Monday, March 31, 2014

Martha and David's Woods

Usually my Mom, sister, and sister-in-law, schedule a weekend in the woods each January.  It's a beautiful time of clarity.  We can study the twists and turns of branches and notice each fluttering of wings.  The hiking paths are easily distinguishable from the forest.  Animal tracks are quite obvious in the snow.  Inside our cabin, we reflect upon our lives, the choices we've made, and the challenges.  Sounding our worries and woes off of each other, we gain instant insight and reassurance.  Most of all, we laugh and indulge--in delicious food, creating art, silence, freedom, and each other.  

This year, we were unable to find a weekend that worked with our schedules until this past weekend in March.  And while the trees are still bare, the birds visible, and the paths still obvious, we followed animal tracks left in mud instead of snow.  The ground cover was exposed and refreshingly green, layers of thin decaying leaves stuck to our boots, and the skunk cabbage shoots emerged in the banks of the creek.  

My sister-in-law couldn't make it because of illness, and it didn't seem the same without her.  There was a stickiness of this weekend---our hearts being tugged to this place like the muddy trails pulling at our boots and a feeling of impossibility and wonder of how buds will ever give way to broad leaves.  

We saw a pair of screech owls, seven deer, a pair of red tail hawks, a cooper hawk, a great variety of birds, and owl pellets.  

 Now that it is the last day of March, I'll share the lyrics to the song by Sergio Mendes called The Waters of March

A stick, a stone, it's the end of the road
It's the rest of a stump, it's a little alone
It's a sliver of glass, it is life, it's the sun
It is night, it is death, it's a trap, it's a gun

The oak when it blooms, a fox in the brush
The knot in the wood, the song of a thrush
The will of the wind, a cliff, a fall
A scratch, a lump, it is nothing at all

It's the wind blowing free, it's the end of the slope
It's a beam, it's a void, it's a hunch, it's a hope
And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the end of the strain, it's the joy in your heart

The foot, the ground, the flesh and the bone
The beat of the road, a slingshot's stone
A fish, a flash, a silvery glow
A fight, a bet, the range of a bow

The bed of the well, the end of the line
The dismay in the face, it's a loss, it's a find
A spear, a spike, a point, a nail
A drip, a drop, the end of the tale

A truckload of bricks in the soft morning light
The sound of a shot in the dead of the night
A mile, a must, a thrust, a bump,
It's a girl, it's a rhyme, it's a cold, it's the mumps

The plan of the house, the body in bed
And the car that got stuck, it's the mud, it's the mud
A float, a drift, a flight, a wing
A hawk, a quail, the promise of spring

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life, it's the joy in your heart

A snake, a stick, it is John, it is Joe
It's a thorn on your hand and a cut in your toe
A point, a grain, a bee, a bite
A blink, a blizzard, a sudden stroke of night

A pass in the mountains, a horse and a mule
In the distance the shelves rode three shadows of blue

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the promise of life in your heart, in your heart

A stick, a stone, the end of the road
The rest of a stump, a lonesome road
A sliver of glass, a life, the sun
A knife, a death, the end of the run

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the end of all strain, it's the joy in your heart
sticks and stones
Owl Planter
Screech Owls, male and female

Skunk Cabbage

Owl Pellets


Tree Branches

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