Sunday, July 19, 2015

sunlight and insect juice

from Brian Doyle's Children and Other Wild Animals

A sparrow, tiny and cocky, shouting at cars and dogs.  A finch pouring summer from its mouth. A tree swallow, no bigger than the hand of a child, carving the huge air into circles of iridescent green and blue and black.  It swims and slices through the air.  It is as light as a whip tip.  It is made of sunlight and insect juice, exuberance and desire.

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"...made of sunlight and insect juice, exuberance and desire"

Mmmm, I love that. Thinking about the swallowtail caterpillars eating our dill (happily eating, happily giving), the deer eating our morning glory leaves and bean leaves.  Oh, and the Queen Anne's lace, which yes, I know is a weed, but I love it, visiting my garden like a hobo who has decided to leave its roadside journey for a stop at the nice lady's house. The finches, "pouring summer" from their mouths as they chide me for running out of seed for the second time this week. The sunlight and rain connecting everything in our days...

swallowtail on dill
scarlet runner beans - BEFORE the deer ate them

baby monarda

The plants growing in the cracks, made up of duff and rainwash, which sometimes is just enough.

renegade snap dragons, growin' where they wanna
And then there are the mushrooms (you knew we were going there, didn't you?)...Everyone is complaining about the rain we've had this summer, but I feel so richly blessed by the abundance of diversity the rains bring.  Mushrooms, made of pine, hickory, oak...some discriminatingly choosing one species, others easily adapting to what they find around them, devouring and becoming and then showing their incredible blooms.

Definitey an anglerfish. Clearly fungus and fish are related.
The prize: lactarius indigo. I always feel like I'm speaking fake latin
when I can remember this name. Naw, it couldn't be "lactarius indigo". It is. Milky blue.

This morning I am made of birdsong and coffee.  Sweat and sweet hay smell, tired smiles and friendly talk.  Farm eggs and sausage, Encyclopedia Brown and Ani chatter.  Contentment and bustle. What about you?

Monday, July 13, 2015

the poem i want to write

What I want is to write
the unfolding of you:

the unfurling of limbs,
the eyes seeking a sphere
a hair wider than before,
and for minutes at a time;

the peaceful awake that takes in the world.

It comes out flat
like a piece of paper
with no mysterious folds, no wrinkles
yet to fill out
no raspberry-soft skin
that almost can't be felt,
it is that soft.

The quiet, honey-slow
minutes of watching
you yawn and mouth the air
twitch a corner smile and
circle into a perfect "o"
don't fit on a page.

They are both too heavy and
too light
to be described in a way that is not too precious,
but there is nothing
about a baby.

Friday, July 10, 2015

lyle love

 My camera takes lousy indoor pictures, but I have about 50 of this very scene:

How could I not? The last night of our trip we camped in my cousin's back yard and soaked up as much of Baby Lyle as we could squeeze out when he wasn't nursing or nursing or nursing.  I, of course, met him in May, when he was a little wrinklier, but my family hadn't yet met him, and really, it might have been the thing that clinched our rather spontaneous trip to Maine. A night with Jessica, Ben, Calvin and Lyle? SOLD.

It proved a little tricky to wrench him from Ani's arms.  The babies. Holy cow.  We just spent the time appreciating his chubbs and his wee fingers, the sweet weight of him.

Eliza's lovin' up that Calvin back there
learns the pinkie trick!

The girls might have worried a little during the hours we were stuck in traffic on the Tappan Zee Bridge (hours) that Jessica had changed now that she's a mom.  For the past thirteen years she has been Their Special Person (officially, their Fairy Godbelayer, if that could be a thing), crazy and funny and totally bonded to my kids. I think they were more than a little worried.  I assured them that she hadn't disappeared overnight, or even over nine months, and then we realized that these girls could be that person for this baby...Time. You and your bewitching ways.


Monday, July 6, 2015

last days in Maine

Hold on for two more days here...lighthouses, blueberry barrens, farmers markets, a sail, and beach could I leave anything out?  Forgive the forty-some photos..

Walking the breakwater to Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse, built in 1902

Visiting our friends Johnny and Arla at their beautiful blueberry farm

the barrens - shortbush blueberries
John E and Homefries

thanks to Tokarz for getting me in a photo;)

walking the barrens, looking for porcupine. and moose.
We extended our trip by a day, and it was exactly what we needed: a sail and one last picnic with our friends.  The boat we went out on was The Bufflehead, captained by Daniel and crewed by his 7 year old daughter, Raya.

resident osprey

Eliza was nervous about getting on a boat.  It was lovely to see her relax and get comfortable moving about as Daniel tacked and the boat shifted.  His daughter has been sailing since she was born, and sails with him long days all summer during the days of the week he has her.  It was incredible to watch her navigate her way around, and Ani watched her like a hawk, her hands shadowing every movement.
finishing breakfast
Owl's Head lighthouse

I am sorely lacking for eloquence this morning, with my mind set on the week ahead, but I'm wanting to share the images before the memories fade.  Looking back on this fairyland, I'm realizing that we had a family vacation this summer! How about that.  Off the boat, we headed for the farmer's market - all of this within walking distance in this small town - for wood-fired pizza and sitting in the sun.

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Our last evening we headed out to the lighthouse we had seen from the boat - Owl's Head - and had a picnic on the beach.  I can't imagine a better way to spend a summer evening in Maine. 

While out there exploring on the rocks and getting as close as we could to a group of ducks (Common Eiders, dontcha know), Daniel sailed by in The Bufflehead, blowing his conch to us as he passed.

And yes, for a few foolhardy souls, there was a memorable dip into the Atlantic.  Of all the things we did, this is what I hear the girls recount the most often.

Me, I think of perfect weather and perfect company, olives, chicken, wine and brie in sight of the ocean.  Air filled with the sea, and the bright possibilities of new beauty.  Magical Maine.