Wednesday, March 26, 2014

i will be the gladdest thing under the sun

when spring comes, life explodes with poetry.
it's funny, in march and april i love to read edna st.vincent millay, t.s. eliot, the romantics like coleridge and wordsworth and keats, whitman, and some contemporary poets too, like sharon doubiago. i think it harkens back to the year i was studying for my graduate exam, reading feverishly in the midst of a very busy social life. absorbing poetry and literature, then breathing it out through my skin. i've said it before, and it rings true every year:
poetry fills the springtime.

i wish i had a poetry reading group that met every vernal equinox. read poetry together to our hearts' content, if only for that one meticulously balanced day.

we celebrated the beginning of spring with a little picnic in sutter creek. 

Afternoon on a Hill

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.

I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes.
Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.

And when the lights begin to show
Up from the town,
I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down.

- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, March 15, 2014

remedy. an offering.

recently our community has seen some troubled times.

a young local musician, broughty cole, diappeared on monday night, march 3. he was in sacramento and supposed to be driving to nevada city to play a gig with his band, but never arrived. he became the focus of an enormous search and rescue effort by friends and family and eventually his car was found by the marina in sacramento. yesterday a body was found in the river near there; last night everyone's worst fears were realized: it was confirmed to be Broughty.

i know his mother and sister well and my heart breaks for them, for his brother, and for everyone involved. throughout the search and now, i have felt the pain of this deep in the tissues and marrows of my body. i think my sensitivity is heightened because i'm a mother myself now.the tragedies of life hit me harder and make me feel intensely protective. not only that but my imagination runs wild and the idea of that marina, the homeless camps along the river, the deep underbrush and thorny embankments, the sketchy things that go on along bike trails, the river itself, so powerful and deep, and the way that strangers come together both light and dark. i lay there at night with my babies close by and want to hold them in my arms and never let them go. it is scary to love this big. and to love so deeply in this big scary world. and to know that to grow is good, and to experience life makes it richer, so i can't just hold them in my arms forever. it is heart wrenching.

it's always most beautiful just after rain. lucy splashed in puddles for the first time. i laughed even as she dirtied her new shoes nana got her. she wants to walk up and down our hill all day, plopping stones into tiny pools of water, marveling over feathers and daffodils, looking for deer and squirrels and hopping clumsily over bumps.

before the rains, two merry bushtits spent weeks making a cool hanging nest in a plum tree out back, with its entrance hole toward the top, insulated and strung together with some wild yarn thick and strong of dust and fiber. they would shake the little sack from inside out, working away, and i waited to see baby birds emerge. but instead, the winds and rain came and the little mama and daddy bird abandoned that nest, now it hangs in a dreadful ruin. lucy has been extremely observant of this whole process and now knows that they have moved, and that the nest will fall from the tree eventually, and new babies will be born elsewhere. this all concerns her very much and (in her funny pidgin way) tells the story again and again.

other things have happened too. a fatal housefire that claimed the lives of two women, strong in the community, friends of friends, which later turned out to be a murder-suicide. a break up of a relationship that seemed like a lifelong partnership. the missing plane. sicknesses that drag on and on. isolation. anxiety.

but also, so much love. so much hope. it's all i can allow to fill my heart: love, hope, and a cheer that might seem tinged with desperation. and yet i feel it all truly, a wild cheer that comes from days full of babies and their pure delight. because even amongst all that darkness, there is so much light. and i'm talking about new babies everywhere. hope. promise. something big, something sweet, something new. creation. there are lots of new babies.

your children are not your children
they are the sons and the daughters of life's longing for itself. 
they come through you but they are not from you
and though they are with you they belong not to you.....

Thursday, March 6, 2014

drink the wild air

now that a thunderstorm has brewed up tonight, and my baby fell asleep nursing, i am finally going to post about a little outdoor adventure we took a week and a half ago. (then we all got sick and we are finally crawling out of the muck of it. actually, both babies did fine... just little signs here and there that they might be fighting it off. but darin and i, well. we were in hell.) 

i almost forget how to blog. i know that i want to write thoughts i've had or ideas or start discussions but at this point i'm just making memories and then recording them i for my own perusal down the line. right now it's all i can muster and i'm ok with that. i promise to offer readers something more substantial....someday....

you probably heard about the terrible drought in california. or you live here and aint no way you've missed it. anyway we finally got some lovely much-needed rain over the last few weeks and our landscape is refreshed and finally kind of turning green. everything is vivid after rain and we could use a whole lot more of it. as this thunder crashes outside tonight i can hear our rain gutters spilling over and splashing and it is pure music to my ears.

in any case, we headed down to coloma on one of darin's days off to eat a late breakfast at our new favorite place and to hike down to the river and enjoy our little spot in the luminous california hills. 

we walked around the park and explored the ruins of the old goldminers' jail.


later at greenwood creek the waters were rushing to meet up with the languid american river. i have this little song i sing to toot, (i think it's an old girl scout song a friend once taught me) "the river she is flowing, flowing and growing, the river she is flowing down to the sea. Mother carry me, child I will always be. Mother carry me down to the sea." She grows quiet when I sing it and although it is not a favorite or a much-demanded tune she seems to reflect on it and it soothes her. we are water signs after all, she and i.

she could stay all day. perhaps a budding geologist, she loves rocks, the colors and shapes and textures of them, and throws them in with gusto. at any given moment on ordinary days if she's grumpy i can talk to her about the river and throwing rocks and she fills up with merriment and excitement.

blossoming independence, feisty and determined she can be....she wants to walk by herself, taking her sweet time. we knew naptime had already come and gone so darin had to carry her parts of the way. she was none too pleased.

she wanted to take off her tights and boots and wade in the water. surprised at first, she was very brave about the shocking cold of the water and the ice cold slippery rock surfaces. and of course, never wanted to get her shoes back on.

this little twink woke up just in time to enjoy some later afternoon sun on the sand and a nice nursey.

it is good to feel the sand on your toes and to show the places you love to your own babies as they grow. the  time outdoors, the sunshine and the clouds and the water flowing: the whole day left us glowing.

i can't wait to go back.
now that we've boosted our immunity, that rain won't deter us long. i plan to take tootie puddle jumping tomorrow.
hope you are all enjoying some fine adventures.