Someone got to the Heron in the night before I could check it out yesterday—one of the People Who Deal with Death. I wasn’t quite able to bring myself to go get a close look. Perhaps after a while, I’ll go check if there are feathers left which I can photograph. Meanwhile, I will imagine the rich milk of a fox mother nourishing a nestle of kits, who dream at night that they are gliding on great blue wings above the fields and streams of the hollow.
Everything returns. Everything feeds the next thing. Everything is nourished by that which came before. May we be food for the next cycle. May our words, our actions, our fierce determination, our resilience, our abiding joy, our activism and our contemplation be nourishment for those who come after us.
It is International Women’s Day. Let’s remember, as we celebrate the women whose lives and stories have fed us, that we must feed the coming generations of women their rights.
Gratitude List: 1. The courageous activist women who have struggled with their whole beings for equal rights. May we continue their struggle. 2. The quiet women who continued to work and nurture and do what needed to be done behind the scenes. May we be steady and reliable, too. 3. The contemplatives and poets, women who inspired us to be better, more evolved humans. May our words sing, and our meditations deepen. 4. The resilient women, who took their own stories of struggle and pain, and turned them into fierce walking boots, firm ground for striding, protective clothing for the long journey. May we, too, be resilient. 5. The women who are coming behind us. May they reach with hope and determination and calm and fierce resilience toward their own empowered futures, their own empowered nows. May we be a strong foundation upon which they may stand and reach upward.
No rants today. I think that from here on out, today will be rantless for me (I can’t call the whole day rantless because I accidentally ranted a bit on Facebook this morning. Ranting is also good for waking up.)
I have a sadness: Our resident Great Blue Heron has died. We need to go do something to honor the body, at least place it serenely in the woods, so the People Who Deal with Death can do their work. The vultures and worms and their communities of goodfolk. I will take photos of the Beautiful One’s feathers. I just need to steel myself. I am not naturally brave with Death, although I value Her, and trust Her.
I also have a lovely happiness: I have no essays to grade this weekend. My soul is free for two days. I need to make something.
Gratitude List: 1. The birdlife here in the hollow. So sad to lose our Blue Heron friend, but this is part of the Cycle. Others will come in their time. Meanwhile, the small wingfolk are singing Spring. 2. Brunch at 301 Cafe! We haven’t done that yet, but it’s in the plan! 3. No big grading this weekend. I feel so light, I could float away. 4. Reassuring dreams 5. Meditating
Someone was walking through the snow beside the porch today, taking the Coyote Road.
Gratitude List: 1. Petting two-day-old goats at Sonya’s today. Precious babies.
2. Afternoon nap
3. Charcoal. Slow, controlled burn.
4. Blue Heron sighting. I always feel a blessing when one flies above.
5. The satisfaction of submitting poems for publication.
Bad Mama Award for the day: Carrying the mousetrap full of dead mouse through the house without thinking. We’ve been reading Brambly Hedge, for Pete’s sake! “Why do you have to kill them?” Many, many tears. Shame. I am so tired of finding mouse poop in my drawers.
Gratitude List: 1. Heron hunched in the pond. Here’s the picture: the pond is frozen over, and atop the ice is a fluffy layer of snow. Except for the corner closest to the hillside, where the biggest spring empties into the pond. There, in just one corner, is a spot free of ice where the great blue heron crouches for fishing in winter. I love when it flies low over the house on its way to hunting. I love the way it crouches expectantly in its pond-corner, like my own heart waiting for spring.
2. That orange glow that filled the holler at sunset this evening
3. Our 7-year-old IT guy. I couldn’t figure out how to save things from the big PC to the cloud so that I can access them on the Chromebook. “Oh, that’s easy, Mom.” And he did it. My seven-year-old has more computer savvy than I do. As Jon says, he’s tapped into the technological noosphere.
4. The outpouring of affection and compassion that seems to be bubbling all around.
5. Finding time for the projects.
What an interesting word, that. One of those that loses some of its value in its overuse. Over-spoken and Under-thought, perhaps. Today, my gratitude list is about Breath-taking Views and Scenes. Places that make me pause in wonder. That take my breath away for a moment. But the act of noticing beauty also gives me breath, sustains me for the often difficult practice of compassion. Breath-giving.
Gratitude List–5 Breath-Taking and Breath-Giving Views that I Noticed Today:
1. The early spring view off Mount Pisgah, down over the bubbles of hills toward the River. Green is spreading, but the leaves have not yet hidden the view.
2. Heading East on 30 across the Susquehanna, looking toward Chiques Rock, with trees along the River frosted white from the morning mist, the poles along the railroad tracks sticking up blackly among them, and the charcoal grey hill and rocks rising beyond.
3. A small oak tree, with its leathery leaves still clinging on, in a stubbly corn field, surrounded by tall yellow grasses like wheat.
4. The very old stone house near the mall–probably once a mill?–surrounded by bone-white sycamores and weeping willows just beginning to don their spring green petticoats.
5. Great blue herons patiently winging through blue sky. Primal.
May we walk in beauty.
I realize my list is treeful. Trees people my consciousness and my heart. Soon the green will come. . .