oak, creek, moonrise

always feels good to wander out a little ways.

yesterday after i organized the children's section at the bookstore for a couple hours, darin picked me up. we brought along snacks and books and cameras and went down to magnolia ranch for a walk and a picnic.

it's a winter world of bare branches and dry grasses, but the sun was pouring down. i had to take off my tights and sweater as i sat soaking up the glorious sunshine. it actually felt like a summer day and sweat trickled down my arms.

darin went off for a run round the trail loop. he always has the funkiest running get-up dashed on last minute, and i loved his color combination of bright blue and light turquoise. but didn't realize till later, looking at these photos, that i was wearing the same?!

it is good to hide away in the quiet world far from traffic, roads, phones, beeps, people. 
i brought this book along, Journey into Motherhood, that offers journalling ideas for pregnant and new mamas. the writer's own journey is an interesting one: she got pregnant at 35 in central america while there teaching english. all i can gather about the father is that he was an italian traveler. she had not really expected to have children, and the pregnancy stirred up all kinds of beautiful and fascinating emotional responses. she wrote letters to her unborn child as he grew in her womb and she flowered into a mother. her son is named orlando and they now live in san francisco. anyway, i never really follow the prompts precisely, but let her thoughts spark my own and then follow mine into whatever territory i feel like wandering through: fears, memories, expectations, visions, dreams.
as i relaxed in the sun i had a wonderful experience: i found myself taking an inward journey through my whole life, back chronologically over each year, little by little, trying to remember tiny details that would bring clarity to each memory. i skipped back through these last couple years, a bear cub by our cabin, a walk up a mountain in july with my family, to my twenties, dance clubs and long walks and wine, to the year 2000 and camping in the cold with addie in oregon, to the nineties and my teen years, to citrus heights, 12 years old on a bike to 7-11, to escondido and the avocado grove and pomegranate tree, chicken farm and peacocks. 
i went back as far as i could, to earliest memories of warm yellow light, a crib, toys, my sister, laughter, sunshine.
i tried to go back even further, my own birth. it became more of a feeling than a thought, but i had a sweet light pink sensation and the word "free" in my mind. an image of my mother's beautiful face, probably borrowed from a photograph, but evocative nonetheless and powerful.

the day sparkled. the water of the creek ran happily out to meet the river. my cheeks became rosy with the sun.

on our walk back a pale sliver of moon had already risen. like a lady ghost mother watching over us.

darin made his own creative aperture for his lens that makes the focus soft and turns light into stars.
here he is in his own soft light.

this oak and scrub land is our home. there are orange trees dotting the hillsides, creeks and deer and rabbits and skunks all making their homes in these hills.
we have heard coyotes twice in our backyard now, even this close to town. their wild call startles even the deepest sleep because they are from another world.

"everything tries to be round," black elk says. "the power of the world always works in circles."

except for the ones of him, all photos taken by darin.

my outfit: dress and sweater, thrifted in utah. tights: target. earrings: gift from darin years ago. necklace, bought from a peddler years ago. mocs: thrifted in point reyes 2 years ago.


Joanne said…
big love to you for sending some sunshine and drowsy river reflections to me here in grey, frozen England.. thank you! my heart takes flight, and SPRING is coming! :D
Teeny said…
Hey lovely lovely...I've still got to email you, but I promise I will. My in-laws are over right now, so this is a sneaky sneaky internets break. How is it that you look glowy like all the books say you will? I'm sure I just looked sweaty. It's true, having children has enormous potential to make us better people. I had this exact conversation with my brother this morning...we try to be the best versions of us that we can be once the littles arrive in our lives. I think your mindful meander into your past was probably very cathartic and enlightening. I enjoyed reading your words, about those memories.. Oh to write as beautifully as you do. Much love sweets. xx
Teeny said…
And thank you also for the beautiful comment over on my space. I was worried I had been too emotional, and your words made me feel better about it. x
theequinebovine said…
love so much about this land, beauty and your pregnancy xoxo
NICE STEMS!i love that dress.
oh yes yes yes! what a beautiful day. you are dang sexy and i love the sparkling water. it's so wonderful that you are on this journey and writing about it! i'm squirming with excitement for and with you!!! xoxo
Anonymous said…
Looks like the perfect day and these photos makes me dream away!
Violet Folklore said…
Soooo sweet Heather, all of it. I love the hodgepodge of memories. What a beautiful place out there. I passed through Placerville for an hour yesterday, did Joey tell you?

You and Darin both look darling in blue & turquoise! :-)

I do so love watching that belly grow!
anne said…
what a perfect afternoon!

mo marie said…
Heather I love that beautiful blue dress you have and the jewelry you paired it with. The picture of the moon with the rolling dirt road below is awesome! And I can't believe the weather was that warm to take off the tights. All along our travels so far everyone is talking of the peculiar weather. I love all the seasons but it's always nice to have a sunshine day even in the winter. You're the cutest mom to be! : )
Celynne said…
You look so lovely! I envy you your bare legs, although it's even "warm" here in Ottawa. I switched my winter wool jacket for my leather jacket and a hoodie today. I like that you both wound up in blue. Great minds think alike eh?
Nicky said…
Sounds just right, sitting by the water in that cute sun dress (it looks like a nighty from anthropologie that I have too, though mine is in a coral color :D

The journaling sounds cool. I wrote a lot after becoming a Mama, thoughts about breastfeeding, each new thing they were doing, new words, pet names... It's so fun to look back on!
Happy Monday!
Missa said…
You in the creek in your watery blues, beautiful! That's so funny that you guys matched too, quite the team you are.

Your stream of memories was so lovely, thanks for letting us wander along :)

Has it started raining there too? So refreshing!
Anonymous said…
i think creeks and rivers are good for pregnant mamas, and i think pregnant mamas are good for the creeks and rivers. i remember my own trips to them when fern was a tadpole, and i had never felt so At One as i did on those occasions. you are all life force and light in these photos, with your soul swimming in waters and a little soul swimming in you. everything wants to be round...including that belly of yours! squeee!

as missa said, thank you for sharing your inner journey, beyond verbosity and thought. already i imagine you are creating the best perinatal memories for your sweety-to-be. lovely day, lovely woman, so full of love. xo
Elisheva said…
This post came as softly spoken as the aperture. So beautiful, I can feel the peace of the stream of flow and life and light in you. Your little one is having such a wonderful experience with you, and has waited till all was just right for you and this gorgeous moment you have described. This sounds like a great book. I imagine you have come across spiritual midwifery and the continuum concept, both old classics for pregnancy. I have passed both of mine along by now. But do have a few little bits in mind for you. I also have two friends pregnant here, One is a friend I played with as a kid, and we are still in touch, though on different wavelengths, she has reached out for my hand in this precious time, and I am sooooo glad.
Its miracle time, and Heather you are so aware, that I think the magic of it all will be so tangible for you.
Bright blessings xx
Crystal Lee said…
an enjoyable read and what a lovely stroll. You are so lucky to have all this in your backyard. I am loving both of your vibrant matching outfits. Such a hoot when that happens.
Milla said…
Oh, this post (which I must have missed during my long hiatus) just makes me so happy. Again and again I am amazed by how vibrant you are with life, how unencumbered with sorrow. Of course you should carry so much life in you that it spills over, that you can make more. I feel very lucky to know you, m'dear.

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