Monday, April 19, 2010

The Steady, Dripping Beat of Spring

And now, the rains have come.

Yesterday, I lay out on a snowberm with Mason-dog watching the Canada Geese and Sandhill Cranes passing over head. Hoping to find a path through the cloudy mountain draw and discouraged by the dense, drippy layers, they circled back around several times providing wonderful company.

The jangling-rachety call of cranes to one another, keep their spirits aloft on the long journey while pointing out the sights below. We heard a cheer of appreciation for watching and a call to remember our wonderful time together last autumn. In many cultures, they pack the soul after death so we sent our best thoughts with them.

The hummingbird, who hitches a tail-feather ride with the larger folk, dropped off for it's first sip at my feeder yesterday. Dozens of smaller songbirds appeared by afternoon. We're all gearing up for the maniacal pace of a South East summer. The Hooligan aren't far from the Chilkat inlet and my heart and body are primed!

Looking out at the steady pour this afternoon, I'm reminded of all the wonderful paths Life's offered the last few years; ideas gestating and dreams still waiting to be acted upon. Farmstead, fiber-art, growing older with a fine mate, enjoying the escapades of our children in their adulthood's. I've the finest place on the planet and I'm rooted deeply and glad to be home.

But, there's a trip I'm preparing for ~via~ the Rails to Trails system. I'm wanting to cross the country from Oregon to Michigan, camping, cycling and using Amtrak. My folks had fun with such a trip back in the late forties and I'd love to do a follow up journey.

During such a trek, I'm wanting to spend time with the independent book sellers across the nation. Course, I plan to seek out the community festivals and street dances and enjoy fair season along the way as well.

Maybe I'll coordinate with a show or two of Garrison Keillor's Summer Love Tour on towards mid~August.

Now, I'd love to drive the sporty Ford in the picture from the tour's site, (well, in the right company, of course), but in lieu of such a chariot, I'm looking at a Kona Ute cargo bike. One jumped at me on a Fairhaven, Washington street right near the Village Book Store last month. I took it as a sign.

"A sign of what?"

Don't ask.


From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

Monday, April 12, 2010

Large Doses of Home ~ April, 2010

From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
And it's perfection!
This first week home since November, has been about helping my fella get caught up after a very long winter. Also, scratching out a place to be privately productive; the studio!

After months of being bedside and to get back in shape, I'm digging flights of snow stairs. These ephemeral constructs of whimsy melt away in a few weeks while allowing us to get in and out of the deeply buried buildings for now. As my body moves in labor my heart and thoughts are clearing. Sweet seeing if the whole system still works in sync, (and newly grateful for ibuprofen).

I've never been good at goodbyes. I can leave or allow connections to cool, (to be honest, I'm too good at that), but I'm utterly miserable at actual goodbyes. I keep an open place in my core for everyone I've ever cared for. There's lot's of open space newly acquired.

At present, there's a hungry greenish yearn for the gal who's been my universe for so many months, (catch sister Mic's green take). I suspect that feeding this yen is a question of being encompassed by the tender care she required from us and delighting in how she retained her identity and dignity right through her last breath. It was perfection in the most imperfect of processes.

We've made interesting family connections in T.M.'s home of 62 years. These last two, she relied on us, something we'd never anticipated nor would she have ever considered necessary. Her passing was perfect irony, perfectly her; Thursa May Wolfe Revenaugh.

The suggestion of a greenish cast to the cottonwoods and willows along the riverflats hasn't happened. Though afternoons are warm, it's staying quite cold at night and the snow pack is deep. Mornings, I'm able to walk everywhere with the snowshoes tucked under my arm.

Yesterday, we forded the river and climbed to timberline.
From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands
From An Alaskan Returns from the Hinterlands

I made a telephone purchase from our neighbor this morning. In a couple of weeks I'm to get sixteen, two year old hens for eggs and meat. The hen house is still a ways from usable. A marten nailed our three remaining hens a month or two ago and I want to be sure he's got larger options in the river and forest by waiting to bring the new flock home. The deep snow crunched the hen yard as well, so it's time for repairs this season.

I'm scouring the area for a baby buck Oberhasli to raise this summer. Our barn has two adult goats and two woolly ewes but our lead, Jackquie goat, needs freshening. No milk, kids or lambs this year!

That opens this summer for the barn occupants and I to focus on making trail and packing the hillsides. They're younger, stronger and far more resourceful than I and should help cut back on sore muscles and joints by packing my dictionary and camping gear once a week or so!

The garden starts have been warming by the wood stove, and ten feet under the snow is the rhubarb; coiled, crimson potency absorbing light in a deep white denizen and preparing to burst out, alive and bittersweet.