt you to include the information for your post.  Once you submit it, your link will be added to the list, and others will be able to click over and read what you have shared.
:: For Instagrammers: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM.

:: Remember to link to a specific post and not to your blog's homepage. 
:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome!  The prompt is optional.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book or your kids drawing.
:: Feel free to add more than one post.  The link-up will be open for a month, so you can come back and add more if you are so inclined.
:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.


  1. I enjoyed your commonplace entry too. Such evocative words. The further we travel along this path of a literary education the more powerful words seem to become. It makes me want to be in that place right then and there! We are determined to go to Yosemite next spring. We will most likely end up back east next summer so we have to make the most of our current location!

  2. Celeste, wow the Muir quote is breath-taking. I'm super interested in that book now. I love maps too...your Yosemite one is gorgeous. I should print more off that I love too and can't wait to see your post on how you use/include them in your life. Geography is something I love, but don't feel confident or knowledgeable at all in. I just know that I love the idea of it. I'm reading a very interesting book called Rising Ground: Finding the Spirit of Place by Marsden. He is searching out and exploring different rock formations/places/history etc in Cornwall. Searching the history and spiritual implications of what these places meant to ancient people. I have a PAGE full of words to look up since he uses a lot of British/Scottish? terms, but it's fascinating in a mind-numbing way. ;) He is factual yet in a small way, is one of those writers who you can actually feel, smell, and sense the places he describes. A slow read, but I'm loving it. All the photos and collections that you highlighted are beautiful and so inspiring.

  3. Beautiful! Even the cadence of the quote is a beauty making heart beat. Thanks, Celeste!

    1. That is so true, Dawn. Muir's writing is truly lovely, not just in this section but throughout. If you haven't read him yet with your kids, this book (recommended by Brandy) is a great introduction.

  4. I don't know anything about John Muir, except that he was a naturalist, but I'm intrigued now that you said he was crazy!

    1. Ha! I suppose it depends on your point of view. He was definitely one of those geniuses that you either admire or scratch your head a bit at -- he tried all these death-defying explorations that would never have occurred to almost anyone else, and he had some *interesting* views on man and nature. But he really was an exceptional person and his experiments taught us a lot about science and nature. And he was a fabulous writer. :)

  5. We just finished The Wild Muir the day before yesterday and we were all sad to see the end of the book. It is such a gem! We usually would start each reading with, "Remember that crazy and amazing thing Muir described last time? [pause for recollections] I wonder what totally crazy and amazing thing Muir is going to this time!" Then I'd read the title of the next chapter and let them speculate and/or exclaim a bit before diving in. :-) When we're out and about the kids will survey some ledge or cliff and speculate what Muir would do if he was there... thankfully none are inspired to follow in his footsteps to quite that degree (yet!). LOL

    And I am completely amazed that you have never been to Yosemite even on a day trip. Eek!!! You need to rectify that ASAP!! :-) You could totally do that as a day trip even with the kiddos! It would be so worth it - especially in another two months - the waterfalls are going to be particularly spectacular this year! The end of May - it won't be as crowded, the weather should be decent, the waterfalls will be amazing, and you won't be too hugely pregnant. It would be a long day, but doable! We'll meet you there. It will be fabulous!

    1. Yes, that is exactly how our conversations go also: "So what crazy idea is he going to come up with this week?!" We just read about how he takes off to scale one of the highest peaks in the area and doesn't even bring a coat, which made us all crack up. :)

      If we go to Yosemite, I'm going to hold you to your offer of meeting us there. ;)

  6. Question for you, Celeste: We tried Madam How and Lady Why at the beginning of this school year (AO YR 4) and we just couldn't do it. We were so confused by descriptions of nature and places that are foreign to us and the style was so odd. I've considered trying again next year, but now I am wondering if John Muir would be a reasonable substitute. What do you think?

    1. The Muir book does have some geological descriptions and some of his scientific approach, but I think it's more as a historical memoir. I think it would be a good companion to a book like Madam How, but I don't think it could replace it. (And on MHLW: it is not our favorite book, but now, getting to the end of it, there were some particular bits about HOW science works and how God works through science that would be difficult to replicate in another text. I'm not saying you should definitely use it, just that I see it's more about those things than it is about actual geology. :))

  7. I like the idea of map keeping for myself. I'd love to hear more about what you are currently doing yourself for map keeping. Would you mind to share?

    1. Hi Karen! I'm keeping a few different maps this year:
      :: one of the US on which I mapped the journeys of Lewis and Clark and the Fremonts
      :: one of the Eastern half of the US on which I mapped the Civil War battle sites
      :: one of the world on which I noted all the wonders from Halliburton's Book of Marvels
      :: one of India in which I'm making note of Kim's visits

      My kids are keeping all but the last as well. Each of our maps looks a bit different from the others! :) I gave a peek at the beginnings of my maps back in October here: http://joyouslessons.blogspot.com/2016/10/keeping-company-october.html I'll have to do an update soon! :)

    2. I think I must have missed that post! I'll go back and take a look. :)

  8. You've never been to Yosemite!?!?!