Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Give Winter Notice

Sometimes I just need to get outside, even in the winter - and gain a fresh perspective. 

Historic Ebey's Landing - Whidbey Island, Washington 

What Cedars See

These short, stunted cedars 
weren't lined up for 
a bonsai show. 

They face the future and 
the wind not defiantly, 
but with resilient 
resolve  - if there is 
such a thing for those 
deformed by life, minus
 limbs and broken middles. 

They live brutally 
buffeted and battered
on a bluff overlooking
the Puget Sound. But
perched there, they get to see 
the silhouette of Seattle's skyline 
nestled to the right
of Mount Ranier's pink glow -
every single night at sunset.

Historic Ebey's Landing - Whidbey Island, Washington 

High on a Bluff With God

I hate heights. 
Trusting my uneasy 
balance and bulk
to a path no wider 
than a goat path
with a drop off on 
one side, steepness
on the other, and 
no place to 
stop and rest 
terrifies me. I loved 
walking along the beach, but
the bluff above beckoned
and tempted me. 

 Honey, do you 
want to finish the loop
and get back to the 
truck before dark, asked 
my date. Yes, I do, but I'm 
paralyzed by how high I climbed -
five shaky steps at a time. I can't move.
Darling, I'm with you. I invited you. 
I wanted you to see it from here. 
Do you like it - this dazzling view? 

When I finally reached the path along the bluff, I felt faint and dizzy. I wondered if I was going to topple all the way to the bottom. Nothing there to stop me. Alone and desperate, I decided to start singing….

Oh Lord, you're beautiful. Your face is all I see. And when your eyes are on this child, your grace abounds to me. 

Tears streamed down my face as I tried to breathe calmly. A young man suddenly appeared in front of me. He looked back with the kindest eyes and said, you're going to get some great pictures. And disappeared. He wore a stocking cap. 

Historic Ebey's Landing - Whidbey Island, Washington 

The Feeding Place

Pigs feed on offal.
Chickens follow pigs and cows
around to eat the leftovers
dropping out the backside.
Vultures and crows find road kill
and carrion.
Swans and seagulls follow
new rows of black turned earth.
So will I find goodness
to feed on.

Historic Ebey's Landing - Whidbey Island, Washington

The Twinkle in His Eyes

Our little neighbor girl - the one who knocks on the door wondering if we can do art - came over to show me a craft she had done at school.

Craig let her in the door to my bedroom. She finds me having a dark day in bed with cramps and a heating pad. She climbs up, starts to get under the covers then wiggles out as she sees the gallon jar of buttons sitting on the nightstand. I tell her some of them were my grandmother's, and when I was little I spent many happy hours sorting and looking at them. 

I ask her if she wants to play with them. She says, sure, this jar isn't heavy for a strong girl like me - lugs it over to the bed, unscrews the lid and dumps it upside down. 

We spend slow time picking out big brown boulders, greens for leaves and grass, and brightly colored ones for flowers. She makes a button garden path across my white bedspread. We take a chatty stroll.  

I tell her it's time to go - we need to clean up - then I'm going to finish my movie.

She asks if she can watch it with me. No, it is in French and you probably wouldn't like it or understand it. 
Well, I speak French and my teacher calls me her gold nugget, she says. I burst into a belly laugh that displaces my cramps and makes me hemorrhage. You are my gold nugget too, Paige. I agree completely with your teacher. 

Say joi de vivre, Paige.  She repeats it - copying my poor accent. 

That is French. It means joy of life. You have the joy of life, girl. I'm so glad you come and share it with me.

I know, she says as she climbs down, tosses her curls, gets her boots on, and leaves. 

You're the Teacher's gold nugget, too, and he's always glad when you dance into the room. You being there makes his eyes twinkle.