Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bird, Purple Sky and Apple Tree

With my cordless keyboard on my lap I have my window wide open and my legs feeling the slight breeze of late day. I have heard by voice and written in words that this time of day is one of the lonlinest: when day is ending and night has not yet come.

And to make the ache or longing of it that much more the sun, which has been held captive by the low clouds has now broke free so that the shades of greens in the Willapa Hills are saturated with the brilliant light and now as I write this a cloud to the west, to my left that I cannot see has taken away the sun from the fields but not the hills.

In the distant pasture there the grass is still brilliant but here I am in the shadow. My feet are bare and like being out. Light is spreading toward my window, nearer now and now closer and now...almost here, the light is moving like wave coming into shore...but it did not reach shore, the sun withdrew.

A red tail hawk sits on a fencpost and the humming birds are busy buzzing from tree limbs to feeders. Ahhhh...the wave has reached shore: the sun is here. The thin narrow leaves of the bamboo splash into an instant lighter yellow/green in the late day sun. I think if I wanted to I could measure many things by the bamboo, which is said to be a form of grass: isn't one thing just a form of another?

At twelve pm this afternoon I sitting on the steps of my deck, next to my little row of flowers that I've planted in some old wooden planter boxes, a great flock of greese flew overhead, heading in a north eastly direction. They were flying low not quite as low as yesterday. My eyes traces the dark of their wings against the slate sky. They were not one complete v but three or four smaller ones; chatting all the way as they do. Oh, what are you saying?

I remained sitting there and a long minute or two after they passedbye I was awed by a feather floating down in front of me almost with reach: I knelt on the grass and stuck out an arm as Pippie thought I'd gotten down to play. For a moment I couldn't see the feather all I could see was grass and then there is was and I picked it up and felt pure delight: I held between my fingers an under belly feather of one of THEM. It's maybe close to an inch long with fuzzy down, and at the fuller end of the feather there is hint of iridescent green.

A mourning dove is sitting on the highest branch of the dwarf apple tree. Though I saw a pair of doves earlier, in the black elm whose branches reach halfway across the deck and halfway across this upstairs window, (I feel almost that I am in a tree house) they seem to appear more often in the early mornings and at THIS time of day; the exit and entry time of day. I love their voice, how it rolls and grows and fades. It's a soothing sound. I'm not sure how they got their names; mourning doves.

The orange, yellow, purle , green and red windsock is twirling. The dove has not moved. I threw seed out this morning. It's why they come. The sky is purple above the Willapas I love that with the contrast of the green of the fields. The dove has left the apple tree and flown down to where I through the seed, now it's joined by the other. I wonder if they mate for life, or love the one they're with? Crows I see in pairs too.

A rufus jummingbird sits swinging on the bowed edge of a small branch on the black elm. Its red chest catches the sun and the spectrum of light is a marvel. A jay has joined the doves. My feet are cold though I love them being out sharing the wind, with bird, purple sky and apple tree.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Singing Streams

Swans flew high this morning and I opened the window to hear their distinct voices. Oh, what are they saying? To know would make me feel less like a foreigner in the natural world. Two nights ago Dean was burning some rags from the shop and I added on some twigs and willed the fire to continue: it smoldered into smoke. I went to the woodpile and feltched pieces of bark and splinters of wood and Dean in the meantime had gone back into the shop and added to the smoking little pile of dampt twigs, some wood ends.

We coaxed flames and then sat around the fire as the sky grew dark. A wolf called out from downriver, from one of the islands. It was a longer sound than I normally hear when they are nearby in the field: this was one long wail and again, I longed to understand the words. A large flock of geese flew over low and I could the wind in their wings and the pounding drops on the metal barn roof of their droppings.

I said to Dean, I wonder if we'll be blessed: to have their droppings dropon us. Dean said (hoping it would not happen)...it would make us feel in touch right. Right, I said and meant it. So afraid we are oftentimes of getting stuff on us. Yesterdays rain was not cold and I cut some branches full of springs blossoms to bring inside the house: it was Easter afterall. I did not wear a coat and didn't mind my hair getting wet and it was such a freedom to move freely in the rain instead of dodgeing it as if I could.

I not longer want to edge around things, I want to walk thorugh them. I don't want things divided in my life by good or bad, or desirable or not desirable: more than ever I want to feel the wholeness of life. No more eating banana nut bread and picking out the nuts.
Am I feeling this way because it is Spring? I know that winter over my shoulder moving away, while ahead are the warmer days and the bluer skies. I am come now to seek color inside my home, to bring the brightness in.

The earlier rain has stopped now and islands of blue are cast about in the sky; the sky an ocean of white and gray. The fields are green and the bamboo green with glows of yellow. I like that the bamboo refuses to loose its leaves in winter. And oh, it's bending ways while a winter wind blows, throwing them forward and then backward. The black elm is budding out with leaves, as is the locust in the front of the house. The leaves on the locust are minitures of the mature leaf; they are waxy and shine and in them I see the life of the tree in motion. I see a moment of the trees' life. This tree that is one hundred years old. How many leaves have grown and shed and grown again on this tree?

Dean went into Lowes and talked with a woman who works there and lives down the road from us a mile. She said they had bought goats to eat down their grass in the field because they are tired of mowing and we wondered if one of their goat could be the dead one. Dean did not ask. So there is a suggestion of where the goat might of have come from but I cannot see a goat walking on Willow Grove Rd and making it a mile. It must have dropped off the back of the truck that was delivering them if anything.

The sun is shinning now and crows are whirling in the air: off as they always seem to be, to some planned pace. A great blue heron, it's large wings easily moving it's light body through the air has sailed by, gone now out of view. Think of all the lives that are going on out of view.

Think of a stream that is not seen and the life of it going on, on and on. How it flows over and swirls around the smooth rocks on the bed of the stream. It's a comfort to know there are singing streams even when we dream.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wooly Dogs and Old Photos

Discovering new information about the Chinook and Cowlitz Indians has become a deep seated interest of mine. In the an upstairs wall of our farmhouse (which is beside the Columbia River) we found a small faded photo of a two children sitting on a large cedar log washed up on a beach. There are more logs and driftwood washed up behind them on the beach and then what looks like a stand of perhaps cottonwood or alder trees. The two children, a boy and a girl could be sister and brother, her being maybe six and he being not more than a year and a half older than her.
Brother, I will call him, is hold in his arms a small size black and white dog. I've just finished reading that the Chinook village dogs which they had in the hundreds were beagle like looking and most were black and white. After read that I got up, walked into the room where the photo was found and where it sits now on a dresser and sure enough I see the dog is small and black and white. This makes it highly likely that this could have been a Chinook Village dog. The photo looks as though it could have been taken at the time our house was built. 1903.
This picture and the children in it and the beach they are on intrigue me. I believe those children where standing not too far from our house. Perhaps they lived here. Tonight for the first time, after many times of looking at the photo notice that Sisters' homespun shabby little dress is wet on the front and Brothers' rolled up coveralls are also wet. They'd been playing in the river.

I want to know who these children were for they are most likely gone from this world, but I wonder, did they run up the same porch steps that I often sit on in the afternoon when the sun is warming it? Did they thin spindly but strong legs climb the stairs to bed and race down them in the morning? They might have lived in this house but lived in a different world. No road with cars buzzing by, no separation of road from river. I bet they ate lots of salmon and saw on occasion Chinook or Cowlitz Indians go by in their canoes. There were not many left by then but there were some and a canoe was still the best transportation on the river. Steamboats were going at that time. I have seen a photo of an Indian man and wife paddleling their canoe with a steamboat in the background.

About the dead goat. Dean was talking with Sheryle McCoy who lives about half a mile down the road. She told him they had goats now. Could be one of theres. Dean didn't ask if they had one missing. I can't image though that it would have walked on the road for that half mile or more but you never know. It could have been in the night when there is hardly any traffic.

The wind blew this morning and I laid in bed listening to lit. It's great, like listening to a conversation; an interesting one and not having to participate but just be there and listen. I watched a pair of crows trying to manuver in the wind while chasing a march hawk. They must have seen it catch a mouse from the field. And yesterday I saw a little bird, sparrow? giving a hard time to a bald eagle; both flying, the little bird diving down toward it then manuvering away. Protecting a nest? Oh, and on the same day I saw a crow carrying a twig; sprucing up last years nest. Amazing what goes on in the air!

So, who are these two children and their dog and where are they standing? They are both smiling for the camera. Their hair cut off short no doubt by a pair of sheers in the house...our house? Did their hair fall on this old wooden floor? That young hair that grew so long ago. Intriguing thoughts all of them.