“we do have beautiful things to do”



Where am I going?  I don’t quite know.
Down to the stream where the king-cups grow-
Up on the hill where the pine-trees blow-
Anywhere, anywhere.  I don’t know.


Where am I going?  The clouds sail by,
Little ones, baby ones, over the sky.
Where am I going?  The shadows pass,
Little ones, baby ones, over the grass.


If you were a cloud, and sailed up there,
You’d sail on water as blue as air,
And you’d see me here in the fields and say:
“Doesn’t the sky look green today?”


Where am I going?  The high rooks call:
“It’s awful fun to be born at all.”
Where am I going?  The ring-doves coo:
“We do have beautiful things to do.”


If you were a bird, and lived on high,
You’d lean on the wind when the wind came by,
You’d say to the wind when it took you away:
That’s where I wanted to go today!”


Where am I going?  I don’t quite know.
What does it matter where people go?
Down to the wood where the blue-bells grow-
Anywhere, anywhere, I don’t know.

~A.A. Milne















We went to a library book sale two weeks ago and I found a green, hardcover copy of When We Were Very Young, a sweet book of poetry by the wonderful A.A. Milne.  I was sitting on the couch reading through it the other day, when I came across this poem, and I thought it was precious.  It reminded me of all the countless walks I’ve gone on with my dear friends…my children…especially the little ones who have no idea “where we are going”, but they are so happy to go with Mama anywhere she takes them.  I took Seth on a walk on Monday and another on Tuesday.  These pictures are from his very first walks on his own two feet, as he is usually riding in the Ergo baby carrier.  I was so tickled by him and his explorations in the stream, at the pond, on the trail, and through the woods. 

Iridescent dragonflies flittered about, one landed briefly on the top of Seth’s head.  The wind was gently blowing warm, woodsy-perfumed air around us, and I could hear crows cawing to the left of us, up in the trees.  The stream is low and we need some rain, but Seth had such fun splashing in the nooks and crannies and climbing up on the rocks.  He collected pine cones, stirred with sticks, and threw some little stones, quite pleased to be free outside in God’s big beautiful world.

The hem of my skirt got wet in the stream as I sat on the perfect chair made for me, of one big rock.  I took pictures, I watched and smiled, I closed my eyes and breathed deep breaths in and out. 

On these hot summer days it doesn’t take long for a little boy’s wet sneakers to dry again, out in the sun, ready for tomorrow’s next adventure, “anywhere, anywhere, I don’t quite know.”


25 thoughts on ““we do have beautiful things to do”

  1. So wonderful to see his little head down…looking, looking. I could just see him splashing in the stream. This is such a dear post. I am blessed to see little Sethie exploring God’s wonderful world. So green there!!! LOL at the little bottom and pine cone shot.

  2. Shanda, I love your dreamylittle wonderland! So peaceful and rich with lovliness!
    Seth is adorable and growing to look just like the rest of the handsome boys that decorate your home.
    thanks for sharing~ Cinnamon

  3. I love it that Seth seems to almost always have a smile on his face. Happy children are very telling to the job you and your husband are doing in raising them. πŸ™‚ I so enjoy reading your blog posts.

  4. Tears, so many times there are tears in my eyes when I read your blog. That is one of my all time favorite books and poems. It always makes me cry. I am a granny again. My Julia had her baby boy late last night. (her fifth and my tenth grand)I miss you too. How sweet of you to say so. I see your baby girl, (congratulations love) and I think of my baby girl having another baby and the poem and the book rings even truer.I supposed I will blog again. I have been in a bit of a blue fog not wanting to share it with others.Thank you love.Hugs from where the afternoon thunderstorms and torrential rains make sitting on the back porch a sweet delight.

  5. Another Classic Post, my dear, sweet Shanda! I was thinking about you this morning and about your children. How very desperately the world needs families like yours — and children who enjoy being children. My heart is so full of tears today for all the children who can’t even comprehend β™«”Singin’ don’t worry, about a thing, ’cause every little thing’s gonna’ be alright . . . “β™« Not only because they have never experienced it, but because every little thing ISN’T gonna’ be alright. Ah, Shanda, you have a sacred trust, a holy job to do, and it comforts me exceedingly to see you doing it with joy. I know that seven children is a big job, but my son is working as a social worker in the bad parts of Philadelphia, and it is nothing for a woman there to have seven children, no husband, no resources, and not even any furniture — as well as being mentally ill– and the children are growing up without any loving care, no insights as to their needs or their personalities and potential. It breaks my heart! Sometimes it’s hard to know what is the best thing to do with things like that. There are too many “programs” and not enough personal involvement to effect true heart changes. I’m convinced, though, that God’s families need to be having more than one or two children, giving them security, loving them intensely, showing them the way to be responsible adults, and showing them the way home to Heaven. Not meaning to wax long on here, but it is truly a blessing to read your posts and see what is going on with one family who wants to do things God’s way. Love you!

  6. Impossible to pick a favorite picture in this wonderful post. I packed the A.A. Milne book to take with us, and I am hoping that with fewer books on our shelves, we will read all of them.

  7. I just smiled when I looked at all those great photos of Seth. He is growing up so fast and he is just too darn cute. I spent the day today on the rocks and in the water too but not with a little boy but with my 4 month old lab pup. She explored her heart out, just like Seth. πŸ™‚ Today she swam for the very first time. I feel blessed to live in an area like you do with nature all around. Have there been any new critters in the traps lately? I can’t wait to see what kind of critter will be caught next.

  8. He is so cute I can hardly stand it!!!Thank you for sharing such a wonderful poem and pictures. You may have a baby girl now, but you still have a baby boy! Seth is still such a sweet little tot!

  9. hi shanda………….this post is just too sweet!!!  and i smiled when i heard the “pretty little baby” music playing again.  love it.

  10. Pingback: walking and cooking | Good to be Home

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