Three weeks ago, encouraged by my daughter, I started an on-line photography class http://www.susannahconway.com/e-courses/photo-meditations/
This has so expanded my attention and narrowed my focus. I’m learning composition and design details so I hope some of my behind the scene frustration will end and my offerings here will improve! What I started with hesitation has become great fun; I love when that happens, don’t you?
Now I need to clean up my computer and do some program changes…I’m not so sure that will be great fun, but I will hope to enjoy the results!
The last time we went to the park, I asked for a detour on the way home. It would not take long to visit the past, I thought. So we drove down a country road where nothing looked familiar but the railroad tracks that ran alongside. The end of the road and a sharp turn left and instead of waterside cottages of the past, modern three story floodplain compliant homes confused us as we drove slowly down streets with only familiar names. Finally we saw it.
The tiny house with the separate summer kitchen shadowed by trees I hardly remember.
I remember countless hours splashing about in the river on summer days, long bamboo fishing poles, crabbing from a boat, blankets spread for reading in shade, chatting with cousins and aunts and uncles and the smoke of grilling burgers and hotdogs. There was freedom to run into the cool of the summer kitchen in wet bathing suits dripping on the concrete floor. Adults chatted late in the night while we chased fireflies and then dragged reluctant feet for the long ride home.
We grew up and brought our own young ones to play and enjoy the river. I could see and hear it all in the few minutes I leaned over the fence and breathed the air and captured this scene. The power of memory!
Like my Grandfather, we can hope to build a space in time for future generations to dream and create memories of laughter and family. It doesn’t have to be a cottage on a river; so many more memories came from simple city rowhouses and suburban back yards and porches. The important thing is to make time and space for those we love, isn’t it?
“Who is my neighbor?” someone once asked. Twenty years ago several people stepped up to be good neighbors to us. The first, unknown to us, took time early on a busy day to be neighbor as he went to a nearby house and reported a fire. And those neighbors, stalwart farm folk, called for help. Good neighbors from our volunteer fire company came and put out the fire.
Our farm neighbors stood by caring, emptied a freezer and carried away the food for safe keeping and then did the really hard thing to gently, kindly, call us home from vacation. In the months that followed, we counted on their support and presence.
The stuff of life and the fun of shared birthdays knit neighbors into friends.
Time passes and seasons change and a For Sale sign hangs across the road at the old farm. I miss my neighbors. I hope you have good neighbors and treasure them.
We went to the park on the river where the sun shone brightly through drifting clouds and birds sang and the wind blew hard and chilly up from the bay through old rushes and new leaves.
He biked and I walked and looked and tried to see, really see. And gnarly tree roots opened a door as I walked in the woods.
As the memory door swung open, first I heard the faint chatter and laughter of children at play in the long ago of my first elementary school. The sound grew louder and then I saw the trees. Part of the school yard was shaded by enormous trees with great gnarled roots worn smooth by the countless leather soled feet of children enjoying the simple challenge of stretching and balancing from one to another of the sturdy tree feet. And I remember the feel of rough bark and slipping and sliding in the trying… and smiling nuns with winged white bonnets turning jump ropes and teaching hop-scotch with worn-out heels begged from the shoe repairman down the street…
This tree has years to grow and I wonder if children will hug it and play among the roots, I hope so. Trees can hold the keys to such satisfying memories.
Beauty today holds promise for the future harvest of cherries, blueberries, pears, apples and nuts.
The long nut catkins are a particular surprise this year, at long last we hope to sample the harvest of this tree… now, how to squirrel proof the harvest…or might deer eat them…the creatures here seem to think it our job to feed them continuously!
I find it quite difficult to capture birds at the feeders on film. But I couldn’t resist trying to hold onto my surprise. The goldfinches stay all winter but the feathers are like olive drab uniforms as they stay undercover. Then the suddenly happens – and there he is in splendid color! So much wonder happens in spring. I want to clap and shout, “Bravo!”
When your world seems a little tilted, it’s a good time for a walk in the sun and some cold water!
How I wish I could capture the scent of this shrub totally covered in bloom. I’ve not known many fragrances as intoxicating and lovely. I cannot help myself as I make many trips to drink in the heady scent heedless of any consequences!
For my gardening friends – viburnum carlesii – go quickly and find one to add to your gardens!
My body is glad for my mind’s distractions giving a respite form raking, weeding, rock moving and transplanting. Even the glory of a common weed draws me.
Many years ago I received a spring greeting card with a lovely flower person. The caption remains with me – “Very few things can delight,” she realized, “like the fresh wonders of spring.” I agree!
My best observations are in the brilliant morning light making it so hard to pull on the gloves and get to work!
I’m so happy to share these fresh wonders with you!
Like this lovely blossom, I peered through my fence at the bigger world. Unlike the blossom my feet are free and off we went!
With the warmer weather this year, the gardens in Williamsburg were vibrant with spring.
Now I am racing to catch up in my own gardens after the wonderful time away.