Friday, September 23, 2016

All is Well in Autumn

My blog has been in summer hibernation. It doesn't like the humidity. But on beautiful first-days-of-autumn like today, it is kindled by a dry warmth and a new light.

This morning as I walked Skye along a route I hadn't walked in a surprisingly long while, I was washed with a rare joy inspired by the air on my skin, the wildflowers along a pasture, and the sun reaching through leafy limbs on a woodland lane. 

Some of those leaves are turning.

In June our daughter, Tashi, graduated from high school. How is it that I didn't blog about that? 

Summer included a camping weekend on Loft Mountain . . .

A mother-daughter trip to New York City . . .

And the slight overwhelm of elder-care, a day job, family logistics, doula care, college prep, young-boy care . . .

It was a busy summer, a summer that lacked gardening, swimming, and a steady connection to mother earth. It was very simply that kind of summer—fleeting, with very little down time. I made the most of my weekly visits to the dog park.

Summer wrapped up well, with a foray to Lockn' where I saw Ween tear it up and Phish for the first time and Phil with the Infamous Stringdusters


I got to have a romantic night with Dan in the oppressive heat, sleeping in a makeshift blanket-fort in Zoksang's awesome shop, our kids joining us the next day for more music and dancing and shop-keeping.

No sooner did Tristan start second grade than we headed off for a week in Wisconsin, where we enjoyed family and friends and a cottage by a lake . . .

AND we dropped Tashi off for her Freshmen year at Lawrence University . . .

How is it that I didn't blog about that?

It was beautiful really. Bittersweet, of course. But just so exciting. She is in a good place, in great classes, and is just so happy. What more could we ask for?

We returned to our humble abode without Tashi, but to family, to friends, and to music. These are great themes in my life. I am blessed.

At night now, after we put Tristan to bed, Dan and I look at each other and say, "now what?" Our teenager isn't here to play Boggle with, or to binge watch some series with, to impart our love of David Bowie and Pink Floyd to, or to help with homework and conundrums. We are not wondering when she will begin that winding drive home from her various jobs, or from a night out with friends. We are not quietly wishing she would come out of her room and talk to us. 

She just isn't here.


Sometimes I walk into her room and simply stand there. Dust motes. Sheet music. So many books. Beautiful multi cultural wall decor. Her room is like a tiny exhibit: Chamber of a Well-Read Girl on the Brink of Womanhood. The pets follow me in and take seats variously. We all just gaze about. Breathe her in. And think good thoughts.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grateful May

What a sweet day. The sun was out. Like, ALL day. This has been a rare thing around here. May is the new April. Wet, grey, sweater weather. But not today. 

The first thing I did after work was go and watch the first grade play, Jack and his Comrades, an Irish version of the Bremen Town Musicians. It certainly was lively. And full of such very sweet songs.  Tristan was a donkey today.

After a celebratory ice cream cone on the downtown mall, we picked up Dan and Skye and went on an impromptu hike on O-Hill. Danskos are not ideal hiking shoes, so we kept it short, but it was still a delicious taste of mossy rocks, big trees, filtered sunlight, and exercise.

(all photos to follow were taken with my outdated cell phone)
After our romp we went to Moe's Barbecue for dinner, as I had won a gift certificate. It was tasty and there was an unexpected selection of special sides, like Albita beer bread, squash casserole, and tomato cucumber salad. The fresh Coleslaw was really good too. I went for the pulled pork, which was fresh and not full of fat. Dan had the fried catfish, quite breaded but really tasty as well.

Once we got home we continued our romp in the sweet weather. Skye will not rest until she spends some time in her creek, so Tristan and I wandered down there with her. It was a good opportunity to examine some of the new blooms around us.

These are a couple of pictures of Skye at our very favorite Chris Greene Lake Dog Park. 
We went the other day in another rare moment of sunshine. The lake was mirror still,
a stunning sight to behold.

While the gloomy weather has been difficult to endure, it sure makes one value the stretches of sun. I think we've had a very nutritious dose of precipitation, but may bright days of warmth take hold, calling us out into the verdant world and a playful season.

What do you do when the sun comes out?

Friday, May 13, 2016

may i have a moment?

my eye seeks beauty. but sometimes the darkness in my mind is a shade. sometimes my busy mind lacks focus. sometimes i see the beauty but move on so quickly that the bright moment slips away. i blog, snap photos, write poems to capture the fleeting moments of clarity. beautiful moments. profound moments. and troubling moments that give me pause. 

it is strange sometimes how long the scrim stays in place and i can't quite find the path to the words or focal points. the scrim itself can be beautiful. an intricate tapestry, fragile scarf, old worn bed sheet. in my landscape of sight and thought, even what is most difficult is most beautiful. the contrast of good and bad forces one to think. and the ability to think is a gift.

almost two months since my last blog entry i'm parting the scrim for a moment to consider the days — a boy turns seven. a shepherd is walked daily. spring break unfolds followed by a prom. more chemo for my mom. a college decision after lots of indecision. a craft fair, choir concert, spring carnival, art show, soccer game. a date or two with my love. his birthday. a birth series. some showers. cars broken and breaking. rain. rain. and more rain. spring cleaning. sore throats. sneezes. taking care. care taking. and a job that is still so new. lots of preoccupation. not much meditation. an impending graduation. and the arrival of babies who populate the universe with blossoms. 

i am always so happy when i'm given the gift of a slow day. i can watch the birds. go on a long walk. see insects rise from flowers. think about the long term. and capture those sharp, bright, clear moments. i'm so happy that today, the rain came. the rain went. and the sun finally appeared and affirmed that the light, in fact, does return.