home lives inside the heart
and my heart dwells here
on the shores of water borrowed from the other side of the mountain
on an earth that’s hard and forgotten.
my heart mingles with wild plants that are maligned by most
(i find them miracles)
tenacious plants that chose this place and persist
they have not forgotten the earth
let’s not forget to thank them, those maligned plants,
for they have a wisdom of their own.
i chose this place, too
and, like them, i’ll persist
i have not forgotten the earth
i’ll love all her weeds and thank them
and i’ll seek their wisdom,
for mine has been forgotten.
and just like them, one day i’ll move on
and i’ll have awakened an ancient wisdom that belongs to all beings
and i’ll leave behind love
a love that persists
my heart dwells here
this is home
G-man crawls on my lap as we both look to B-boy to see if he’ll notice. (He’s not sharing his mama so well.) But B-boy is busy climbing to the top of the dining table and the kitchen counter in search of ice cream bowls to lick. He sings the best rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle. Ever. He zooms in to put a soft hand on my face, utters a lilting Mama, and gives me a quick but intense twinkling gaze that says I love you. E-man, mesmerized by the vastness of the universe and in love with the idea that we are just floating in space around a star, delights in the work of astronauts as they repair Hubble on the Nova special we are watching. He is sad at the idea that Hubble may die, never to be touched by human hands again, and then enlivens at the thought that he could be the astronaut that returns to space one day to repair a magnificent telescope — all thoughts that seem so grand, but so perfect, for this almost-eight-year-old boy. G-man, the boy who seems so clear about his path to become a fire fighter, declares he will never be an astronaut because it isn’t safe. His whole heart believes in safety, kindness and goodwill. And I, in this perfect ordinary moment, have the most profound connection to the fact that there are no boundaries between any of us. That we four sitting there watching a Nova special are not actually four separate beings, but just part of the Great Mysterious soup along with everyone and everything else. And at that moment everything is perfectly clear. We are. Love is.
This spring has been easy on us. Yesterday we saw a caterpillar! A caterpillar on the 1st of April. Will more snow fall? How will a little caterpillar handle snow?
We’re caring for some little plants. Plants that we saunter and jump across every day when we travel around the creeks and climb rocks. Little miracles at our feet that we rarely notice.
There are willows on our table that we collected weeks ago. Placed in a sunny window, catkins and leaves emerged. Now, down at Our Own Best Secret Place, the furry little catkins are just beginning to peek out.
We’re tending to some grasshoppers. They slow down when it’s cold –well below freezing — and start creeping and jumping as the temperature warms. I am glad we collected a few of these fellows. I was certain they wouldn’t survive the snow and cold. I was wrong. More miracles.
A sat under a giant Ponderosa as the sun rose this morning and listened to the songs and calls of an eager Robin. Great resources here for observing this ubiquitous bird, which I hope to share with the boys.
We’re also caring for and observing this treasure we brought home from the woods to deposit in our own yard. Watching to see if any of the little critters take advantage of the mineral stores in this gift from one of the giants of our forest. Look at the banner up top. You’ll see one elk with only one antler. Yes, the antlers are dropping! Soon they’ll be replaced with furry nubs.
I love spring.
Yesterday we watched a water glider skitter around in fresh snow melt. Water gliders make me think of summer. Wow.
We didn’t have to travel far, though, to forget those thoughts. Just inside RMNP there’s still deep snow. While there was sunshine and short sleeves at home, in the park snow was whirling up high; down low it was still gloves and hat weather. We visited my favorite quick winter stop: the Cub Lake trail head. A frozen river, big river-worn rocks, and a short walk guarantee an easy good time. We could stay for hours doing nothing more than throwing rocks and breaking ice. I don’t know if it gets any better for a few boys that need to blow off some steam and a mama at the end of her day.
With the boys’ tired out from lifting and tossing, they slowed down a bit and we started seeing the world as opposed to just rushing through it –it’s always good to take care of bodies first then minds. The bright colors of the willow were in stark contrast to a day of browns and grays.
On our way out of the park we got the grand show: bull elk congregating in Horseshoe Park and bighorn sheep along Fall River Road. We played tourist and stopped along side the road to watch. We also spotted a magpie nest and bluebirds flitting about all over Moraine Park. Even with whirling snow, spring has sprung in the park.
in the last two days we’ve seen mountain bluebirds return from their southern home, wyoming ground squirrels emerge from their underground beds, earth worms tilling the earth, geese announcing their northward flight, and the most unbelievable: an itty-bitty grasshopper, plucked by very delicate hands from the straw that covers our garden bed.
spring is such a grand reminder of the regenerative power of the earth. the same regenerative power exists within each of us. this seems an important time to be reminded of that power. it helps me to focus on that in these times that are incomprehensible. strength and fragility coexist. in spring. in life.
The wild ride is about to begin. This weekend we were skiing out our front door in 18 inches of fluff. Today the sun overwhelmed us on our early morning walk. There are some crazy days ahead, no doubt. I have complained before. But, actually, I am developing quite a fondness for spring in the mountains– the blue sky days as well as the snows and winds.
What I look forward to most in these next months is the slow emergence of life. There will be no fields of color springing up, no green canopies. In the mountains, that is the stuff of summer. Here admiring spring requires a slow step, a faithful heart, an observant eye. It is the season that finds me bent over with field guides in hand, persistently looking for the next bit of life to emerge. Spring, though fierce and showy in the skies, is so humble on the earth.
Today, on this first day of March, my eyes were lifted from the earth. We were gifted with a pair of Golden Eagles circling over the rock we call Shaman. Even E-man, whose soul has been noisy and mind busy as of late, stayed behind a little longer while his brothers and I were pushed on by growling bellies. Yes indeed, what a gift.