Irish Hot Cross Buns

In an Irish Home

There’s a book I own that sits on the nightstand near my bed…one my mother gave to me when I was a child. The binding is tattered and the corners are torn, but I never mind that…the book means the world to me.

Hot Cross Buns Image 1

Behind the faded cover is a collection of poems known as Mother Goose Rhymes and one of my favourites is called Hot Cross Buns. Of course you know the poem:

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns.

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

In my youth and innocence, I had no idea what a hot cross bun was: I’d never seen one, let alone tasted one. Looking back, I’m not even sure I knew what a “bun” was. In America a bun is an updo-hairstyle…

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meeting john muir


“The mountains are calling and I must go”

What a moment. Could you imagine… crossing paths with John Muir on a hike one average, quiet day on our way to a grandmother Juniper tree on a butte?

Our lil’ homeschool group meets on Fridays for “forest school”. Perhaps you remember I’ve spoken of our forest fridays here before. We meet somewhere in nature, for a hike, for a play-day, for communion amongst the trees. Well, it just so happens that Mr. John Muir himself stumbled across us along our hike today–arranged by one of our mamas. A historian who told beautiful stories of the man from Scotland, immigrated to Wisconsin, homeschool educated himself and grown to appreciate nature, courageously explore lands, dream and work marvels in history that ultimately preserved such beauty.

His life is such a monument.

But here we are in this modern day. And an actor-historian arranged to cross our paths. Magic woke up here. Under the trees.

Mr. Muir asked about our group, we said we were home-schooled. He asked what we were doing out there. The children replied…”schooling, hiking, playing, learning, having fun”… I smiled inside when Mr. Muir said “what are you talking about? Schooling in the forest?” and our children responded “yes” like it’s a totally normal thing. Which of course it is for them. For these children, school=play=adventure=learning=loving=being. All one in the same. There was no difference and that indeed was a beautiful moment. Mr. Muir began his story telling by asking the children to close their eyes and listen to the music of the wind in the trees. I took a deep breath. I heard the music. Of the wind. Through the trees. I breathed.


It is easy in the chaos of life to sometimes forget that stepping outside, bending over, picking up a fallen soft leaf, a simple nothing movement, is communion with God. When times feel lonely, when times feel separate, when sadness and grief moves in, the communion comes steadily breathing in and out. In verse. In rhyme. In breath. In a walk, a hike, in the music of the wind. In nothing more than simply showing up, making the hike and breathing in and out. The magic might so happen to just step out somewhere along the trail.


thoughts on power

“You can blame whoever you like for your problems, but that blame is like a big roadblock keeping you from the confidence you need to move forward. It keeps us from believing in ourselves because it hands over power to someone or something outside ourselves…Be on guard against blame”.

Chris Irwin   “Horses Don’t Lie”