Sunday, July 17, 2011

Coming home

Dragonfly Pond

A raccoon family marauded the pots on our porch at the Village last night, dumping them over and pulling the plants out. I rattled at them from my upper window, but they just looked up at me, little masked faces in the dim porch light, so this morning my roommate and I repotted and swept up debris. Little buggers are cute, but difficult.

Wildlife is so plentiful here! There’s the previously-mentioned family of woodchucks – curious critters – and a very numerous family of skunks. I enjoy watching them from a distance, as they flow up the steps, checking out every crack, every pebble, their tails held high. A herd of deer was feeding on the golf course a couple of evenings ago, with them a little fawn that still had its spots. Judy’s birdfeeder attracts flickers, sparrows, nuthatches, chickadees, cardinals, and a titmouse. Now a squirrel has climbed up to our second-floor window, his claws skittering on the glass. I think he is trying to figure out how to reach the bird feeder. He’ll succeed, they always do.

I’m in love with the dragonflies and ebony jeweled damselflies as well. The black damselflies flutter gently through the undergrowth near streams, one sex brilliantly jeweled green on black, the other a drabber black with white dots on his (her?) wings. The damselflies turn to face me if they notice I’m there, which doesn’t make for great photos, but I’ll keep trying. 

Dragonflies are very shy, too. I think this one’s a 12-Spot, but I’ve seen many others, including a Widow, and my favorite, something called a White Tail, which looks like its sporting semaphore signals when it flies. We have them at home, too. Gonna take a longer lens than mine to catch good shots of those!

I leave today for the White Mountains, a blessed week in cooler temperatures and lower humidity - and my partner, Larry. I’m eager to be home, be held. I want to touch base again with an essential part of me there. God is everywhere, but speaks to me loudest from the pines and the meadows, yet I don’t live just in them, but here as well. I have made the transition, and don’t feel pulled apart any more, at least for now. 

Thank you, God.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Arriving in Missouri

Blackberries from the trail
Today I arrived in Missouri, two weeks after my body landed. The woods are busy with unknown life that calls them home, but this day I’m not a guest. Perhaps it was the storm last night, perhaps the lease I signed, perhaps the finding of new friends and solitude. I go back to the mountains soon, but not to stay, at least not yet. Missouri has me.
My writing class reflects this centering as well. I have seen real possibilities and learned that there is craft to consider as well. For a while I was confused about blending craft and inspiration, leaned on craft…and lost my voice. Now the voice is back, I think, but better trained, a balance that will bob and weave as I continue. Having weathered similar steps in painting, its not an unfamiliar path, and I’m eager for the journey.
There are lots of challenges ahead:  time to write, many avenues to chase. My little short story is a chapter in a larger novel. I have a book laid out on personal changes that needs attention from this new perspective, and articles and assignments to write, concurrent with going to seminary, not an easy process in itself.
I’d love to write a book, with photos and sound, on the wildlife here in the woods.  Perhaps my western perspective helps; I find the rich variety new and strange, the sounds engaging. The bird calls here are unknown in the west, save for the robins and mockingbirds.  For instance, I’m still trying to identify a bird that sings “Ce-dar, ce-dar, ce-dar, quik, quik, quik, quik.” It’s a distinctly different sound from the energetic cardinal and mockingbird concerts. The bird is shy, hides in the treetops, and falls silent if I move. I’ve never seen it.
Perhaps that is indicative of where I am as well. I am pursuing something I cannot quite see, but the music calls from deep within my being.  Magic fills the air.