"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The Seasons, As They Really Are

Here in the Bay Area we have arrived at September like everyone else but here it doesn't mean cooling temps and getting out the scarves and the tall boots. Just when your mind and the American Marketing Machine has you most primed for autumnal bliss, Cali has me all whip lashed. September and October usually hold the warmest, most classically summery weather. We have popsicle afternoons and pool dates and though the apples are ripe and we do indeed need to start prepping for Halloween, its best done in tank tops and shorts. 
We have not had a particularly hot summer this year and there have even been times when it felt a little too chilly so it feels so odd to remember that its expected that we get this heat wave and start using our A/C now.

I am thinking about how in the world I can catch some of that fall flavor in summery ways. I had an iced chai tea the other day because......autumn flavors + summer temps. I want to start making roasts and wearing my hair down but its time for a little bit more warm weather celebration before we get there.

Time to go apple picking and plan one last camping adventure at the same time. Californian Autumn means a different thing and I have to start adapting in my own mind to this reality that is my world and my neighborhood. I love hearing and seeing all the seasonal markers that are different here and owning that fact that we have seasons....just different ones, or even the same ones with different markers and signifiers.
I wanna be the kind of woman who is curious about her world, open to her own microsmic environment and the story that its bringing. It may not be what I am primed for, what the general public talks about or what I have ever seen before but...its mine. Really, in some ways this is the story of what I am learning as a grown-up in general the last few years. My marriage, my kids, my housekeeping, our schooling, my reading schedule, my art career, my own professional life and personal development, my spiritual unfolding...none of them seem to trot down the expected trajectory. I am trying to let go of what I thought I'd have and see and know and instead wipe the slate blank and draw what I really see, like they tell you in art. Instead of drawing the projections of my own mind and expectations, what people tell me I see or should see....instead, in faith, I'll just step into the season I am really living and try to learn to love it in all its difference, and variation and cope with the odd bits and sooth my own nerves about how it isn't what I thought it would be.

Because, truth.....its what it is and its also beautiful, even if unfamiliar.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

End Of Summer Notes

We are going tubing down a river tomorrow morning and I should be in bed by now so that I will be awake bright and early to make everyone omelettes before we leave. (Boys who go places with no food are not boys you want to go places with.) Instead of sleeping, I am up folding laundry, contemplating the moving away of one more friend, obsessing about my homeschool plans and trying to decide how to wedge in one teeny stay in a rustic cabin in the mountains before the holidays. So many things going on and suddenly it feels like everything is speeding right up.

I told Ru and Nib that they could both sign up for fall baseball since we skipped out on the regular spring season. Argh! I am such a lazy mama....I don't wanna do it! I have the hardest time convincing myself to be ambitious enough to arrange friend play times and classes or activities of any kind. Nib has incessantly nagged me all summer long to take him fishing and I only managed to do something about it once when we were in Michigan sleeping 20 feet from my in-laws private dock. Better a little than nothing at all. Ha. But, seriously....I think I need to just take myself to a local bait shop or a pier and let some old men school me on how to catch the local fish and how in the world to fix up the fishing rods I have but have not in proper order. I am considering one of those cushy trout ponds for a personal boost as a beginning.

In all seriousness, I do want to have and to show ambition. I am not interested in avoiding all work and having my kids end up resentfully annoyed at their own inability to participate in anything because I dragged my feet for all eternity. I am however, loath to sign up for baseball. I love watching how they learn from coaches and build friendships on the team but I truly hate rushing off to practices and having our whole life filled with practice and games.
 So far, I have still not received a note about Little League starting up for fall season.....so who can say. We must not butcher our chickens before they're hatched.

I have been harvesting the little volunteer Sungolds in our garden for the past couple of weeks. I was a little nervous to see what would appear when they began fruiting since I know Sungold is a modern hybrid and not very inclined to end up true to kind. I have been very surprised by satisfied by how very like its parent this tomato has appeared. I have the same juicy, sweet/tart little golden marble fruits and have been merrily filling a folded over pouch in my shirt with them pretty much anytime I find myself lingering in the yard. I have also been picking arugula, some tender second and third flush broccoli and our first very late crop of peas. The peas never seem to make it inside to the house, the kids like them too much. I'm all for healthy snacking however, so there's not much fuss to make over the issue.

The boys and I are working more on nature journalling and have been pulling out our paints to sketch things up a little from time to time. I am still trying to use our journals for a chance to record and research new species to us since moving Out West. Speaking of new species to us...we recently revisited the trees I noticed this spring when they were blooming. I thought they were maybe apricots or peaches but this time of year I could clearly see that they are almond trees. So amazing to discover that there are so many exotic nut trees scattered around. I sometimes feel like I know a lot about plants and animals and that outdoors and that I can feel confident in my knowledge. And then I think about things and realize that I am still humblingly unknowing in many ways and make absurd sounding rooky guesses. I only just realized this spring that the leaves of apricot trees look nothing like peach tree leaves and that I had been walking right past them all my life and not noticing. And then, there's the almonds-look-nothing-like-other-nuts-they-look-like-peaches foul up that I made in trying to learn what was along the highways. I can't believe how much there still is to notice and know and understand....even about the common things. One new fun tool I have been playing with as I learn is the app iNaturalist. Its actually kind of amazing. You take a picture, it notes your location via gps and then identifies your find. Super empowering. The boys love it. We end up running around at parks snapping pictures of things I would normally just shrug at.

Summer isn't quite over yet, even though school is starting next week so I am looking forward to a few more beach days, a little blackberry picking, a pie or two, a rodeo and a music festival. Autumn will come in its time but I'm not quite ready. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Poetry Friday: A Piece About Perspective

Happy Poetry Friday! Its been a long time since I participated but I'm back in the saddle, summer fueling my creative side. Today is the day I share an original poem, hopefully one I made up just today and join in with other poets and poetry lovers to share our work and the work of those we admire. Today our host for Poetry Friday is Mitchell Linda over at A Word Edgewise. Go take your morning cup of coffee over tomorrow and glide through all the stacks of wonderful poems. Such a great way to open your mind for the weekend and to take it all out and shake out the wrinkles before a new week begins. 

This week I am sharing a poem that was begotten via a poetry prompt from our hostess. Thank you so much for the beautiful first line, Mitchell Linda... This took me happy places. I was thinking of the very common scene in my backyard with my four little boys playing together and losing things together over the garage roof or over the fence to the neighboring yards. Lots of great images and meaning layers there if we look at even the simple and mundane scenes in our lives.  
Above Ground
"Don’t worry—there are ladders."
He told his little brother after they
Sailed a balsa glider quite out of reach
Onto the garage roof.  
He was just deflating, melting into a
Puddle of heartbreak on the sidewalk,
his kindergarten joy sailing out of reach
Onto the garage roof. 
His big brother lifted his chin with a finger,
And gave a wink towards the rungs
And pulled his hopes upright again
Onto the garage roof. 
How many times I could have rallied
If I could only learn to look up myself.
Remembering that there are ladders
Onto the garage roof.