Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kayak Carousel

I climbed out an upstairs window onto the front porch roof and entered "the upstairs outside". The heat from the black roof invited me to sit and I did, then the sun and the blue sky and the river reflecting it all insisted I stay and I did. The river was full and glistening and moving fast carrying with it bits and pieces of trees that have traveled far from where they once were rooted along the riverbank.

I heard voices from an upriver houseboat, male voices, two, talking in the warm weather kind of way. The voices came then left and in that place they left a dog barked and then it's echo came. Music drifted from the houseboat, little bits of it reached me the rest fell into the river and drifted by. It sounded like the music carousels' once played, a wonderland sound. Then drifting into sight was a kayak with a person in it just going with the flow of the river, no paddling going on. The kayaker sat stiff backed...very good posture. Then the river brought the scene closer and I saw that it was a log with a branch sticking up and on top of the branch was a crow and it flew up and in a beautiful way I was terribly wrong about the whole scene which made it all the more beautiful. The crow landed back on the branch and was joined by another and then they were zipping by with the current and the carousel music.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My Sister Said....

My sister and grandsons walked through tall grass and over an electric fence and stared down at the 'after' of a calves birth. I had seen a dot of white from the house earlier in the day and asked Dean if it was a calf and he said he thought so then later we saw two bald eagles at that very spot. The calf walked off with it's mother Dean said. But I hadn't seen this and I know I can always take Dean at his word but I needed to see for myself why the eagles had scared off the vultures and were intent on something in the grass. Before I left the house to see we watched from the window a cow run at one of the eagles and chase it away. The cow turned back and ran at the other eagle which flew and then landed not far away. The cow went on it's way then. And that's when I went out into the field.

My sister said, I can't believe you are touching it. But I had to; this amazing mass of veins and sinew and clear fluid and coagulated blood, I wanted to feel it; this which rested in the middle section of a cow and in it life grew; life that a moment after it was born was up on it's feet.
My grandson touched it and with his camera took photos of it. My sister said she would have liked to have touched it but she wasn't brave enough, she said this after we were back at the house and telling the others.

It wasn't that I was braver I realized, it was because of the chickens; I don't want to be separated from what is so close to me. The soft warmth of the chicken's body that I feel through it's feathers, their breath I hear against my ear as one snuggles against my neck. I don't want to just look anymore I want to feel.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

They Want Yesterday Back

It's what I said when I looked out the window and saw the chickens in the rain. Yesterday was sunny and warm and they lingered in the sun as would beach combers in the middle of August. Then I saw what they were doing and I asked Dean, do worms come to the top when it rains? The answer was yes. So they get the rain but they get easy pickings at the worms. In the afternoons the chickens like some still time; time when they're 'in' verses being 'out' and it's in that still that that I've often sat with them in their run and with one or two of them in my lap. I love watching their eyes slowly close; from the bottom up; their eye lids close up and not down. I wonder if that is because the need to be on the alert for predators; is it hard to fall asleep when you eye lids have to go up instead of down. While watching the rain and the chickens and feeling surrounded (while inside my house, not there's) by limbs of the newly leafed out branches of the American Elm that wrap around the back corner of my house like arms...it was then while gazing up from my book, (which I'll mention in a moment because I have to tell you about this book) that I saw western tanager, beautiful little bird with a yellow body and a pink head and then there are the Eurasian collard doves, two of them...where is it they are so often in pairs?. When I was with the hens in their run listening to the rain pitting, quite harshly really, on the roof of their run I watched a hummingbird sticking it's tongue in the little blossoms on the small vine maple that is in their larger run; I've never noticed these blossoms before and I've never seen a hummingbird visiting the vine maple. I have to say that it's because of the chickens that I see so much more in my own backyard. Take the barn owl for instance that was sitting up in the large birch, who's branches reach over the large run, at dusk while I was watching the last chicken come in for the night. Just before I saw the owl I was thinking this is not a good idea for this chicken to be dallying along because this is just when owls are probably getting ready for their day and I look up in the tree and there it is and in walked the chicken over the threshold of the run and into her house. It's said that backyard chickens that free-range don't last long because of predators. I keep a watch out and did you know that a chicken has a warning call with two parts to it; the first part warns that a predator is coming by air and the part warns of a predator coming by land. And we think we know chickens...?
The book I'm re-reading and studying is "At The Root Of This Longing: Reconciling a spiritual hunger and a feminist thirst" by Carol Lee Flinders. The spiritual side says be silent, be last, loose the self; the feminist part of cries out...I've never had a voice what do you mean be silent and I'm always last, or think I should be so what do you mean that I'll evolve spiritually if i keep this up? Carol Lee Flinders is an amazing teacher and I identify with the feminist and spiritual dilemma. Though as I've discovered there is no dilemma when I realize that it's all about choice; choice is key here with a capital K. When I realize I have freedom of choice and that I'm not being forced into silence or solitude; when I know in my truest of hearts (I do possess hearts that are only half true)why I am doing what I am doing and that I have chosen my actions well then my life makes sense if not it's like I'm at an amusement park without a theme and there are mice and dogs and things, larger than life, skipping around having a great time while I wait in line to be scared when I'm already thinking things are not as they're supposed to be. Well enough of my rambling here. I've let the chickens out after their quiet time in their run and now they're spread around, fifteen feathered ones, choosing what direction they'll go in next!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Changed the hay in the chicken house. The hay is kept in Dean's shop, which he made quite plain when we put up the shop ten years ago that nothing but his tools would go in there...well, that was before the chickens and before the guy next door was going to burn some older hay...Dean made the decision that we'd take some of those bales off his hands and so well, he also made the decision, which was the only one where they would go. So now every time he heads over to the shop he's trailing at least half a dozen chickens who know where the hay is kept and love climbing up on the bales and having a good chat at the same time. Oh, the difference things are when they are our own ideas instead of ideas put upon us. And I understand this I really do...I mean if I would have said, Dean we have to have that hay and it has to go in your shop it would have been like swimming up stream in the Columbia with the snow melt of winter with an outgoing tide.

It's a sunny warm day and we are out mowing and trimming and things. I love days like this; I can think my life is almost perfect on day like this, which is a good thing but then I don't like feeling like I'm like the weather, changeable to the extent on not being rooted. Now having said that I'm thinking of the bamboo that we transplanted today; it was a small stand of bamboo, taken from a large, one of the large stands of bamboo and so the roots wouldn't wander Dean surrounded the roots of the bamboo with metal sheeting so the roots couldn't spread but oh it was not a happy bamboo it was bamboo in bondage and last summer it wilted and I'd water it. Today we moved it and it's a happy bamboo stand now and will grow so my point is the bamboo in wind; it bends over a lot; I mean like almost parallel to the ground so what I'm getting at is maybe what I'm calling 'changeable' is really flexible. Now if I were an old oak or one of the ancient sequoias (one almost three thousand years old by the way) I wouldn't bend at all; not my trunk, oh my branches could sway and my leaves make wonderful sounds rustling against on another but I'd be standing straight and unmoving and I have to say that is a reason I like old trees; they're sold they well rooted. So, I'm thinking maybe I'm like bamboo, which is not a tree but really a grass....so I'm tall grass that sways in the wind and doesn't break. Now bamboo that is not well rooted will die off if not watered in a dry summer. It would seem them that I'm talking about roots; being well rooted is a good thing. I do believe it is. Of course you could be a tree in a contained and then way you could be moved about without possibility of root damage but then you'd be contained, but not well grounded. Oh, the thought that tumbled through you mind on a day like this with cut grass between your toes and a little sun burn going on. Love to all who dared to have read this long!