Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The River Last Night

Last night, right before bed, I went to the river. The rain from earlier still dripped in the trees, still shone on the rocks. Nocturnal birds chirped at the moon from their perches, not the call of a cold wolf's howl, but still, a call. To something. 

Another noise, a hushed snap, disarranged the quiet trees. A leaf, newly detached, floated to the ground where the mulch eaters waited with their thousands of little teeth. Those teeth, you see, like the falling leaf or the nocturnal bird in her perch, are a part of the natural chain of things- birth, death, rebirth. 

Today in New York, a friend bags his sea-stained, sand-wrecked possessions and hauls them to the curb for pick up. "I think it's time to live in an RV," he says. He had to evacuate his home on a blow up raft. "Could be worse," he says. His home, behind him, destroyed. "The trick-or-treaters still came," he says, and snaps a picture. He puts the picture up on Facebook, wishes everyone a Happy Halloween.

We too, a part of the natural chain. 

The Sandy River, 10:30 pm

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Headache Blues

Cure for the headache blues -
     Take 3 Advil,
     If That Doesn't Work,
     Take Your Camera.

Downy Woodpecker

Fingerling Steelhead in the shallows

Banana Slug's first photo shoot

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Quiet Alter (Campgrounds in October)

Summer sacrifices offered,
taken by the sun,
until the sun itself is taken.
A quiet alter, an altar quiet,
the slowed heartbeat of winter
only up the road. 
Autumn falls early for winter
in the mountains.
A shared boundary, 
the overlap of time, 
a moment reflected on cold glass.

The frozen moment,  
delible in time, 
 holds for now, but 
permanence will never be its strength.
Meanwhile, the cocoon beckons.
Hibernation or an awakening-
what will it be?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Parents Come to Hawaii

Most of Kauai is behind me. At the foot of the Pacific Ocean, I sit close to a small wedding party. The ukulele player is plugged into an outlet on our lanai; because of this, we are invited to the party. Thanks, we nod, although neither of us want to, and probably won't, attend. Kindness, certainly, deserves more. Why don't I know how to politely decline graciousness? Say no?  Instead, I shrug with ambiguity, smile, proclaim thanks, and prove a no-show. I don't think I was raised this way. Both my parents, for different reasons, would have gone. My father to enjoy the toast; my mother the people. Perhaps that's why I'm unable to considerately demur such thoughtful spontaneity. My parents would never have done so. 

Tonight, my mother sits 6000 miles away from me; my father's ashes swim the seas. And I'm nearing 40. Still, my parents come. A mother's ear, a father's heart, forever trained to the call of their daughter. Show me what I need to know. My father, not frightened by death, nor my mother by distance, arrive knowing I will never be exactly like them-- they raised me with too much independence for that; yet I take what they give, shape it into my own, become more of who I am.  

The wedding party is surprisingly quiet. The uke player, now on guitar, strums his way through Margaritaville with jumbled lyrics. No matter. The palm trees sway with the song anyway, holding the music close before pushing it gently out to sea-- a jumbled number, in harmony with the world. Cradled by the trade winds, it slips quickly over the ocean. Gone, but not lost; for the well-trained ear, the prepared heart, always hears the call of its own. 

Mahalo Mom and Dad.