seeking the wild of the everyday

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

the ever turning wheel...

 we watched the longest night turn by,
the winter's night.

watching the sun set in her winter place, and start the journey back east on the horizon.
some decorations are better than others. link has really been enjoying life in the sparkling suburb this winter. "Lie lie!!" (that means -lights-)

it's not really snowing in our swamp, but i like this.

my spinning/fiber raising friends conrad and renee got married! 

at heather's hello, baby! party. j and e loving their very own baby.

too sweet. it was so much fun to spend the cozy afternoon with such lovely people. 

i was feeling grumpy walking through a packed neighborhood to see the lights, crowded sidewalks and the gutters filled with Styrofoam cups and backed up traffic. why was i subjecting myself to this? and then i saw him, quasi moto. and then i was reminded of the true reason for the season.  (not.)

our winter

gathering treasures.
nibbled cattail.

coyote: the opportunist. 

sandwiched by my own shadows. dock, gone to seed.

did you know that our favorite go-to swamp is really a narrow swath of land, unpaved, surrounded on either side by: a Surewest operating facility, a housing tract, train tracks, and a lot, plowed over, waiting for the next developer?  i feel like we're the only ones who know it's there, besides the killdeers, red-wing blackbirds, jack rabbits coyote, etc... and of course, because we have no where else to go.

and it's lovely. we collect redbud blossoms and cattail shoots in the spring, acorns and buckeyes in the fall, and my boys climb the stubby oaks.

remember when the moon rose over the carl's jr sign in placerville? it was magical.

and we tracked mountain lion prints in my in-laws back yard.

(the eagle picture my dad painted, which he hung for my birthday. posted, finally, as promised.)

book shelf at teddy's school


we spent the solstice eve wandering with dear friends who live in the northern foothills.

i may think i pine for pines ;), but what really soothes my heart is greening pastures on rolling hills, dotted with ancient oaks.

hidden in the hills is a kindred spirit. whipped raw egg, kale and parsley juice, a little hot pepper. the new grass grows under the oaks like a emerald green carpet.

i find myself in her winter mantle. we make dinner together, the children play. we watch the sun set from her house perched atop a hill overlooking the valley.

i had the pleasure of watching teddy in his very first school holiday show. the ornaments he's made in class add the missing element to our tree.
it is now christmas afternoon as i finish up this post, and what a merry wintry time it has been!
my love for winter and darkness is deepening.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

winter's creatures

old man winter blew over our hearths.
i've just pulled up my rotten tomatoes,
found a forgotten baby melon under the frozen garden leaves,

and checked on the resident orb spider that
has kept her post near the lavender bush, wondering how she handles the cold.
she looks a little wan.

i had the sewing machine tuned up by a tinker named klaus, and i keep on processing acorns,
getting ready for the giving.
valley and blue oak nuts.

a backyard tree blooms now, and drops tiny star-like flowers. the bee's buzzed 'til the hard cold.

i live in a place where there is so much to be gathered, if it hasn't been paved over. (isn't that the clincher?) i know why the nisenan-maidu favored the area.

valley oak nut.

growing up in the lower foothills meant wishing every winter for snow, and getting teased with a short-lived dusting now and again. every few years there would be a substantial amount, enough to dig up rarely seen wintry gear and sled, make snowmen.

i watched the clouds tell their story in the valley and then packed the boys up for the hills, it would be linky's first time in the snow. we would witness another kind of winter, snug at my beloved in-law's who always say yes when i ask to come and play. (watched avatar for the first time, <not photographed> now that's a heavy duty hollywood picture show.)


google + does fun things to photos by itself. see?

where do the little birds go when the mercury drops into the bulb?
they must fluff up deep in some bough,
because when the snow stops falling
i see them more clearly over the white blanket of snow, acting as if nothing has changed, even more spiritedly so.

i drove down into the hollow where my parent's live, and realized i was there for a while after an icy nail-biter driving down.
we resigned ourselves to the full adventure waiting for us, alone there in the big wooden house that i grew up in. as of today my car is still there.
asleep in my lap

f-ing christmas card material.

in the stillness we see signs of quiet creatures, making their way.
did you know that some birds hop?
and some birds walk?
and some bunnies lop?

and foxes stalk?

we tromped up the steep hills to my aging grandparents', and toured their snug museum of life and lineage.

my lovely great-great grandparents

when i was little this room was so elegant. and it still feels that way.

in their youth.

family crest, my dad on the lower right.

back in the valley, where winter paints the land with brown and green, orange with mandarins, and the only white is from the pale bare branches of the abundant buckeye tree and the occasional frost.

linky is full of sweet tricks. he INSISTED, and peeled his first mandarin today. 

teddy and his buckeye. now i want to make the chocolate peanut-butter ones, mmm. he sings little songs like "superman superman fly away, show your butt-cheeks USA!" the joys of kindergartners. 
the days and nights are full of coziness. and messes. and lots of blankets. and frustration. and things to do. and wild kids that make me laugh (at the irony of life?) at my daily plans to "do stuff," and "get stuff done" other than what they're doing.
i'm really motivated right now to create some family winter traditions, so my kids can grow up feeling excitement from the cues of seasonal rhythm.
 it's a work in progress.
also, and a big one: trying to reconcile "reluctant motherhood."
but i try.