Weekend: Lots of Bach, a tea party, strawberries

Longtime blog readers may recall that singing in Bach’s B-Minor mass is on my List of 100 Dreams. It has yet to happen but…someday!

In the meantime, I’ve started a bit of a tradition of attending the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s annual performance of the B-Minor mass. They do this as part of the Bach festival in May. I drove to Bethlehem on Saturday and followed along in my score. Now that I am listening to some Bach every day, and in particular, am still deep into the 200+ cantatas, I recognize even more how the mass is the culmination of so much of the rest of Bach’s work. He wrote it about a year before his death, and there are various re-workings of melodies he used in various cantatas.

I drove back in the rain and met my 17-year-old and his friends at A Taste of Britain in Wayne, where my son had a tea party birthday party. These young people all ordered afternoon tea service, and I sort of lurked around in the area, coming back to pay. The restaurant said they were very well-behaved!

On Sunday, all of the big kids declined to participate in our afternoon family adventure, so my husband and I took the 4-year-old to Linvilla Orchards, where they had an antique car show. The owners of these cars (some from as early as the 1910s!) were mostly thrilled to show off their cars to a preschooler, so he got to sit in some, pretend to drive, and even blow an ancient horn. Then we took a tractor ride to the strawberry patch and picked some very ripe red berries. The berries were at absolute peak, so this was a satisfying experience, at least to me. The 4-year-old was finished fast, but hey.

Anyone remember the line “Remember the berry season is short”? I saw that little memento mori on the Linvilla strawberry patch box almost exactly 10 years ago — early summer, 2014. I was newly pregnant with kid #4, which made the hay ride a woozy experience for sure. The box said “Remember the berry season is short. This box holds approximately 10 lbs level full, 15 lbs heaping full.”

As I wrote in I Know How She Does It, that is perhaps a metaphor for life in that everything is a metaphor for life. So how full, exactly, do I intend to fill the box? Or if we slice away the metaphor, we can simply ask: What does the good life look for me?

It’s been a full and wonderful ten years since that strawberry patch moment. Two more babies (and seeing the three I had then become young adults!), several books, two podcast launches, lots of great speaking experiences. I thought of that briefly as there has been yet another round of ridiculousness in social media and elsewhere — that I really don’t want to engage with — debating whether deeply enjoying motherhood and doing things in the larger world are somehow at odds. As I wrote, “What you do with your life will be a function of how you spend the 8,760 hours that make a year, the 700,000 or so that make a life: at strawberry farms, rocking toddlers to sleep, and pursuing work that alters at least some corner of the universe. The good news for those often told to limit their aspirations is that the box will hold all these things. It can hold all these things and more.”

Anyway, it was a good weekend. Strawberries picked at peak are delicious!

3 thoughts on “Weekend: Lots of Bach, a tea party, strawberries

  1. Thanks for a great post – deeply enjoying motherhood IS doing things in the larger world. It took me a while (almost 7 years of balancing career and motherhood) to come to this conclusion, and I’m glad that I haven’t seen this social media ridiculousness yet.

    1. OK, I finally caught up on the news and social media referenced in your blog post, and I’m realizing my comment was totally off in context. I truly believe that work outside the home supports the enjoyment of motherhood, and vice versa, and your work is a perfect example of that!

      1. @Lana – I was pretty sure that was what you meant 🙂 These things aren’t binary choices at all, and it’s frustrating when they are presented as such.

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