Tag: nature (Page 1 of 4)

If a Tree Falls in the Middle of a Waterfall, Does It Make a Sound?

a tree in bloom over a waterfall

View from my Studio Window, Before

She buds.
She blooms.
Over the course of ten days, she comes into her full glory. Every day I sit looking out my studio window, mesmerized at the splendor of her branches gracefully sheltering the spot my log once called home.

Today, as I eat a pack of crackers and call it lunch, I listen to Clarissa Pinkola Estes tell the story of her trumpet vine and how its raucous blooming annoyed the neighbor man. One spring he harrumphed over and asked her to cut it down. “I can’t do that,” she told him. “It’s an old vine. And beautiful.” One day she arrives home to find that the neighbor man has cut the vine down to the ground. And on her side of the fence, mind you. Once the initial wave of grief passed, she digs up the vine, plants the roots, and in a short while, the vine is growing again.

blooming tree lays across waterfall

blooming tree over waterfall

 

broken tree

 

I cover my mouth in horror of the neighbor destroying the trumpet vine, pick up another cracker,  and look back out at my tree of graceful blooms . . . to find it laying in the water. Tracing it back with my eyes, i see where the tree trunk snapped, the blooming limbs landing in the falls. Once again I cover my mouth in horror and disbelief.

Later, while I am on a business call, The Engineer and Mother  go out, cut off a few small branches, smash the ends, dip them in a root-activating powder, and plant them in soil. The trumpet vine grew back, so I’m hopeful these will begin to sprout, too. Maybe in a few years, I’ll sit mesmerized under the beautiful blooms framing the waterfall (I’m on my 17th day of yoga, so I might be able to get down and back up by then – it could happen.) I’ll spread out a quilt and picnic under the gloriously blooming tree, telling her the story of her grandmother who once thrilled my eyes and salved my broken, grieving heart with her beauty.

You Wood Miss Her, Too

a waterfall

Last night was a brightly colored weather calendar.
Rain fell sideways for hours and hours and hours.
Wind threatened to turn our stationary house built upon a rock
into a house boat
and send us down the falls.
Thunder came in one gigantically long clap
that knocked pictures off the walls.

The lightning came indirectly from Mother Nature
as the electricity danced with our generator in a mechanical two-step
on, off
off, on.

It was a frightening night
to say the least.

We woke to an ebullient waterfall
telling us the story of last night in her own language
of loud, full, boisterous falls.

a waterfall

And then I noticed it.
My log was not there.

a waterfall

Years ago, in another night of
raging, threatening weather,
the log was wrested from the place  she then called home
and came to perch on the edge of the largest drop
of our waterfall.
Right on the edge, I tell you.

a log in the water

She lived on the edge
in shade and sun,
this log did,
with just enough of each
for her to become her own ecological system.
Plants sprouted on her
grew on her
bloomed  on her
then died on her.

a frozen waterfall

The water rushed around her.
The water froze around her.
Beavers skipped over her to get to the other side.
Driftwood pieces scooted by.
Some waved at her,
some didn’t find her worthy of attention.
And still she stayed just the way she was, this bole,
totally un affected.

A boy and a man play in a waterfall

One summer, she taught Handful how to play her version
of Pooh sticks.
His glee was infectious
just as she knew it would be.

She became my womentor,
I spent many an hour
talking to her
watching her
listening to her
learning from her.

I don’t mind telling you
that I already miss  her terribly.
I also don’t mind if you know that
I cried my way through the morning.
She may have looked like just a log
stuck on the edge of the falls,
but to me
she was more.
Much, much more.
She was my friend, my guide, my muse.

I admired her steadfastness,
her stillness,
how content she was being
a log.
She didn’t try to be water
or a boulder
or a bush.
And you know what?
As good friends as we were,
she never once asked me if the sticks
that attached themselves to her end
made her look fat.
She didn’t allow the rushing water
to steer her from her course
or move her from her perch
or frazzle her.
Nothing phased her.

She didn’t get flashy
or show off
or (try to) steal the spotlight from the falls.
Most people didn’t even notice her
till I pointed her out.
She was who she was
she was where she wanted to be,
she was fulfilling her life’s purpose,
and that was Enough.

I’ve been making some internal changes
in my life of late,
inspired in part
by The Log.

There have been other dramatic storms
since she took up here
so why did she choose last night
to let go and move on?

Perhaps she’s taught me everything I need to know.
Perhaps it was just plain time for her to go.
Perhaps you’ll say
”It was just a log.”
You’d be wrong.
But then again, maybe you’ll say
”I know you’ll miss her
and I understand why.”
and then you’ll be right
and I’ll be grateful.

Day 15, The Determined Daffodil

Green plants growing in a pot

I am cranky.
I need space (physical and mental).
And order.

In this morning’s First Light of Day journal, I ask what I want my life to be because that seems a good starting point. The question “What do I want?” echoes when it hits the page.

I need a reset button, something to take my mind off the current situation and set me back on the path of cheerfulness and optimism. The only thing for it is to plead with Mother Nature to wrap her arms around me and whisper sweet parables to my heart and something positive to think about to my brain.

The sun has come to call today, so I go outside for a walk and there, in the flowerpot now filled with dead stems that were once colorful blooms celebrating daughter Alison’s graduation from college in our home-held ceremony, I spy a daffodil stretching and rubbing her eyes.

How did that happen?

In July this pot was filled with ham and egg lantana, not daffodils. Daffodils are spring flowers; lantana thrives in the summer. Daffodils enjoy the cool shade; lantanas are happiest in the hot, full sun.  I accept it as one of Mother Nature’s conundrums, something for me to ponder.

Green leaves, plants, and brown leaves underneath a green flower pot

Now I may be delighted with the notion that everything happens for a reason all in its perfect time, I may giggle gleefully with magic, but  The Engineer wants to know how and why things happen. Before I can stop him, he shoves the pot aside with his foot, and  lo and behold the pot is sitting in the middle of a small daffodil patch. This daffodil – the only one blooming – who found her path blocked, found a way to keep growing anyway. By golly she was meant to stretch, reach, grow. She was meant to live, and live she would. She was, after all, put on earth to bloom, and she let nothing – not even a heavy pot of wet soil and dead (or dormant) lantana stems stop her.

Daffodil in vase beside waterfall

The Determined Daffodil, now at home in a vase that belonged to my grandmother, the one I’m writing the book about.

She is not a victim, this daffodil. She doesn’t whine or wring her hands because her life is difficult and not at all the way she’d like it to be.  This is one Determined Daffodil, and she chooses lightness and smiles and positivity.

Now I REALLY have something to ponder.

24: life lessons from the falls

Fallslog3

things – often big things – like trees, for example – find themselves in the falls. perhaps they were pushed in by mischievous humans or beavers, perhaps they died a natural death and fell in. whatever the cause, however they got there – big things land in the falls . . . and here’s the important part: the water just flows around them. it doesn’t stop, it just finds a new path.

Falls6

the falls are made up of bajillions of droplets of water, and when they come together, they create a formidable force and a mighty roar.

Falls7

you must be well motivated, fortified, and thoroughly dedicated to walk in the opposite direction of the water. to go against the flow is not an easy or restful activity.

Falls4

water is determined and tireless. it doesn’t stop of its own accord, flowing on and on and on until something out of its control brings it to a halt. water can’t control the weather. water, weather – they are both pieces of nature’s jewelry, but they are different. separate.

Falls2

the water frolics over the rocks as one great big never-ceasing transparent barrel of fun. but step in and hit a slick spot, and – whoosh – down you go. there are always things you can’t see.

~~~~~~~

Because I craved a challenge, I’m penning 100 stories in 100 days, and I sure do thank you for reading them. If you’d like a daily tuck-in tale, feel free to mash the black “Right This Way” button in the orange strip at the top of the screen. Enter your email address (all else is optional), and hit the “send” button. Doesn’t cost a thing but a minute of your time.

On A Bear Hunt

Bear1

It happened on this very piece of Earth Jewelry.
yesterday – Sunday, 26 October 2014.
at 5:30 p.m.
Timing is everything, you know.

As the sun bid its adieu and made its way for bed,
the shadows came,
and in the space of 12 minutes

Bear2

there was a turtle

Bear3

then a one-hump camel

Bear4

then a one-hump camel wearing deely boppers.
Or maybe a cat.

Bear5

There was a one-humped camel turned Ernie from Sesame Street
and finally, at 5:42 p.m.
what everybody came to see . . .

Bear9

Bear15

a BEAR!!!!

Lingering,
at 5:45, we see the bear become

Rat

a rat.

Makingbear

All this from the sun playing hide-and-seek with this mountain
and a splash of our imagination, of course.

And though it’s fun and quite playful,
it seems quite significant, too,
like Mother Nature is telling us an important bedtime story
allegorical style.

no words, all walk

Walkingwednesday

Walkingwednesday2

Walkingwednesday3

Walkingwednesday4

Walkingwednesday5

[ ::: ]

Jeanne Hewell-Chambers walked 95,453 steps last week (which translates into 43.21 miles). It would’ve been more, but last week the mountain was covered with snow and ice, and her boots were apparently made for walking only in shopping malls, so she slid more than she stepped. She bought herself a new pair of shoes yesterday, though: waterproof hiking shoes. So there.

I See Them Everywhere

The Short Version:

  • I continue to stitch the second set of Nancy’s drawings.
  • A set = the drawings she makes each time I visit, that is to say a set = a visit.
  • In Our Own Language 2.2 is what I’m currently working on. It’s the second of three panels of the second set.
  • When I work on it, I see likenesses pretty much everywhere.

The longer, illustrated version:

They say when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
I guess that’s why while stitching In Our Own Language 2.2 and creating a base of collaged doilies

Doiliecollage1

I see a collage of leaves.

Leafcollage

And while I seal the four layers together with scatter stitches

Scatter

I see scatter stitches of pine straw.

Pinestrawscatter1

( :: )

I had to take a break from stitching these big pieces (each panel is 60″ x 90″ and four layers) and stitch smaller pieces instead because working on the rather large panels in the In Our Own Language series is hot work, and we don’t have air conditioning. It’s cooling off now.

The Engineer and The Artist Walk

Rock

Every morning we walk up the falls together, and when we come to the fork in the road, he goes left to walk down to the lake, and I go to the right right to walk up the Way Big Hill. This morning he invited me to join him, and I did – reluctantly. While The Engineer likes walking downhill first (says it warms and loosens him up), I prefer to get the hard stuff out of the way first, then go downhill all the way home. He starts hard and finishes easy. I prefer starting hard and finishing easy.

He listens to music while he walks, I enjoy the sounds of my own thoughts, and the music of the falls. This morning I had three impossibly good ideas (or just impossible, depending on who you ask).

He carries a weight in each hand, and for the life of me I don’t know why, but I always like to have my hands free and uncommitted. Ready.

Then there’s this: I like to stop and take photos. Enough said.

Feather

Purpleflowers

Tree2

Tree1

While Sweeping Leaves

Leaves

The leaves pile up in clusters,
and after a while their size
becomes impressive
and strong.

Together, they have the power
to rot the boards on which they rest.
Or to keep plants alive through the winter.

As I sweep them across the deck,
they cling to each other tightly
forming what sure feels like a boulder
to my weary arms.

Occasionally a wind comes along
whispering in the opposite direction
we’re going, the leaves and I,
and I notice that it’s only the
leaves who aren’t connected to other leaves,
the ones who aren’t committed
that blow backwards from whence they came.

the numbers add up . . . if you leave some out

Floss

I needed floss. DMC #550 (dark violet) because purple is Nancy’s favorite color, and I like this particular shade. It took one hour to get to the store and four-and-a-half hours to get back home . . .

View2

because on the return trip, we took the road less traveled, and Frost is right: it made all the difference.

Falls2

Trees just beginning to wake up and think about changing into something green.

Rock

Heart-shaped rocks still wet from recent storms.

View1

I felt so small, so protected. The quiet wrapped itself around me like a lullaby.

Falls1

And just as I dropped the floss off in The Dissenter’s Chapel (the name of my studio), along came a flood of ideas – 21 to be exact – for new quilts. I guess that means I’m working in a series now?

[cue contented sigh]

It was a day well spent (even if we did spend five times as much on gas as we spent on floss).

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