July 21, 2022


Sunday, September 14, 2014

(I’m sharing a few of my earlier writings to give you a sense of where I am now. This one was written nearly eight years ago…and I’m still on the journey of finishing a book I started in 2014. I also like that I’m writing about fall here, as the temps today are closer to 100!)

So many days between when I last wrote and today. Just returned from a trekking hike in the state park with my friend Rebecca – relief that lowered my shoulders, and the tenseness they held, by at least two inches. So much that hides in those shoulders under responsibility, under the idea that I want to do something good, even great – yet continually feel like I’m walking three directions except for towards my goals.

Even typing those words causes the muscle striations to tense just a bit more. Autumn briskness is in the air, having had two frosts this week, one deep enough to turn the leaves of the squash plants black and leave them hanging like old crepe paper left over from a party. The air was crisp, slivers of blue showing through the gray and white clouds, backlit by the sun. The trails are clear, mowed to an inch or two, the brush cut back in anticipation for winter ski trails and grooming equipment. It was an uneventful walk, but a good one. A walk with words that flow like a stream down one side, around a rock, bouncing off the river bank and eddying around a bend. Good words about life, work, kids, futures and planning for what’s next. Relaxing.

But Rebecca is always a relaxing muse to me. We speak the same language of loss, having both lost our mothers before we were ready to let them go. The language of children, our hopes and dreams for them, and the little celebrations, with worries tucked in around the corners for how our parenting will affect their adult lives. She is my sister in life, not to replace the one I have but to be there and share life’s journeys from a mutual foundation of faith.

The seasons are beginning to turn and the deep, bruise purple glowing from the top of the neighbors maple is a sign as surely is the red dipped sumac leaves fringing the roadsides as I travel to work. Snow is in the air…but not yet. A few more days of this golden air. An air with no mosquitos, blackflies, and few bees – those still in the air move slowly, thickened by the downward spiraling temperatures. I’m not ready to see the leaves go. Seems like yesterday they were just bursting out of their bulging buds. A feat that seemed to take them an eternity (or at least weeks) to accomplish. When they did the world turned green. So many greens its hard to explain to someone not from here. The greens just feast the eyes and beg to be noticed in their shades of gray-green, deep conifer green, light moss-green and yellow gold-green. A study in green that signals new life, spring and a promise returned. Those days are heady, intoxicating, alive and in motion.

Fall reverses those colors and the greens have now faded to dull browns, the gold green of the grass is now magenta dipped in purple, waving on golden stalks. Maples have dipped sections of their branches in various pots of red, scarlet and eggplant purple, based on their species preference. They bring attention to the changing of the seasons and make us take notice. What else is changing? The tamaracks begin their fade to gold, an opposite hue from their vibrant birth as spring green needles on winter darkened stems. Their gold can reach rich depths as fall turns, or silently slide into a golden dust and fade before they are noticed. Golden columns of trees are a rush of sugar to my brain. Lighting up the receptors, sending my eyes off to see what else is changing for the season.

I write this now, on a Sunday, after an afternoon walk. Forgetting in between now and next time the comfort, the stillness, the return to balance that a simple walk can provide for me. The week ahead looms busy, overloaded already and perhaps even complicated with other’s plans. I need to make time, set aside the space for seeing, writing and feeling.

I’m not sure I’ll ever do anything with this writing, but there is something that flows out of me that is similar to letting the steam off the tea kettle. Much builds up that I have no defense for, no articulation of, and I am threatened with boiling over. A word here, or there and my eyes are swimming in the waters of frustration and despair. Not of my life, but of what I have not yet been able to accomplish and perhaps a bit of the weight of the world. Of not being able to make it right for students who are struggling with no transportation, addiction, loss of sleep, abusive relationships, young grandkids that they were hoping to adore, not raise. They struggle and I see and hear it every day. They make me want to work harder, be better. I can’t fix their issues. I can listen, and I can build classes and structure that may guide them to a better place down the road. I don’t know. I try and I go on and it will never be enough.

But just coming into this space, this place I call my own, my office, reminds me of what I can do. A card pulled out to send a friend/coach a check and I see the postcards and remember the notes to my nieces, young friends across the street. I think about my daughters, how far away they are and how wonderful and good it feels to get something tangible, solid and assuring in the mail. A message from the universe saying “you are loved, you are cherished, I miss you and have so much love for you – just wanted to share, to make you smile.” This I can do. What a beautiful way to encourage someone. How easy we forget.

So I’m wrapping this up to make space for a card each for my daughters, a postcard for the young one across the street – who checks the mail regularly :o) and perhaps I’ll find one more to say “Hi, just thinking of you and that makes me smile!”



 Welcome, Aaniin, Sat Nam

I celebrate life and share my passion for learning, rooted in the natural world….


"My nose feels the gentle burst of air as the smaller nuthatch flies by my face to escape the chaser. Being brushed by the wings of a nuthatch is almost as good as having one light on your finger." 
from Observing

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