May 21, 2017. In the Texas hill country, massive live oaks spread their huge limbs at unusual angles. Over time the weight of continued growth lowers them toward the ground. Like gigantic vines, they swoop in strong winds. Hundreds of years old, survivors of many a storm. But not invincible. At Red Corral, a deck constructed less than 20 years ago rises alongside one of these live oaks. Initially, there was no contact between tree and fence along deck’s edge. But the tree kept growing, lowering. Now fence cuts into bark, a gash that gives pause. While wind blustered, I stood for a while listening to the tree moan, the fence creak – each stuck in their odd relationship. (Ahhh… some “fences” in my space are beginning to feel like supports.)
April 20, 2017. Sharing my morning meander through the yard … and my subsequent indulgence in creating this collage from the morning’s bright spots. April is indeed a beautiful time of the year in central Texas, well worth visual “souvenirs”.
April 4, 2017. Not typical Spring Fever! My restless state stems from too many changes I am unable to influence – this urge to tackle something tangible, make something prettier, even if insignificant in the larger realm of unpredictables. Why not transform a once-stately (still-comfy) rocking chair into a bright turquoise meditation station?
March 23, 2017. We recently returned to Rancho Lomitas in lower Texas near the Rio Grande border – an area with birds and plants that just don’t come further north. When there last fall, we took a photo of what we thought to be peyote growing along the roadside. To everyone’s surprise, the proprietors pointed out the distinctions between peyote and our picture of a star cactus – an endangered cactus that Rancho Lomitas is helping propagate in their nursery but had never seen growing natively on the ranch. Wow! This revelation came minutes before our departure, no time to revisit the star for more (better) pictures.
On this return trip, a high priority was finding that star cactus! Oh, did we look and look and look – walking slowly, eyes trained on roadside edge, up and down the stretch of road where the tiny star “had to be”. Well, maybe. Hours of looking yielded no star, but did prompt a poem. Afterward, a seasoned resident at Rancho Lomitas comforted us with the comment that rabbits do eat such (indeed the nursery samples are in wire cages) which leaves me eager to return again to photograph bunnies for an update to this collage. (Image note: fingers show a peyote the same size as the elusive star – star enlarged in center of collage – the two look alike to novice eyes.)
February 7, 2017. Still weeks till Spring’s official arrival. But given three definitive signs arriving in the span of mere hours, I am celebrating the distinct possibility that hard freezes are behind us.
The image below is a very startled young possum cowering on a shelf beneath the pet feeder after the Labrador and I discovered him – crouched in the food bowl munching happily, no doubt proud of his discovery of “easy” feeding – a perspective shattered by barking, lunging dog and camera flashes in the face. (Too dark to see the visiting cat but I know well the source of those howls. The robins didn’t stick around to pose.)
January 31, 2017. Lately, a series of dreams have occurred driving solo in my Rav4, and while I puzzle over the varying symbols (a horse in the back seat, a bear hauling me and Rav4 up a huge tree) the constant of behind-the-wheel is perhaps of greater significance. Pondering if the Dream Maker is promoting solo travel, I found my way back to this poem.
My last big solo drive was January 2013, to Taos NM for a meditative intensive. I was quite hyped about going, both for the experience once there and for the long hours driving. Driving solo is a unique meditative experience in and of itself.
But going entails separation … this poem wrote itself between home and Taos. While I have no photograph of the departure scene beyond the poem’s imagery, I do have the contrast view a few hours post arrival. Parting words of caution rang in my ears as I skidded into Taos along with a major snow storm, icy roads, and much anxiety. Nothing prettier than an undamaged car, blanketed down for a few idle days.
January 11, 2017. I can’t recall a more turbulent November/December than what 2016 dished up. And 2017 promptly slapped down a hard freeze. No more meditative consolation from my landscape! Or so I thought – but observing Buddha and St. Francis staying put in spite of the devastation captured my imagination, and a poem crept in as solace.
And listening to our President’s farewell speech last night gives me resolve to stay put in my stance that we are all in this together, more alike than not, and together we will grow from whatever follows.