And the skies did open.

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We are rounding out our third year here and the landscape has been revealing itself to me in slow time: gazing, walking, dreaming. The mountains arc around us, embracing little, old Santa Fe and it’s spread. I had a bias to see the peaks aligning north to south, my Front Range frontal lobe imprint, now my perception has shifted. Recent long coveted acquisition: a map of the Pecos Wilderness, and subsequent daydreams; myself wandering peak to peak, lake to lake, all summer long, Gary Snyder-like.

Quel printemps! This spring has been a tempest-tossed affair, veering from sunny days to hailstorms and back again, snowing on every garage sale we have attempted and requiring woolens and boots more days than one would expect in May, but mostly consisting of low cloud cover, gusty winds and enough moisture to put the curl back in my hair once in awhile.

Our yard is a bounty of iris blossoms, baby grape clusters and flowering weeds. I mowed the lawn (yes, we have a small, inappropriate and luxurious lawn. what can I say? it’s our “existing landscape conditions” per our rental agreement); it felt like a natural extension of my daily sweeping. Set me right back to dreaming about adventures in landscape design, an herb covered hillock here, a shaded fountain there…

I have spent vastly more time weeding then planting foods this year. My cat is a garden terrorist and thinks every tilled bit of Earth is his new litter box. The deterrent that I am trying is making the surface of the garden as unwelcome as possible for little feet, which means sticks strewn about every which way. (you’ll see these elaborate measures if you peer behind the iris blossom; isn’t she purdy?).

There are more shades of green than I can shake a stick at, so I employ the boys for stick gathering, shaking and tossing. Mud up to our ankles and the big one is convinced that we ought to all be outfitted in waders. Puddles and lushness, get it while you can.

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What’s blooming by you and in you this Springtime?

 

 

 

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Notes from Siesta

(or the day I did not choose my hammock for the entire rest period)

It has become apparent that I have less dark chocolate squirreled away than I ought. Perhaps, you would like to come here and hide some for me and thereby increase the stash while decreasing my likelihood of finding it with my eyes closed?

(Sidenote: This summer I read Barbara Brown Taylor’s recent book, Learning to Walk in the Dark. It dealt with many facets of darkness. Anyhow, just the other day, a fragment bubbled up and I closed my eyes to fold cloth diapers by touch. It was a lovely, simple challenge and departure from my normal way of being in the world.)

I am crushing on my boys, now that there is some respite from them crushing me. Summer’s almost gone, next week brings on full time kindergarden for the almost 6 year old and a whole new landscape of time for me and the boy on the verge of toddlerhood. New rhythms will be emerging, I feel ready to discern them and hopefully not be swept too far under as they give shape to our new normal.

I would like to show you so much that is here; the way the grape vines arc towards new anchor points, gravity be damned. And, the sunflower volunteer which is growing in leaps and bounds, much as Liam seems to be, in nearly the same spot as last year. Or, send you the delight of an unexpected mid day thunderous soaking that found us choosing a popcorn and peaches fueled dance party-my song choices at last-rather than wondering if we should go out and do..something.

But this is what I have settled on for our little moment together, today.

This morning, it looked like this in our backyard space…

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I am letting go of this tried and true workhorse. Did you know new ones of twice the size cost less than we spend on beer some weeks? Good bye first world problem, hello first world solution! (Er, thank you developing world for providing the workforce and materials.)

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I am entering a stir fry phase. Somebody buy me a wok (please)!

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This boy has been blissfully entertaining himself for the last few weeks. He loves amending toys, particularly with the colors of metal. Here, he has been detailing their Snack Truck with his trusty silver Sharpie marker:

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I gave him a bottle of bronze paint and he stayed busy for hours…

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Post rainfall:

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“I spend a lot of time looking at my mom like this recently, wondering how she dare put me down again when I really can’t walk, talk or see what she is doing on the counter top.”

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Don’t worry, he still looks like this a lot, too…

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Why is this post so difficult to make aesthetically pleasing? I am not sure, but  My hammock is beckoning me like a siren and I can no longer resist.

ps I need a novel to drop into. Can anyone suggest a good read?

 

Drunk on Butterflies

(unearthed: written August 2013)

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This week I visited the Kasha Katuwe Tent Rocks Monument and passed late morning exploring a slot canyon. Soaring walls of whites, browns and oranges towered overhead. All whitewashed in the strong sunshine, they curved with the memory of rushing waters. Phallic rock cones, sinuous crevasses; just the place to bring a newborn and nurse in shaded pockets, letting the milk be the meditation.

The little ones and us big ones, too, were grounded by the presence of an immense Ponderosa Pine at the mouth of the canyon. It’s green needles arched high above against the perfect blue of the sky. The roots were large and exposed, forming a cave for the kids who climbed, dug and spoke incantations for their hour spent in it’s magical presence.

I traded spots with another parent and sat, observing the kids. Soft sand in the shade of the wall cushioned me and I watched the line of shade retreat as the sun rose over our temporary camp. What if I took photos to remember the shapes and colors and painted something later? I am immersed in what caught O’Keefe and so many others in this enchanted land.

Whilst I sat, a Western Swallowtail Butterfly entered the canyon, passed the magic tree and sailed on, up. I watched it’s flight until it merged with the branches of the next pine tree.

I love watching the play: shadows of butterflies follow their corporal selves about and try to catch up. I hear myself calling out, “A butterfly!” when in the company of others. When I don’t hear a response or see people’s eyes lifting, I might worry myself over what else they may be missing. For me, it is a habit of joyful distraction, reinforced by time spent amongst children: the ones graced with this easy awareness.

For me, when I heard it years ago, I promptly took it to heart: Take time to stop and smell the roses.

I nearly always do and often I giggle at myself just after for an act that seems almost clichéd- in these days of iphone attuned faces and air conditioned existences- but if it’s solid advice, I will comply. I am, after all, just making this all up as I go along.

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Summertime Rolls

Springtime has been unfolding here in a most lovely, rhythmic way.

The earth has been steady on in her movement and we are nearly back to summer solstice which marks, among so many things, little one’s first birthday. I remember being told as a kid that my perception of time would grow faster the older I became and, by george, that is truth. A year!

This time last year the skies overhead were suffused with smoke from multiple wildfires burning on both sides of Santa Fe. This made for glorious sunsets, but paranoid pregnancy endgame moments. I think that I hid inside a lot: from smoke, sunshine, thirst and the pull of gravity upon my overstretched ligaments when I stood.

Somehow; whether it was in the hiding, the hormones, the inward focus of my last trimester, I failed to notice the many flowers and the stately way they have arranged themselves to bud, bloom and wilt in a progression that gives us something new to see every few days. Admittedly, we were blessed with some unexpectedly vigorous downpours in the middle of spring and I think that the flowers (and weeds!) are just so happy, still, from that momentary quenching. This year it seems that something and a buddy has been blooming in succession for going on two months.

The colors of the desert are minimal and luminous: blue sky of a thousand blues, sandy variations, light sage greens and slightly richer evergreens….and then, this: wildflower season, the season of cultivated gardens, butterflies alighting.  My eyes turn towards these petite moments of novel color and pop wider. I take them in and chew on them like essential nutrients.

The pull of water is strong in me. We are preparing for a month long trip to the east coast and, in the meantime, I am drawn back to an easy meander along a running creek: to see what I can see. I pause by the burbles, the falling water and balance on my soles, lift through my arches, my hammocks, my heart and breathe in that good air.

Our yard, too, has been cultivated in spots and it is a treat to walk outside the door and see which color has come to visit us today. “Signs of spring”, Liam called them in April. Now, we muse on what popsicle to make next and gaze at the buds of fruits coming to be.

I am pulled, too, with a desire to possess these colors, these sounds and sensations, to take them home inside of me. I play with the point and shoot to show you some things.

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next week, we begin our travels. i am going to attempt to be all sassy and continue to post weekly from the road. if i go missing from here, trust that i am being held by water, friends and family.

A Day in May

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My team indulged me in a hike and picnic adventure on a blustery Mother’s day.

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The Firefighter was on duty and we discussed our thoughts about developmental readiness for owning your own pocket knife. (He said, “maybe ten?” and I replied that I was thinking about seven. He liked that.)

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Big brother is incredulous watching Little Brother approach Daddy’s face like it’s a bowling ball.

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Eleven months old today, are you kidding me?! He is developing so beautifully. In the last month, he has learned to move and, with an extensive dose of floor sampling, has been practicing some discrimination with what goes into his mouth. Our noses are still fair game.

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My preferred habitat: trees, running water, and a sack of tasty morsels on my back.

*one of the songs on the mental loop that week:

Well Met in the Middle

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A Cooper’s Hawk-or was it a Sharp-shinned?-greeted us to the park. We hiked up and found the abundant wildflower display; we were simultaneously over and underwhelmed. New Mexico, you are really so very dry. As an aside, I am taking myself to task each day that I don’t drink at least one bucket of herbal iced tea. When I glanced up from the trail, I could see for miles and miles. The Princess and the Cowboy blazed our way up the trail to old, shallow mines. It was a good day to meet good friends in the middle…