Not all, but a few
As I pulled the car over
onto the side of the road
and jumped out
my clippers in hand,
having watched this stretch of hillside for weeks,
for the pink wild roses
to bloom in their close-to-the-ground,
almost secret sprawl.
thorns and all
embedded in my finger tips,
a blood red effort I will remember
each time we drive past
Three years ago, the girls and I started nature journaling. What this looks like, for us, is gathering natural objects from our garden and walks; laying them all out over the table; and sketching and watercolor painting in our journals. We also write the names of plants and creatures and other items in French when we are inspired. Nature journaling is definitely about the process for us. We did it regularly for about two years and then got out of practice. Today we gathered around the table again, and I was so happy . . . even when Wallace started painting blue stripes all over his arms. I hope we will make space to nature journal all summer and into the fall. There’s nothing quite like the meditative space it inspires.
Here in a quiet and dusty room they lie,
Faded as crumbled stone or shifting sand,
Forlorn as ashes, shrivelled, scentless, dry –
Meadows and gardens running through my hand.
In this brown husk a dale of hawthorn dreams;
A cedar in this narrow cell is thrust
That will drink deeply of a century’s streams;
These lilies shall make summer on my dust.
Here in their safe and simple house of death,
Sealed in their shells, a million roses leap;
Here I can blow a garden with my breath,
And in my hand a forest lies asleep.
– Muriel Stuart
I find many poems,
and bits of wild
carried home in my pockets.
Every day, he says,
“I want to make something, Mama.”
as he drags a chair across from the table to the butcher block
stands up tall
next to me,
I’ve been making something
with a little person (or two, or three)
next to me,
for more than 13 years.
it wears me out.
I dream about being alone
But other days I stand in awe
of how this simple act
repeated over and over again,
alchemy in the kitchen,
in the garden,
has shaped their hands,
made my life,
nourished our family.
It’s so wintery outside today — the girls and I were inspired to go out and gather little bits of red and green to make candle wreaths for the dinner table. I love to watch the enthusiasm they bring to these little projects that we’ve been doing together since they were tiny and it was mostly me doing the crafting. Now, it is mostly them. And I’m just the photographer.