Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pollen, Bee and Tree

I watch buds swell then open and along comes the bee and pollinates the tree. This little tree just behind our home gives us an amazing amount of apples. We share them with family members who look forward to their crisp, sweetness every year in early fall. We've seen deer come at dusk and eat the apples from the tree. We quietly watch them and take pleasure in their pleasure. There is enough apples to share. Later, when the apples are becoming riper so that we choose to leave some, the starlings descend and enjoy. Then after the apple falls to the ground and sometimes even before the yellow jackets are busy about them. I think they like eating rotten things. She is a beautiful tree so dainty.
Watched Night of the Iguana tonight. Fantastic film!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Mozart, Cecily and Mrs B.

I closed the shade on my window; released the string that holds in place the thin bamboo woven window cover. I can't remember the last time I did this because the view from this window of the branches of the black elm that reach far over the deck and the field often dotted with cows and calves and great blue herons and geese is so pleasing to me.

As the light from the window fell, a shift came over me. I was listening then as I am now, to Mozart. When the shade was up the music spilled through the window out past the black elm and into the field and like a stream found it's way northward to the Willapa Hills. With the shade down the music swirled around me, bringing me into place; stilling me so that I felt like a leaf floating at that quiet place where Coal Creek Slue no longer flows but comes to rest against reeds and canary grass.

I wonder if I dare believe I can live at the center of my own life instead of at its edges? I've lived at the edges for such a long time. But no more. There is no one to blame. I suppose with what I knew at the time I went willingly thinking it was my proper place. Flattening my back against the wall to make more room for others. Ah...more room for what and for whom?
Delightful questions. I wrote the following once because it came to me in one of those wonderful flash of knowing moments; "I won't live in the margins anymore. I will take up the whole page." I must have thought it because it was time to see it.

Perhaps we become aware of our higher knowing much in the same way we do when we approach, say, a shop window and see ourselves standing there; I mean we had to arrive first in order to see ourselves; we have to arrive at the place we need to be to become aware of what we know; what has always been there to know. We show up and we're there! I've begun to honor my life experiences as knowledge. By doing this wisdom grows. It makes such sense...because where would we be without fertalizer for our gardens? What has been digested and processed become nutrituous and feeds new growth.

When I wrote "The Immigrant Garden" play so many years ago now, was it in 1990? I was conversating with both my older wiser self and my young, frailer self; from that place of conversation came Louise Beauchamp and Cecily Barnes. When Mrs Beauchamp writesto Cecily telling her that she often carries on long conversations with her flowers. Cecily writes back. "You say you often hold lengthy conversations with flowers but tell me...what sort of things do flowers say?"

I love what Mrs B (as she's become known to me) answers. "Dearest Cecily you too have heard the voice of flowers. You have not forgotten you have only stopped remembering."
So, I am remembering. Just; putting pieces back together! Oh, the things listening to Mozart can do with the window shade down and no one in the room but you!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spring in The Field

I was alone. Dean was away sailing and I went for a walk in the field and sat in the tall, late spring grass and looked back and saw my home without seeing the road behind it so that all was green and trees and me in the field. With Toby.

Tree Reminds Me

I am not the only one who sees something of themselves in a tree. What is it I don't all the way know. There are some things I glimmer such as the limbs...I have limbs and I like to feel I at times bloom. And while not in bloom I know I have the makings of blossoms. I love the thought of heart wood, that soft center of the tree. I like their stillness and love it when the wind comes by and seeks out a voice from the tree. Yes, I know why I love a tree. There are many reasons but just now these are enough for me.

Gardening, Starlings and Chickens

It was a balmy 54 degrees today with not a breeze and the afternoon sun shone on the west side of our home. I brought a cushion out and with my garden trowel took out weeds from the narrow bed that borders the west side of the house. I was reminded how important it is to be careful while weeding...I cut down, before they even had a chance to become flowers, three daffodil shoots. Ugh. There they laid, their pale, softeness cut off, separated from their life giving bulbs. How could I have been so careless? A thoughtless weeder can take out flower as well as weed.

And I wonder how many times I have done this with other things in my life; how many times have I wanted to rid my life of someone or something and taken the 'flower' as well? And how many times have we read that we need to be in the moment? And how many times do we need to read it to know it?

Any small patch of earth that you cultive, be it one inch by one inch, can teach you endlessly about observing and touching and smelling and listening and how to be careful.

You know how I've been telling you about the starlings spending the night in our hedge? Well two nights ago I heard a great horned owl and went outside because I could tell that it must have been in the willow tree that is covered by wisteria. It was. But that is not what I encountered when I walked toward the tree. You see, the hedge is between the willow tree and me (at that moment). My cat Little One was jumping up into the hedge and oh, the fluttering and the panic of those hundreds of wings!! I ran toward my leaping cat who was attacking the hedge but he was crazed. And now he must have singled one of them out and was going after it because he was jumping up and moving as though following one. Which he must have been doing because the where he jumped and moved to was now a single flutter amongst the laurel leaves; away from the rest. Oh, it was heart breaking. Our hedge was not a safe haven. And Little One was brought to me by my sister Josi when he was only 5 weeks old and had been dropped off at Kalama beach and her dogs were about pounce on him. So he was saved and now he's become the hunter. Not that this is news. I mean, I have seen him with a bird in his mouth more than once before and a field mouse often enough to know he's a healthy cat and enjoying living on the outskirts of town and in close to an old barn and big field.

And plenty of times I have worried about him getting swooped away by one of the great horned owls. He practically glows in the dark because he's mostly white with some gray spots on him. He could look like a rabbit, or a cat for that matter; a great horned owl would take either. But it seems to me that a cat with it's claws could put up more of a fight.

I am thinking about getting chickens. I've thought about it plenty of times before and once we came close, but it was the one time that I'd changed my mind. We have coyotes that come around. Sometimes so close that you can hear their voices coming from their throat. I mean, if I get chickens would that be another thing to worry about getting attacked. But then I think, well, we'd build a very secure chicken coop.
And I wouldn't want it too far from the house because I'd want to feel that the chickens were safe and closebye. But I know how chicken manure can smell. But then I'd be keeping it clean so it wouldn't smell. I'm pretty sure I'd feel better if it were closer to the house than further away. I've never had chickens before. Just popping outside and picking up our eggs would be great and also I love birds. I really do think I would enjoy them. Spring is coming and it'll be baby chick time soon.
So, we'll see. Definately though I wouldn't want their coop too far from the house and maybe we could put a light sensor on the coop so when something is prowling around we'd know about it, which would mean that we'd need something in the house that would let us know that the light went on.
I'm not going to think too far ahead about the possible bad things that could happen. If we do that we woudn't do anything right? I can see myself getting the chicks. And if Dean is into this, which I think he is, then he'll get that chicken coop built and enjoy it at the same time.

I think we're going to get chickens!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Just Beyond my Porch

I sit on my front porch and look out at the laurel tree that is just poking a branch out into the picture; you should see the huge rest of it, and the ornamental cherry trees. There are three of them and they look like whirls of pink cotton candy when they're in their full spring bloom. And their scent!! Their scent is like what you'd imagine honesty would smell like, that sweet, that clean. I love to walk into the shade of these trees not for the coolness but for the closeness I feel to them there.

The Sky in My Backyard.

To think we are together in this world with things such as clouds, with things such as sky; sky above and below us and on either side of us. Amazing.


I opened my front door early this morning to put my cats out and watched and listened to the starlings as they started their day by leaving my hedge. They left in swarms, I suppose the ones closest to the top of the hedge might have flown first. I felt as though I were peering into their bedrooms, watching them get dressed for the day. There is more than a hundred of them that have taken to sleeping in the hedge lately. I don't know how long they will do this. At dusk I walked up the driveway to the mailbox. I didn't realize they were just settling in and I frightened them and the ones that were settling in darted out and flew back up to the telphone lines, or whatever those lines are that are strung up on telephone poles. (I'm almost sure they're not telephone poles. Ah, they'll be electrical lines, utility lines).

I felt bad that I'd frightened them off so when I left the mailbox I walked back across the road and walked down our other driveway. I stopped halfway and when I stood just in the right spot I could see through the branches of the laurel tree (not to be mixed up with the laurel hedge) and I could see them returning and disappearing into the hedge.

They in such numbers and the sounds of so many wings against so many leaves have the cats frightened and I think, good for them, good for those birds. And I think how in numbers even little birds can make big sounds and create a force that scares cats.

So, I think further and think about the speech that Bono made tonight at the NAACP awards. He said we can be the generation that ends poverty. He spoke from the deepest place of his heart and it makes me wonder what I am doing to help. Thousands of children dying everyday in Africa from starvation and even more from malaria; "a bite," he said, "from a mosquito". Oh, the greed and meaness that have let this happen is terrible to think about. How could this be happening. If we held one of those dying children in our arms we wouldn't; we couldn't, not do anything.
It makes the things that I worry about sometime petty and meaningless. Bono grew up in war torn Ireland and he heard the words of Martin Luther King and he was moved by them and has never forgotten them. Bono was created from the ashes of bombs you could say; he rose up to stand up against all the meaningless preventable deaths. He's a hero. And he's one man and look at what he has done.

He's collecting more people to stand up with him and he's being like the starlings...making all this noise with wings and he's scaring the fat mean cats away and he won't back away. There's not a lot of things that I can say I know for sure but I can say this about him, he'll never back away.

This is the day I saw the starlings get up and go to bed and heard Bono speak words with wings!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Monday, February 9, 2009

Moon Shadows

It was midnight when we came home and I wandered out to the edge of the field with my moon shadow. There was no breeze and the scent of cow pies (yes, scent i.e perfume). The night often holds scents that can't be discerned in day. Though of course, we've all (if we're lucky) have smelled cow pies in daylight. Perhaps it is on still nights. It's possible I'm imagining it but it feels like just beyond my ken I sense the ending of winter and the dawning of spring.
I saw today that little tuffs of grass are growing beneath the american elm. It's leafy branches spread out so far and cut off sunlight during the summer months so no grass grows. Or is it that I haven't paid enough attention and perhaps it was my not raking the leaves up sooner that killed what little grass was there. I was thinking of sprinkling some grass seeds and watching.

I put the cats on the front porch and the opening of the screen door caused the starling that roost in the hedge at night to rustle in the leaves sending me the sound of wind passing by. I like imagining the birds tucked cozily away in amongst the laurel leaves and so closebye. How many are there? Twenty-thirty? Fifty? More?

The river was low today. With the muddy bank of Fisher Island showing itself off more than it usually does this time of the year. I was thinking how so often the river puts me in context; I am one of those beings that lives along the river; I both observe the river and in a way feel I am observed by it. Whatever the mystery of that is I love it and don't need to understand it.

This afternoon I opened the window beside the dining table so I could hear the red-winged blackbirds sing as I construsted a wall hanging from the branches and mosses that came from the tree they were singing in. So now I've brought the american elm into my house; it's branches spread across my deck and partially veil the view of the fields. This tree is nearly a hundred years old. It is good company.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Tide at Slack

It's almost noon and the tide is at slack, which means the river is not moving; the tide is not pushing the river up nor pulling it down toward the coast. The trees on Fisher Island are mirrored in the river and a seal moments ago, glissening a wet gray, lifted it's head and then with back arching slipped into that invisible opening and disappeared. That is how it seems. I watched to see it come up but from my window I did not see it resurface. A seal can hold it's breath for, I think anyway, near twenty minutes.

The large shards of tree trunks and stolen up roots of cottonwood, alder, sometimes fir and pine, have been piling up against our dock. But today the earlier tide action and the low river level have taken the ocean-going timber back up river; withdrawn it like a breath to exhale it again and send it back downriver to lay perhaps against the dock, bringing together all their pieces to make one whole gathering of ones.

It is in silence where the important things can be heard. So I believe. Perhaps silence is like a light in which it is by contrast that we can see; hear. I've always believed it is the silence between the notes that makes the music.

Tide at slack like this gives me room for these kinds of thoughts because it's as though a breath is being held. You know like we do when we're listening intently to hear something barely audiable---it's like that. Like the river at this time is suspending time as it is suspending the gulls and the drift wood; not so much as holding it in place but more like just letting it be in the place that it is in with no tugging this way or that.

I imagine that before life as we know it stirred on this planet this silence must have filled every cell of everything alive and perhaps from that silence life found room to grow.

I love these thoughts that emerge on mornings like this.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Field of Geese

Canadian Geese made the field theirs this morning and it was a delight to see them eating and napping and strolling through the grass. Just think of walking on your plate of food. I mean the freedom of it; nothing between you and what goes in your mouth and well, I suppose what comes out too.
The geese are a wonder to watch as they take off and land; changing from flight to feet; from air to ground. I have a feeling they are aware of their ability of flight; that they don't take it for granted. I have stood so close beneath them as they have flown over, with their wings curved for landing (I call it having their landing grear down); hearing their voices coming from their throats; their necks outstretched, their eyes focused ahead.

This morning's sun shinned on their white breasts. I've never noticed how white their breasts were before. Not long ago snow filled the field and they flew overhead. I wondered then where they were going to land for food. They were flying low.

Then there were the hunting a few weekends back. They dressed up in all their finery, being sneaky, waiting in hiding with the plastic toys out in the field! Dean and I were walking in our field and they were further down in the our neighbors field. Two geese fly over us and we called ot them to keep flying high. We watched as they headed to where the hunters were and then...we watched as the geese made a splendid quick left turn sending them over to Fisher Island and out of range of the hunters. I like to think we played a part in their decision.

The starlings are sleeping in the hedge tonight as they have been for a while now. I hear their wings fluttering against the waxy laurel leaves. It's nice knowing they are there; trusting the hedge that we planted to give them an abode for the night.