On afternoon walks with Pasha, my pace
is slow, reverent, my voice, hushed.
My small friend's enthusiasm is contagious.
On a cushion of moss, the remains of a mourning dove.
I wonder if it was one of the pair that often
pecks around in the garden.
I wonder at the vibrancy of the moss,
even though we've had months of drought.
We have our places: the places where we always pause.
The huge split boulder is a favorite. I call it the
"whispering stone", because when I sit there, I whisper.
Its where we first met the barred owl the year we moved here.
A flash of white in a tree, then she was perched on a
branch near us - watching. Pasha saw her, too, as he
rolled on the soft forest floor near the pond. I got up
to move closer to him, just in case, but knowing he
was much too big a critter for her. I thought that would
be the end of our visit with the owl, but she didn't
mind my movement at all. We sat, all three of us in the
same, small circle of hemlocks for an hour. Me not
wanting to lose a moment of encounter, Pasha hanging with
me because that's what he does, and the owl because this is
her place, I guessed. She jumped around from limb to limb,
focussed on the ground, and very little on us, until
the blue jay came and pierced the silence with
loud warning cries.
Towering hemlocks hide all kinds of
creatures, and only if we don't seem threatening,
do we get a glimpse. Root systems
wrapped around stone ledges - dark
hiding places everywhere.
I took a slight detour on my usual path and found my
drawings in the scars of an old tree. I thought of all the
things you wrote in response to my drawings -
time, tree time, finger prints, labyrinths, and suddenly
you were all with me on my walk... you from Australia,
England, Wales, Atlanta, South Africa, Canada - the whole
world in the rings of a tree...
A tree shouting red through branches -
releasing the fire of summer.
Back in the clearing,
only a small bit of wood left to stack. I stacked
a cord one day and that got me over the hump.
I'm waiting for a slow moment in my work-life to get
back to fall tasks. I find comfort in a stocked shed and the
clinking sound of well seasoned wood. I think
the squirrels know what I mean.
Mums dress up the front step, and the nicotiana is
tall and hanging on until the first frost which the
grocer said is coming this weekend.
Our owl friend came to visit the other day, briefly.
I haven't had a good visit with her in years, so
I was excited when I saw her perched in her spot
in the dead hemlock. Folks say I should cut that tree
down, but I know she likes it.
She stayed until someone made a racket on the road
with a loud truck. The moment she tucked in her head
just so, I knew she would fly....