May 31, 2015. I live in central Texas, an area reeling from storms, floods, and the loss of homes and lives over Memorial Day weekend. We’ve been in a serious drought for years, watching our lakes (our water supply) go lower, lower, lower. Rain so badly needed came in volumes the ground and rivers could not hold. The lakes are not full, but we are way above the level just two weeks ago. This is a huge relief. But at a steep price. Tugged between the trauma of human loss and the magnitude of what Mother Nature is capable of — I have settled on the word “awe” as best fit.
The image is a photo taken on Memorial Day just before dusk, as the rains moved away and we ventured outside. I’m grateful I looked up!
The poem evolved over the next few days, reflecting. Reflecting will continue, but here’s the poem as it now stands.
May 28, 2015. I wrote this poem for a class last year, led by Lorraine Mejia-Green using poetry by Mary Oliver as inspiration. At the time, our back fence was covered in moonflower vines and I had been on a mission to catch the perfect photograph — sun high enough to light the blooms, but before they shriveled in response to that brightness. Position of vines vs. trees and the morning sun made this challenging. In the end, my favorite image is this one — moonflower calling it quits.
May 28, 2015. It’s been a year, and the now-empty onion baskets still seem full to me. They were the solution to the challenge of storing an abundant onion harvest. They were an expression of creativity. Then, full of onions. Now, full of promise — ready and waiting for next harvest.
This year’s harvest will be more moderate. Hey, we really had too many last year! This year the baskets will not be overflowing, will not make quite the visual impact. But they will serve us well. And I offer last year’s image and poem in honor of abundance and creativity — in onions and all matters.
May 24, 2015. Last Spring, I overhauled my extensive bed of crinum lilies. The project involved digging up enormous bulbs, then digging the entire area down six inches, then refilling with decomposed granite. A team of three strong men accomplished that in two days — and left me to the creative placement of planter holes, replanting about one fourth of the bulbs, and finding homes for the remainder. A labor of love, and hope for thriving of all transplants (spread to just about everyone I knew and a dozen or so responders to FreeCycle).
Image #1 was taken today — this year’s first blooms. Thrill to see them! They’ll be pinking up the front yard until our first freeze.
Image #2 — my “blank slate” — goes with the poem, written when the work crew drove off and I dug in.
May 24, 2015. This is another flash back — to ocean waves breaking on huge chunks of black lava, on the beach of Molokai late 2012. I was there for a week of photography opportunity. I encountered many unanticipated inner churns, impossible to reflect in photography alone. One evening at sunset, I set the camera down on a rock, sat myself down on an adjacent rock, and turned to poetry. I was grateful later that I’d snapped a couple of photos beforehand.
The image is of a wave hitting the rocks. These came and splattered came and splattered — rhythmic, intense — hypnotic!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
May 24, 2015. Memorial Day weekend, and Central Texas is experiencing flash floods. Rivers and lakes are rising way out of bounds. This is a major contrast from prior years of dry heat, of prolonged drought. Today’s post flashes back to the stunning effects of just a little rain during major drought — bringing a sudden flourish of rain lilies.
The image is a collage of close-up shots over a landscape of the field.
May 19, 2015. I have been on the verge of starting this blog for some time now. On Mother’s Day, a touching exchange with my adult son spawned a poem that stirred me into action. The poem, as poems do, waited patiently. And now I offer it belated (or perhaps very early for Mother’s Day 2016). My son shaped my inexperienced heart into that of a mother, his journey traipsing over and over and over my heart. He’s still at it! My daughter, three years younger, contributes her steps, too, but my heart was well “mothered” when she began.
The image is of a delightfully hefty little labyrinth heart created by Whitney Krueger (Enchanted Living Arts, 360-450-3788). I keep it close, a touchstone.