Daily Attention

Audubon: Mystery Solved Photo by Christopher F. Hansen

 

The wing

of the yellow-shafted flicker

turns red

for the eating of invasive honeysuckle.

 

What else do we do to ourselves?

What other easy-pickins  won’t last

the long migration,

or provide the stores we need?

 

What do we ingest that

colors us?

And might our friends

take note?

 

 

 

Fall Garlic

Bury me.

Break me into pieces.

Shove me into the darkness.

 

I will feel my Source.

I will follow the Light.

I will rise, multiplied,

 

to nurture you

with salubrious sustenance,

and scatter the predators.

 

Kale experiment

Last year’s kale lived all winter.  My fingers couldn’t wrap all the way around the green stem emerging from the rocks of the raised bed.  It went to seed this Spring, and by late summer, I saved resilient pods.  With only a few weeks to go before this fall’s first frost, I tossed them back into their birth bed, half-hopefully.  Maybe as the cold comes I can create a plastic cover for them, a “hot house”, or “cold frame”, or other such name – it’s all the same: capture the Sun, condense the liquid, refeed the seed.  Those will be the grandbabies of the momma plant. Does that make me Grandma too?

 

Support and Ruination

“I will not deny my child the privilege of failure.”

Shall I remind again of the deadline, or let it slide past?  Will building him up fool him into thinking he climbed that on his own, or set him on a path so he’s not overwhelmed when the air gets thin and the slopes so steep?  Will allowing him to fall devastate to the point that dusting off and trying again is no longer a perceived option?  I fear the weight of failure tethering him forever.

Fear never freed anyone.  How in God’s name do you free a child ? Faith, that’s how.  I opt for Silence, and wait patiently.  Time will tell. The climb is his.

 

 

Seasons

Thank God for seasons, marking our time, giving us rhythm.  They measure time passing, and likewise make it endless in the repetition.

We are in the mountains, and this resort town is overrun with wildlife who’ve lost their fear of humans. The coyotes call each evening.

We cannot volunteer on the river this Fall, so SK said we should celebrate Fall in the mountains.  What a great suggestion.

I’m so glad she thought of it!

Attention

For Joy, focus attention and watch until there is little room for expectations. What is true appears.  Attending is Love. Allow them to become exactly who they are, each one in its time.

Attend the bee on the goldenrod, the children on vacation, the self.

These days of transition tear at the soul, threatening existential loneliness. The season mirrors the dying inside. The daily definition “Mom” drains away, like the green of active production mellows into yellow leaves.  Winter winds soon blow at the door of my life, threatening to lay me bare. I stand, eyes on the fledglings, proud of my work, and faithful. There will be a Spring and a new version of myself.

 

 

More succinctly said:

Another recent transplant:

“We moved here because NC is so Nice!
We were so tired of the traffic, poor air quality, the noise.
You can hear the birds and the frogs here.

It’s just that.. we have to drive everywhere now.
I wish things were closer; back home we could walk everywhere.                        Luckily, they’re putting some shops close by…

That will be – so Nice…” 

_____________________

We call it being muted.

 

 

Conservation Corridors

I lost one home – my beloved farm – and I don’t intend to lose another.

NC does not have to look like the northeast. We can see where that led – everyone’s leaving and coming down to NC because,  “NC is nice!”

It sure is. Let’s keep it that way.  It’s slipping between our fingers, one DOT highway and expensive subdivision after another. Is this really the size of our dream?  We can dream bigger!

Our work is ALL connected, and if we get connected, on the land, place to place, neighbor to neighbor we can greatly influence – steer the ship – toward our common goal. The resilience and restoration of NC habitats, the health of our state, is in our hands, every one of us – not in policies or taxes or legislation, though also there, but equally or even more so, in our own yards, neighborhoods and open spaces.

Every Environmental Educator, every school, every open space can participate in habitat restoration, recovery and resilience, building spurs and trails for wildlife and wild neighbors to move across and through the landscape.

 

Working separately, we cannot save NC from development, highways and destructive economic forces. If we are not all working toward this goal together, we cannot get there.  It will take everything we have, and more people after us, to keep the forces of extraction, and capitalization from paving paradise into a parking lot. The song hasn’t changed, just the geography.

 

I want us all to own this goal, together. There is nothing, nothing, that I can do beyond my own yard. That’s not even mine, but it’s my place, it’s where I live, and I steward it.  The rest, your yard, and yours, and yours – is up to you. What will you do?  Will you dig into your values, dig into your soil, your “soul”, and become a member of the community of all beings who share that place?  What can you do, this Fall, this year, this lifetime?

 

Traditional Wreath-making

Registration opens in October for the Winter Wreath Workshop. We will focus on apples, magnolia and boxwood. These require meticulous work, offering elegant, traditional results.  This workshop will be offered remotely. Supplies can be picked up in baskets for members by appointment.  Preservation of materials begins in the Fall.

Magnolia Apple Wreath

 

Preserved Boxwood Wreath

 

 

Goodbye Ichor

The cool of Fall comes in pulses.  The rabbits are digging.  They efficiently eat the yard, and their range expands accordingly.   Thistle popped through above ground, and I used a wire grid to patch that hole.  Her wee warren stretches under her cage and out the other side now.  Gypsy and Zero are future mates, and sleep next to each other all day, separated by a fence and a few inches.  Scent and familiarity will grow over the coming months and with Spring he will be ready.

We lost Ichor to fly strike. Horrific as it was, she went in my arms after hours of tender care, and she seemed to know we had done all we could to save her. Ichor and Thistle are too old to breed now.  She went so fast. The day before she was peppy and eating, looking fine.  When it comes, it comes with a vengeance. The name is apt.

Zero is enjoying his expanded pen, and I continue to play with pasture scenarios.  My plan is to master this skill and share the results.

The kids and I walked Screech Owl and Bynum today.  A nest of seed ticks got Rufus at Screech Owl; I so despise them.  The mine was loud, and the road was being dug up as we entered. Always in pain, never beautiful, I struggle to find a way to embrace that place.   Bynum is covered with pawpaws all along the road. We walked to the festival site.  The bridge is covered with graffiti: profanity and politics; the underbelly of Bynum showed itself and we all felt better going home.  As they dragged their feet to their desks, I added a post script to the trip that if either of them decided not to go to college, they could become farmers with me! They declined and got to work on Algebra.