A cool breeze carrying the scent of purple petunias snakes past my toes. I've
shut off the music to listen to the evening songs of Hermit Thrushes and
Robins and watch the breath-like movement of the canopy against a blue-gray
sky. My breath is slow and even and I finally feel a deep sense of calm - I am
home in the cool forest, the studio is finished, the opening festival has come and
gone and I think just maybe I can begin to find my natural rhythm and flow again.
I see that it has been about a month since my last post - back when the forest
was lush and full of salamanders and gleaming with moisture. With plentiful spring
rains, the foxgloves grew high on one side of the old studio, and the lupine
on the other.
in the forest, Pasha found a bunny-family and brought me a few. The first one
was quite dead, an offering dropped on the Persian carpet with great pride.
The following day, he came dashing in and dropped a live bunny at my feet.
I whisked her up and into a box and still in my bathrobe drove down the road to
let her find a new home near the field.
It seemed that June (and maybe April and May, too) was full of dashing about
preparing for this and that, with less time for art-making and forest-dreaming and
more than the usual amount of stress and anxiety and goings-on. The day after
Solstice, I ran off to Florida to help my mother when she returned from the hospital
after major surgery. It was to be for a week, but ended up being two: a gift
that my not-so-mainstream life-style allowed. Mum is doing quite well, but
recovery is slow and intense and has its ups and downs.
Shortly after my arrival, tropical storm "Debby" came whirling in bringing a week
of rain and tornadoes and a bit of anxiety. Eventually the sun came back out,
and the duckies put on their sunglasses and hung out at the pool. There was little
time to explore the jungle around the house, but I did steal a moment with my
father for the tour.
Entering the garden through the arbor, one is met with the smell
of jasmine and gardenia and little geckos scurrying away.
Tall laurel oaks and live oaks support climbing plants,
and twining vines and bands of happy blue jays.
My favorite place is occupied by a magnificent stand of bamboo.
Silhoutted in the morning light, it was a joy to awaken to everyday.
My proud Dad leads the tour, and I'm amazed at how much work he has done
here since my visit last year. We share a deep love of the land - and of creating
beauty with plants and stones. A shame there are no stones in Florida for him
to place here and there as he did in Massachusetts, but maybe better for his back!
Beautiful scented shrubs and flowers and strange succulents
clinging to coral, birds of paradise, palms and passionflowers fill
this small garden, as well as orange, grapefruit and banana trees.
At the far edge of the garden, a moss covered pine marks the boundary.
I love the draping of the Spanish Moss, but Dad says its a bit to raggedy looking
Back at RavenWood, the garden is dry and thirsty. Little rain has fallen in
the two weeks I was away and a few favorite plants died. Still there are plenty
of well established plants in the right soil that are thriving, and happiest of all
are the native plants.
One thriving and very happy native is Pasha -kitty. For a kitty who is rarely
ever inside, he endured the longest time on house-arrest ever! He had visitors
to feed him, visitors to play with him and even one to do some writing so he
wouldn't be alone one day. I wasn't sure how I would be greeted when I returned,
but it was the sweetest purr-fest ever!
The luna moths have gone, replaced by other moths - but none so spectacular.
Without much rain, evenings are quiet without the singing tree frogs. Even the cricket
hum is strangely low. I'm anxious to get into the studio and see what emerges and
to wander amongst the trees with Pasha to sit with the stones and drink the wild
forest medicine. I appreciate the lush beauty of Florida - the fragrant flowers and
amazing birds - but I belong to this land of mosses and hemlocks and pools of still
waters. I'm happy to be home to watch the garden grow for a while.