Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Hitting the Reset Button

Happy summer dear friends. What a glorious time of year! The plants are humming with life. 

The skies are painted with billowy clouds. We walk barefoot on warm Earth. We swat life-sucking and life-giving mosquitoes. We listen to bird song. Insect song. The last of the frog song. Our hearts sing with joy and soak up all the goodness and richness of this intense season. These 3.5 acres are filled with more life than we ever imagined and we are lucky enough to witness the return of diversity. The Cup Plants are in full bloom and welcomed us home after a sojourn out in the world soaking up ecosystems other than our homeland. 

What felt like drudgery, now feels like ease. Sometimes, that mighty reset button needs smacked in the biggest most forceful way and we did just that. We left. 

The flowers. The kitties. The persimmons. The showers. The easy water access. We left the ease of home life and found wild water. 

Nesting White-crowned Sparrows singing their local dialects. 

We walked through heavy and prolonged rain storms and crossed streams without trying to keep our feet dry and then savored any and all sunshine and wolfed down food like it mattered, because it did. 

We dunked in lakes and rivers at every opportunity. Some water was warm. Some was cool. Some was COLD. It all felt life giving. 

Most places we camped had no cell service and what a gift. The loss of that tether offered freedom with the birds and the pikas and insects. No distractions. Yes, we experienced some annoyances in the form of mosquitoes, horseflies and flies. They all found us to continue their own lives, but we also found glaciers, wetlands, wetland wildflowers, hundreds if not thousands of elk and a forgotten piece of ourselves.

We heard over and over again and finally saw a bawling Bobcat (or Lynx, dang it for not knowing tail patterns better). We changed our clothes in open air when no one was around. We traveled through empty campgrounds and busy campgrounds. We slept. We couldn't sleep. We hiked. 

We breathed hard. Above timberline captured us. We wanted to stay. I cried when we left and Steve understood. The White-crowned Sparrows still sing in my head. Their world is still in my heart. 

They guide me forward and remind me that reentry into home life doesn't have to be more than it has to be. Much of what we experience in this life is a human/societal construct and we can pick and let the chaff fly free. Only do what is necessary and life giving. Skip everything else. Don't waste this life. 

Seeing the kitties upon our return made our hearts so happy. We wish we would carry them with us and that they would like it. 

Filling up the Berkey water filter feels easy now; the water so delicious. The first night home I said we are never leaving again and Steve said ok. The very next day Steve was researching highline trails for us. The untethering of our spirits from shoulds and coulds coupled with the giant drink of life from wild places and respite from human constructed craziness is a pull we cannot ignore for apparently more than one day.

Recently I read some thoughts from George Monbiot pieced together here: "To be at peace with a troubled world: this is not a reasonable aim. If you don't fit in, if you feel at odds with the world, if your identity is frayed, if you feel lost and ashamed it could be because you have retained the human values you were supposed to have discarded. You are a deviant. Be proud." I have no more illusions about saving the world. It's impossible to do alone. There are many of us working in our own small ways and that gives me hope. I am not optimistic in terms of humanity, but I am hopeful. I am completely optimistic and hopeful in terms of the Earth. Life will change and we accept that now. In this brief moment where we exist on this beautiful planet, we will be kind and work towards good. We will do our best to love and remember our place in nature. 

We will laugh and swim and look at fish and listen to elk and and marvel at above timberline nesting birds and alpine butterflies. We will soak up the richness of lush vegetation and the life it supports. We will remember our place as humans, as animals, as mammals, and our place in nature, not separate from nature. We will continue to evaluate how we live and make necessary changes. We recognize that nonhuman life is not subservient to human life and that much is lost in translation and that greed and power are often the reasons for incorrect translation. We offer gratitude for our life, our love, and our memory of where we came from.

We embrace our deviance.

P.S. FeedBurner, our email subscription service, appears to be going away in August 2021. If you rely on emails to update you on our posts, please know at some point some you will not receive them anymore. Our blog will still be up and running and we will continue to post every couple of months. Thanks for following along with us. You all are one of our reasons for hope! xxx

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Gifts of Life

This spring has been an odd one and a challenging one in so very many ways, but those ways don't need more reflection or was enough to live them, to mourn them, to cry because of them, to love them. Let's all acknowledge what's good in our lives and what moves us forward in joy.

One of those for us is the generosity of friends. A conference long ago crossed our paths with Stanley Stine's and he surprisingly gifted us 20 native Willow (Salix sp.) cuttings to increase the biodiversity of this piece of land. Willows are spectacular plants in themselves and offer so much to wildlife in so many different ways; definitely one of the "superfoods in the garden". You can see the happiness in Steve's face as we planted these marvels; plants just have this magic about them.

The endurance feat of bird migration was a true gift for our spirits this spring. The warblers were all around us, on the day pictured, feeding quickly and efficiently on any and all available foods. The temperatures were so chilly, but their persistence and resiliency made us smile and offered a good kick in the pants.

The fine greenery of Mother Earth is returning and we spend as much time as possible immersing ourselves in the gifts of the sun, warmth, and insects. We love that our humble abode is starting to appear part of the land around us. 

The American Persimmons are leafing out and we are grateful for their slowness and their protection from these back and forth springs; they fit as our spirit tree in more ways than one and we didn't even know. It's like they found us...

The Small Carpenter Bees inspire our hearts and minds too; they are here and thriving. Watch the relationship of Goldenrod pith and nesting bees we just saw here on this little patch of Earth.

Our land restoration is well on her own way. Now, we just get to watch the magic unfold and that means less hands on management is needed. For those of you that have followed us for a long time, you know that means it is time to get back to hiking in a BIG WAY. We swapped out all our old campers and 220,000+ mile cars for this new to us stripped down truck that allows us to go back to the beginning.



My, how time flies. My, my, my. Best get on with living! ;)

This song is it, right here, right now. I think Tift Merritt tapped into the spirit of the planet with this one. Music for both of us is the best piece of humanity and this song might very well be my life song. I have many chapter songs, but this one, LIFE. I'm sure many of you know it. Turn it on, look out the window, go sit on the Earth, close your eyes, whatever you can do, wherever you are, to hear this. Do you feel the same?

We love you all. Thank you for following along with us and sharing with us.