Landlocked

Landlocked

The art of the day trip.
1388 feet to sea level.
2.25 hours.
Steeper, in every way, on the way back.

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Sunday Driver

Sunday Driver

Detour.

The older I get, the more I enjoy road trips, and the longer they take, which is my own doing–meandering back roads, seeking shade, instead of speed, and not only because I prefer the old car with the manual transition–which lost its air condition earlier this month (but I don’t mind the mountain air on my face)–but also because I prefer the solitude of back roads–the absence of movement, except for mine, the chance to slow or stop, when my attention alights—on an old barn, a field of wildflowers, a stand of trees; and this afternoon on my serpentine ride home from Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health–two young boys, about 9 years old, on the outskirts of a small town, dressed in matching soccer uniforms.

As I approached, the one with the ball under his arm, looked up from beneath a mass of dark curls and stuck out his thumb.

I smiled and slowed and waived, remembering the pleasure of wondering where my thumb might take me one day, and how soon someone might take me, seriously, and something else–the delight of coaxing a friend outside the box of rules.

After college, a classmate and I hitchhiked through Ireland despite the warnings of lorry drivers and the middle aged bachelor and the two business men who picked us up so that no harm would befall us.

Back in the states, I picked up hitchhikers myself for a bit–once an entire family, at the foot of the drawbridge, standing in a pouring rain. They crowded into my backseat, dripping, paper grocery bags in their arms.

There’s plenty of room for thought on a long drive under the shade of trees…


I got to thinking that I might like to open a store or suggest someone open a store, and it could be called–Paper and Ink–and it could be a place to slow down, to pour a cup of tea, to buy a sheet of stationery and sit at a long table, and write a letter, and send it to someone far away or around the corner.

Just now, a song from my childhood comes to mind…

Lost and alone on some forgotten highway
Traveled by many, remembered by few
Lookin’ for something that I can believe in
Lookin’ for something that I’d like to do with my life
There’s nothin’ behind me and nothin’ that ties me to
Something that might have been true yesterday
Tomorrow is open, right now it seems to be more than enough
To just be here today…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVtlsHD3yWc

Seaweed

Seaweed


I gave up my book and my health to the month of August, to my sister’s wedding, to my roots rising up from the sea and arriving in the mountains, en masse, consuming me, until I’d forgotten why I’d left home, who I ever was without them, and where I’d been heading.

It’s been more than 3 weeks since they’ve retreated, and still I am combing bits and pieces out of my hair, like seaweed, after a late August swim.

I loved it as a kid. Not to eat. Never. To lift up from where it had been drying in the sun and the sand and press between finger and thumb.

Too wet and it would squish.
Too dry and it would crumble.
Just right and it would, POP!

What seaweed remains on me has long gone brittle
or is so mushy as to be unworthy of an attempt at popping.

I could complain about the weather, beautiful from the depths of my feverish days on the couch, and now that I’m standing again, dark and dreary and so cold.

But there’s Houston. And friends with cancer. And the White House. So what does my weather matter.

Still, it’s Tuesday, the last Tuesday before school steals summer, so there are cookies at the Farm Stand up the road.

Chocolate chip.

heat wave

heat wave

Bird Egg Feather Nest, Maryjo Koch

Tiny chirps let us know that the eggs in the nest above our light fixture have hatched,
and so this year, having failed yet again to prevent her nesting there,
we re-arrange our tiny porch to better accommodate feeding & flight,
which is to say: poop;
while eagerly awaiting the sight of little heads popping up from her moss wrapped nest.

She comes every year.
Last June Casey saw each one of her chicks take flight.
She’s been my steady companion this cold spring–flying out each time I arrive home or depart,
and then as the weather warmed, flying back and forth to the nest as I watched from the kitchen, fixing meals for my family, while she fed hers.

Last week I introduced her to a friend.
We’re all Mamas after all.

But then a day went by, and I realized I hadn’t seen her, and then another, and I was almost certain I hadn’t, so this morning, I asked Casey to check.

And all the little chicks are dead.

There won’t be poop all over our porch after all.

june 2017, marlboro, vt

Resenting Summer

Resenting Summer


This year I decided or defaulted into resenting summer’s approach, which has long been my favorite time of year (ever since marriage & motherhood confined me to a state where the season of life is so absurdly short.)

So that even as I returned to my summer pleasure palace–South Pond–I resented it:

“Oh, this again…”

Which was a terrifying or at least a largely alarming state of mind, particularly after such a protracted winter.

“Had South Pond changed?
Had I?
Was this what it was to age?”

But even in my sourness, there was suspicion.

Was I simply protecting my heart?
Had I lost the capacity to love in the face of inevitable loss?

YES! That was it!

I couldn’t bear another summer ending.
And so I wouldn’t love it.
But then May came, and even with all its cold rain, it wooed me.
And then June, not even through, was sweeping me off my feet.

So that I’m pretty sure that I’m falling in love again, in spite of myself, because this morning when I woke, in yet another dour middle-aged mood, I looked across the room and thought:

“Wow!
Look how beautiful my blow dryer.
I’m gonna take a photo of it in this morning light
and share it on Instagram”

Crap.

Farewell September, Welcome Autumn…

Farewell September, Welcome Autumn…


September 29

The grass is so green, it’s hard to imagine it any other way.

September 28

Last week it was like Where’s Waldo.
Today, it’s like heads in the back row.
Peeking through.
Soon to be center stage.

#red

September 18

the sound of an early rain on the leaves
the first breath of air through the trees
the union of self and sound and air and ease
without doors or windows or shoes or sleeves

#savoring

September 7th

August is the month that brought so much harvest into my life. My beloved, both of our sons, even these Green Mountains, upon which a soft rain falls, this first week of September–my grieving week–spinning a cocoon of communion–inside the arms of all those Goddesses of compassion–Mary, Tara, Kuan Yin–and all those who plumb the depths of what it is to be human.To love.To lose.To love again.

September 6th

best source of white twinkle lights?
indoor/outdoor
solar?

Late August

Maine is Vermont’s wilder cousin. I have one of those too. I adore her riveting company, but soon retreat to the familiarity of home where I romanticize her rough edges & salty sprays.

Mid-August

museums. movie theaters. malls.
blackberries. watermelon. cukes.
ponds. streams. seas. sprinklers. showers. ice. sweat.
left nostril breathing. curled tongue breathing. slow movements.
frozen treats.
rest.
spaciousness.

August morning

Wild berry scat
Path to the woods shower.

Early August

The older I get & the more I travel away from home, the more I realize what it is about this particular spot that suits me so well: S-p-a-c-i-o-u-s-n-e-s-s and the balancing embrace of the woods. The proximity of water. Still. Flowing. Fresh. Frozen. The rainfall. Lush. Moist. The shade. Secluded spaces. The tree to people ratio. The head space. The room to see and smell and feel.The light in the east and the south, the west and the north. Southern exposure, particularly come winter. Quiet. The call of the thrush. The hoot of the owl. The hush of snow.

Mid-July

oh, july! a night like summer.
cool shower under a rising moon.
bare bodies, even ours, fresh like dew.
the stone path, underfoot, still warm,
lit by lamps, fed by the sun.
the house, from the woods, aglow.

Early-July

It took me years to surrender. To allow and even welcome the sweltering heat. To know it as a gift. Fleeting in these mountain spaces so often filled with chill.

July morning

When I see a man
on his knees
in the garden
on a Sunday
morning…