Who’s yo’ mama?

Posted by on 07.11.08 | 15 Comments
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This is the 5th and almost last of the series in the ‘where’s home’ exercise. My personal post about ‘where’s home?’ is still being born, and will take its first breath after I hear from y’all. This post is the compilation of finalists’ entries. You are invited…no, urged… to comment letting us know which entry is your favorite, and if you please, a little about why it touched you.

The purpose of this exercise is to engage us in a dialogue about ‘home’–not necessarily an intellectual debate but a kinesthetic and/or feeling connection. Please engage with us about this topic. A short comment about any of the following stunning submissions–or possibly one of the submissions that I didn’t arbitrarily choose actually spoke to you more clearly– to help you speak your heart-mind about home…that’s what we’re up to here.

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Patti Digh’s Asheville, NC backyard full of mysterious wysteria…

A quote from Dave Pollard’s thoughtful submission on this topic says: Home is the place that realizes these three ‘existentials’: It is where one can be what one is good at being, where one can be what one loves being, and where one can be what one is needed to be. The ducklings… studied so carefully by biologist Bernd Heinrich, will know their home instinctively, even though it will change (from wetland to meadow to tundra, in cycles) many times throughout their lives. Each time they will migrate home as precisely and unhesitantly as a guided missile. They know where is home, for them.

As we ‘migrate home’, let’s talk about this instinct that is like a guided missile…many of the ills of our world is because the deep knowing of place and rootedness has been disrupted, dishonored, destroyed. In this exercise we’re trying to do our one small part to acknowledge our dependence on knowing where our nurturance comes from, in other words, ‘who’s our mama’.

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Photo taken at Beit Jala, West Bank
flickr:
Whirlingdervish

With great gratitude to all who submitted, here are the finalists for the ‘where’s home?’ contest/exercise:

Barb Torke, Cedaredge, Colorado

I have two homes now. The town home is the gallery, where the tiny bungalow kept me safe while I waited for an age without sight. That time hasn’t come—yet, but I found that ‘home’ where I had friends, work, and a house. The home I treasured let the moonlight in, kept the cold out, and pushed the underground creek up into the cat tails by the shed. In town, near everything I needed, it made promises it has kept. Now I wander in the garden, pull a few weeds, and feel at home. I work in the studio. Doing my art is home. I teach classes. The classroom is home.

Yet I sleep in my home on Cedar Mesa. I pull weeds here, too. I fight an eternal war with grasshoppers and gnats for my pretties—my iris, my yarrow, my dianthus—my home. Many times I feel the breeze—or the wind—smell the lilacs, and touch the lamb’s ear. Here I listen to the wind sough through the pines, and listen to my lover’s voice. My life has always been so full of sight. Now I have a home that offers up the music of wind chimes and brass bells, the scent of sagebrush and pine sap. Here I sense music and aroma, touch rough bark and moving grasses, have a good stove, taste wine and herbs, see the San Juans, the mesa, the Uncompahgre plateau—a cacophony for all the senses.

I slip from world to world with these two homes. Homes I have lived with all hold indelible fondness for me. I remember Goodrich. I grew up in a big house on 160 acres. Where was my home there? In the house where we slept in the basement to keep cool in the summers? In the front room where my father slept in the afternoons after irrigating the fields during the night? Was it the fields of alfalfa or the meandering ‘ditch’ of seep water that passed through to the South Platte? I sometimes think it was and is all in my head and heart, even now.

As then I now see home as a large area of land. Home is a responsibility, much the same as the responsibility I take for my health, and my children. Recycle, grow organic, buy local, all these are responsibilities I take under my management. Yet I slip into the cocoon of home that sits below my breast bone. The home that holds a heart and lungs and mind is the micro-home. The macro-home is where I drift, remembering to brush my teeth, pay my bills, and endure. It can be anywhere. A sleeping bag on the mesa is a short term home. Cirque Soleil is a home the entertainers have built. Tai chi in the town park is home.

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Rifle Falls Campground, Western Colorado

It is not easy being at home anywhere. Security was always my bugaboo, not only a secure place for me, but for my family. I struggle with relationships with people. Community disguises itself in control. Finding home in the community can lead us into guilt and shame, if we ask it too.

Hope and dependency make me scattered. I need a home that is now, here, where I can’t hope for anything better. Then it becomes a choice.

A rocking chair is constructed for dependence, and independence. Both are necessary to free the legs to move forward, and back. We depend on this. I will be dependent at some time. Now I will search the wind sounds, and the bee’s hum, for a dependence bundled inside independence. Independence is learned, recognized, honored, and coveted. My grandchildren now wrestle with home, and finding their home—in themselves and the world, like me, like everyone.

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Home Tombow

I can depend on the world to move me through it on this journey. I will do it with as much independence as I can muster, choosing to live in the home I inhabit at any one time, and keeping the micro-home under my bony skeleton, stringy muscle, and inside these viscous fluids, safe and nurtured.

Jena Strong, Burlington, Vermont

Late last night, the cat got herself all tangled up in a plastic shopping bag. She was completely panicked and thrashing about, but all we could hear were inexplicable thuds and crashes coming from the basement. Greg went down and saw what was happening, removed the butchered bag from around her paws, and watched her take off for upstairs, seemingly traumatized.

Pearl, too, did some thrashing this morning. I was attempting to change her diaper and get her dressed on my bed, where it seems most everything in our house happens (or doesn’t happen, as the case may have been on a recent late-night near-miss occasion when a certain small person appeared in the darkness at an inopportune moment), and she was having none of it.

Instead, she was writhing, twisting, squirming and screaming, as I stubbornly wrestled and struggled and battled and fought with her determined little package.
Then she used a word. She used a word and she told me what she wanted.

“NAKED! NAKED! NAKED!”

“Oh, you want to be naked, Pearlie? OK. You can be naked.”

And I tell you, her demeanor changed instantly. She stopped yelling. She stopped wriggling. She stopped resisting. And then she said, “Dressed, Mama,” lying there compliantly and waiting for me to put on her diaper and clothes.
Oh, to be able to say what we want. And to be acknowledged, seen, and given permission to be exactly where we are, as we are, how we are, what we are, without demand or expectation; these change everything. Quite suddenly, we find ourselves yielding, considering the other side. We open. We soften. We exchange. We change.

Somehow old news like this becomes profound and simple and enlightening when the messenger is so new.
Motherhood: One minute I’m negotiating a midnight standoff with a 40-pound bed hijacker, and the next a two-year-old is teaching me the heart and soul and blood and bones of conflict resolution.
Today, our eight-year anniversary of moving to Burlington, Greg and I met up at noon and walked down to Waterfront Park. We walked slowly. We had planned on taking a lunchtime yoga class, but even that felt like a “should” when really what we needed was to do nothing together. So we walked on the bike path along the lake, we sat on a swinging bench and rocked, the cool air reminding us that spring is a long-time-coming in these parts, these parts that have become home, these parts where our babies were born, where we were in some ways born again, too.

Born again? Yes, me. Yes, him. We were not fully ourselves yet eight years ago, and yet we were as fully ourselves as we could have been on that May Day in 2000. Today, we are also as real, as complete, as ourselves as we know how to be. But I wonder, I am so curious to know, what will the next eight years hold? What will I look back on in 2016 (?!) and see as self-evident? It’s like a story I can’t wait to keep reading. Or writing.

My friend and inspirer Jennifer sent me a YouTube video last weekend of Steve Jobs giving a graduation speech at Stanford a few years ago. He spoke eloquently about connecting the dots, and how we can only do this looking back in time, not forward. We look back, and we see; we see the way the decisions fell into each other like nesting dolls, we see friendships we forged and others forgotten. My God, if I’m not careful, this post is going to become a graduation speech.

But looking ahead, we don’t know. All we can do is be here, be aware, be awake to whatever is happening. And what’s happening is that we are beginning to think about getting our bed back. We’re marveling at the ways in which our kids are our teachers. We’re emptying the dishwasher and we’re loading the dishwasher and we’re emptying our minds and we’re loading up on faith, yet again, that things are as they should be, that everything’s going to “work out” just fine if we keep going towards the light, keep coming out from beneath the shadows of fear and separation and judgment, keep knowing the Universe loves us, just freakin’ loves us so much just as we love the children who weren’t yet born, not even conceived, eight years ago.

This is all. This is where I am. This is where we are, walking together by the water, looking out at the soft grays so inviting over the mountains, feeling grateful, swinging on a bench, faces facing the strengthening sun, soaking it up, soaking it in, giving over to the dot we’re in now, that which envelopes us, delivering news old and new this very moment, and this one, and this one, and this.

Adele Schmalenberger
Ojai, California

In 1980 my parents sold their house, our home, my home. I sat in the yard with my cat in my lap and said to him to take a long look as it was to be ours no more. It was a perfect day with the sun shining merrily in its big blue home. But back on the ground, in the chair, with the cat, I was losing my first and only home.

I was 29 at the time and married to my high school sweet heart. But I see now that I had not transferred my sense of home to our house. And even now at 56, married to my second husband and father of my son, I find that I am still homeless. Oh to be sure there is a house, a yard, a chair and a cat.

But where are the rituals and the secret places? My husband has no special drawer in which he keeps the mementos of his life as my father did. There is no sewing machine in the hall available for all kinds of frippery and repairs. Ancestors do not peer from the walls. No board games are played in the living room to while away the Sunday hours accompanied by laughter and hot chocolate.

And then there were the wild places where I held court with the horny toads, king snakes, road runners and quail. Lizards and blue jays were my companions as living in the boonies meant one had to be content with the creatures, great and small, which passed through my homeland.

High in the branches of avocado and pepper trees I made castles in the sky while the bushes of the Chaparral served as forts and lairs and hidey-holes. These were my first attempts at home building. Clearly the desire was there to create, so why have I only ever since lived in houses and not a home?

My mother was the Queen of all she surveyed in that first home of mine. She has gone on to be the Queen of the all the other homes she has ruled as well. But I have only been the Queen of my Chaparral forts and pepper tree castles.

It is time now to plant my flag and declare that I am not just the laundress, cook, maid, gardener, bookkeeper, decorator and bottle-washer, but the Queen of her domain, her home. Since the King is in his counting house night and day while the not-so-young Prince only leaves his internet realm to eat, the cat and I are free to create what we will.

I wonder how long it will be before they notice my crown.

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Bill Ellis, Spokane, Washington

When the contest was announced I was immediately drawn to it because even after almost two years I still miss Bend (Oregon) and the people there very much. As I began to ponder how to write about the place I miss so much I realized that Bend is not sufficient by itself to evoke the essence of home to me. Having lived in seven different places in six different counties over a forty-five year time span I discovered that home for me is Oregon, all of it. So here goes. (With some channeling of James Joyce)

Home is the numbfootmaking cold of the Pacific at Newport, and the honey sweetened tea of the Sylvia Beach Hotel where a good book is only for those moments when I leave off staring at the oh-so-breathtaking storm outside.

Home is saddle between the North and Middle Sister where I once watched the cumulous clouds try ever-so-hard to sweep over the rime coated Cascade summits, and those women wouldn’t let them, for they were enjoying the beautiful sunny day down in Bend, and I knew then that mountains can love the weather too.

Home is Little Hyatt Lake where two teenaged boys caught small trout, told big stories, and wished, and wished and wished for what could not be, but it did not matter because life had bestowed a moment when adolescent fantasies caused no pain and existence was as smooth as the windless water surface of the lake.

Home is Powell’s, right there on Burnside, where time is measured not in hours but in the number of books browsed, and you know you have had a wonderful day even if you don’t buy a single one, and where reading the people is just as fun as reading books anyway.

Home is Autzen stadium where for a few days each Fall I get to wear yellow and green, and care so passionately about a children’s game, and even get to be that child again who had real heroes, so that once upon a time becomes right now.

Home is the cemetery at Cove, a tiny town outside of La Grande, where they still have real gravestones which tell the story of great love, great grief, great hopes and achievements, where the care given to the dead proves how much they value life.

Home is the straight road stretch of I-80 out of Arlington, and the gas station at Boardman that has the two little restaurants right next to it, and the school where my dog Gabby gets to stretch her Corgi tiny legs after being in the car for a few hours, and feel so good and free in the grass.

Home is Austin Junction right where it meets highway seven and you go down the winding road to Baker City, always deer watchful and ready to slow down so that both you and the deer get to where you want to go.

Home is Crater Lake in May when one day the fog was so thick that I couldn’t see the water, but it didn’t matter because the view of the fog in the caldera was so rich and rare and I knew I would never see this again; what a blessing.

Home is a thousand places I have been between the Ocean and the Snake, between the Columbia and the California border, but it is all one place: Oregon, where forever I will have a home, forever be home, and forever know what home truly is.

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Southwestern Oregon river image by Rozy Arno

Maria Hodkins, Paonia, Colorado

Home…

The home fires are burning, burning, where my heart is, where my hum is, where my head lies at rest on my pillow in the tired night…home is my solace from the small, occasionally cruel, disheartening workaday world of politics and territory. It’s a place to stumble in the dark without hurting myself. Home is where I hang my things like old calico prints on the walls of my heart. My pots and pans surround me like sherpas, nodding when the pot rack swings to the demands of my cooking. My spice jars escort me in my magic caravan of the kitchen; their exotic aromas letting me travel with all the comforts of home. My earrings dangle on a board, whispering of stones, and tribes, and epochs within my grasp. My writer’s bulletin board burgeons with quotes and images, coaxing me, soothing me with the Wise Ones’ voices. My cherished art hangs on the wall, embalmed under glass, from the sweet hands of my sons and my own raw endeavors in the field. My things are my icons; my home is my temple–for performing the rituals of place. It is a place for flowers, candles, music, for sautéing garlic and onions, for feasting on food and life-talk. My home is soft, vibrant, colorful, textural, with a tasteful disorder, and every corner is a mother hovering over her brood of raw materials for creating.

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Tania Crawford, Tumalo, Oregon

My Mom used to be able to talk…that was years ago, before the “Parkinson’s-like syndrome” robbed her of that ability.
When I was 25 and going through a terrible divorce, she told me the story of how, when I was a small child, she caught me crying in the corner of my room. She said through the sobs the only thing she could make out were the words “Mommy, I just want to go home”. She said her words, “Honey, you ARE home”, only made me cry harder.

I had no memory of that time but as soon as she told me the story, an enormous sense of relief came over me. There had been this aching, unidentifiable hole inside me for as long as I could remember. Until I heard this story, I just thought I was somehow faulty — somehow “not good enough”. Finally, though, this feeling of being an outsider in a town where I was fifth generation, this ‘I have to be incredibly busy or else my thoughts will eat me’ revealed itself…it was simply the longing for home. Naming it, however, didn’t necessarily mean changing it.

Years passed and the behaviors I had developed to compensate for feeling disconnected from home continued to dominate my life. There were all sorts of bad relationships, abusive jobs, friends who used me and whom I used until one day, I’d had enough. I quit. Just like that. I still didn’t have a clue where home was. I had just grown completely weary of looking for it in all the wrong places.

My initial response was to get in the car and go looking for it. I had no idea where I was going, what I was going to do or how long I’d be gone. I just had to go. I ended-up in a place called Butler Wash in Southern Utah. My first night there happened to be Friday, May 13th. I was sitting on a red butte doing nothing more than breathing when the biggest, brightest moon began rising and, all of a sudden, Home found me. The awe of the moment broke through the illusion of separateness. As the moon’s enormous shadow reached me, I became part of the rocks, the stars, the air, the wonder…in that moment, there was truly only ‘One’. I had just experienced the place I was crying for as a child and I was forever changed.

Since that fateful night, I’ve had other wonderful experiences of Home. Like the time I was floating naked in a natural hot spring. Every atom of my being had let go into total relaxation. The door to home once again opened and this time I was graced by getting to stay for more than just a single exhale. This time, time stopped and hours could have been moments and moments might have been hours.

Naming and knowing my true home has brought me closer to my home on the planet…the one I experience from inside my skin and from inside my everyday life. It’s the home from which I inhabit the moments of THIS life. It’s the home that feeds me daily and the home that is only experienced from a place of acceptance — acceptance, first and foremost, of my own being.

These days, I wake up at home and fall asleep at home and carry home with me where ever I go. There are those beautiful flickers in time though where the realization of home is so very acute. Like the other night when I was playing with my old dog and loving her so much, I wept. And, the time two months ago, when I was sitting in front of the fire journaling about how sad it is that Spring is coming. The next think I knew, my hand had written a short poem on the yellow-lined paper: “Winter is when the mystery is most alive…it dances in the flames of fires, swirls in the juiciness of Zinfandels, floats on the edges of snowflakes and wakes up slowly to January sunrises.”

I find home so often in my utter appreciation of the “little things”. Red-leaf lettuce from my garden. My boyfriend making a silly joke. Cutting across my own reflection on my water-ski. The sound of the hand-tuned wind chimes outside my bedroom window. A voice mail from my five year old nephew. An uncensored conversation with a dear friend. I know I’m home when I’m present enough to truly cherish the things that are so easy to miss in a distracted life.

Through the years of cultivating home, I have discovered the importance of connection — connection to myself, to another, to Mother/Father God. The transformative, ‘capital H’ Home always seems closest when I’m in communion with all three simultaneously.

Even though that’s still somewhat rare, the ‘small h’ home fills the longing I used to know so well. It’s the knowing where home is and the tending to life there that colors my life with authenticity, that makes all the conditions of my life okay and that makes ordinary extraordinary.
My search for home can be summarized with the words I wrote that glorious night when Home first found me:

I sit in the shadow of the rising moon….
Wondering….
What would my life be like I had never denied, disowned, or disconnected from any part of myself, my body or my spirit?
If I had never felt the shame of being human, if I had never identified with unlovable and unworthy and if I had never worshiped at the altar of my ego.
If I recognized my shadow and all of its secrets as sacred and had embraced the darkness with love?
What would my life be like then?

Now, almost twenty years later, I’m beginning to be able to answer that question: I would always be Home.

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Red rocks of Utah and the McKenzie River in Central Oregon

Michelle Meech, Bend, Oregon

Impressions of Home

I see the snow-capped peaks from the plane. My study of them enables me to know exactly where it is from 30,000 ft. Even though I’m just passing by, the mountains are enough to make my heart leap in greeting.

I hear the notes of Michael Hedges’ guitar. My heart expands as I lay on my bed, my head rolls to look out the window to see the cherry blossoms against the bright blue springtime sky.

I’m sitting across the table from my friend during lunch, chatting about things that are close to our hearts with an ease that flows from the center of my being. There is no rush and no expectations. His eyes are good at smiling.

I locate myself in the music, this flowing, lyrical, melodic, waltzing rhythm that moves my body for me. My mind is just along for the ride as my limbs, my torso, my hips express this immediate moment in its response to God.

I sit looking at the computer screen, feeling the anxiety/irritation/disdain begin their subtle climb up my spine, the stink starting to infect my brain. Something whispers ‘breathe’ and I respond with a deep intake. My vision widens, my capacity expands and my belly shifts as my feet feel the ground again.

Marching in ordinary time along the green ribbon, I patiently await the blue season of expectation when the birth happens again and again. The liturgical cycle spirals me through my work and the flashing neon sign of Christ says, “Always open.”

Her garden breathes all the fragrant color of her soul. I’m savoring her spinach lasagna and her wise belly presence. Her heart is my heart is.

From somewhere in my sleep, I hear a gentle, rolling melody sing, “No matter which road you take from here, all roads will lead you home.” And then Souxsie and the Banshees ask Prudence to come out and play. An impish grin.

The invitation is always there to dive completely in with the giggling, gracious, unexpectant heart sister-home-womb-house. Liminal-space thoughts speak directly from our souls at the oddest hours.

Kneeling before the cross on Good Friday, I feel God’s call to give myself up again. I weep in the overwhelming example of Christ to give up absolutely everything he took himself to be. I am humble and raw.

I walk by the dying, dry pine tree and even in this marine climate, I smell the dry trails that rest along my river. I breathe in deeply everytime I pass it and for a second, I hear the pounding rush of her waters.

I stand there, hands on hips… pissed about whatever it is that I think is stopping me and tripping me up when I try to move. My anger directed at the very core of who I am. I’m tired and my body is too heavy to be moving like this. I feel the audible click of the paradigm shift and suddenly everything is perfect. My belly rests into the flow.

A lush, soft circle of pillows sits underneath the seats of shining hearts. These voices sing to Shiva the Destroyer, to Krishna the Protector, to Rama Sita the Both-And of God. A Bhakti-Bliss milkshake.

I look up from my computer screen and see the small painting that reminds me of the quiet wind as the golden hills shift their mood and the black eyes of the susans, lined up along the side of the road, patiently watch the speeding car parade.

Her sing-song voice of unconditional love… his impish, enthusiastic exclamations of laughter… her sweet, worldly kindness and care… his quiet, immense, hugging hospitality… her profound faith in the goodness of all people… his shyly intense engagement… all these hearts doing their work. I’m humbled in their presence.

The circle shares the pieces of itself like a pie might if it laughed and cried and sang and sat in silent reverence for the heart expressions of all those sweet-toothed seekers.

My body moves through its own preventative measures. My soul opens up and I see so much beauty that it overflows through me… absolutely and unapologetically abundant. And I know Adyashanti is right… “Love was never meant to be contained.”

This christ

This fire, this song

This bend in the river

This garden, this house

These beating hearts, oh these gorgeous-red-messy hearts

This breath

This dance

This home.

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Terri Good, Buffalo, New York

Home is where I am at, in this moment in time.

It can be a peaceful, quiet, and contemplative.

It can be stressful, crazy, and with too much to do in this consumer world of do, do, do.

Home is where I am at, because I have learned that there is good and beauty in every place.

I only have to remind myself that home is where I make it, to give thanks for what I have, that I am blessed for all that surrounds me.

No matter where I am, no matter the time or circumstances.

Home is where I make it.

Aegina Greece

Rita Clagett, Crawford, Colorado

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House-made-home

Something is happening to me. After living in the boonies for fifteen years I’m changing. The other day I pulled up to the county road at the top of my driveway and an SUV stopped in the curve of the dirt road, a man jumped out and came toward my car. Years ago I’d have been nervous, irritated that he’d stopped in a blind curve, fearful he meant harm. Instead I smiled and waved, and he asked if this was the way to the National Park.

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How many cats can you get on one windowsill?

Yesterday I found myself at the Book Brigade, standing in a line with 54 other people in the hot sun of the first day of summer, slinging boxes of books down the line from the door of the old library across the parking lot to the door of the new library. On one side of me were two ebullient Evangelical ladies, one waving her arms over her head crying “Let the angels be with them, let the angels be with them, by Jesus’ will!” after the other had told us her children were driving through a tornado zone. On the other side of me was a sullen teenage boy whose feet seemed glued to the gravel, forcing me and the Republican woman on the other side of him to each take a few steps to pass the boxes. “Take a step!” I finally sang to him as the rest of us swung with the music. He did, he smiled. I had a terrific time.

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Catahoola Leopard Hounds peering into the canyon on my property

A few months ago I was out of town, where home used to be, where I grew up, and I needed to get some money to my friend Suzi to pay my bills. It couldn’t have been simpler. I called the bank, asked the teller to transfer money from my account to Suzi’s, and it was done. No security checks, no passwords, I didn’t even know Suzi’s account number, just gave her name. “Sure, Rita,” said the teller, “no problem.” This week I needed to drive to the city for an unexpected doctor visit, which I mentioned to a friend across the valley who’d happened to call. I hadn’t seen her in years, and she volunteered to ride along.

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A juniper snag version of a hot tin roof

Though grasshoppers have once again decimated my vegetable crop, the flowers bloom profusely in the garden, and tiger swallowtails flit through the blooms and scents with a variety of bees. I have spent months pulling weeds. Friends come over each week bearing food and enjoy the house and yard I have built from clay and seeds. All these are reasons that living here has come to be comfortable, to be home.

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More reasons, and deeper, lie in the forest where I built my house. This morning I wore my reading glasses on top of my head to walk the dogs, so that when I passed the hummingbird nest I could peer inside and see the babies as more than the pea-sized blobs they were the other day when they hatched. A couple of weeks ago I paused in my walk to sit in one of the lawn chairs I scattered through the woods years ago, and as I sat I became aware of a hummingbird zipping nervously about in the tree across the path from me. With that dawning awareness that imparts certainty I knew she had a nest nearby; I slowly turned my head, and right there, a foot from my face, was her little plastered nest suspended from a limb. For days I saw eggs when I peeked in in passing, then finally tiny balls of life. This morning, little, I mean little, gaping mouths, silently squawking for food.

The day before that, the dogs spooked a nighthawk off the ground under a juniper near the far turn in our morning loop. Something about the way it flew, almost upright at first, caused me to investigate, and there, not in a nest or even a depression, but right out on the forest floor, lay two speckled eggs the size of my thumb’s first joint. Rounding the loop at the canyon rim, I paused to offer thanks at the Ancient One, a thousand-year-old juniper that has stood watch over the place I call home for a hundred human generations. Thanks for the sighting of new, wild life, thanks for my health, thanks for my friends, thanks for the fertile, friendly ground of my community in which I have planted my roots and at last begun to bloom; thanks for my home.

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West Elk Mountains at sunrise. Same mountains during early autumn. Looking down at Needle Rock.

Special thanks to Patti Digh, Dave Pollard, Carl McColman, Julia Harris, Karen Crone, Gayle Roberts, Ella Moss and any others who posted a link or article to their blogs to help promote this exercise.

Now…who’s yo’ mama? Inviting your comments on any of the above entries, or others that you liked in the series…

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