Today has been crazy for a variety of reasons. I’m stressed and sad and wrung out and my to-do list is a mile long. Our beef got picked up from the processor and I spent a long time this morning emptying out freezer space and brokering transactions, while little children clamored for my time, my body, my attention. Feels ridiculous almost to even be doing something like this while my grandma is still in the dying process and my mom’s world has narrowed in to this emotionally exhausting, complete focus. And, I’m leaving this weekend for our annual craft workshop in southern Missouri and there is no internet access in the building in which we stay, which is some ways will be a nice break and it others is an additional stressor (hard to teach online without online access, after all!). My mom is usually the executive director of this craft workshop, my husband is the assistant director and I teach. Since my mom is in CA, we’re going to have to serve in the director role this year, in the midst of this grief and stress, and that is tough. I’ve got a lot on my plate.
So, when I went down to the woods today, I was only going to stay for a moment—too many people need me to stay for long. I have students with papers due, midterms questions and blah, blah, blah, but I noticed that the dogwoods are finally really blooming. They seem slightly “off” this year, at least in my little space in the woods and the flowers are opening at the same time as the leaves are opening and so they are harder to see and less dramatically white and lacy then the sometimes are. One of the only poems I ever wrote as a kid contained the line, dogwoods strung through the woods like lace. These trees have been a part of my life’s spring landscape for a long time. Instead of staying for only a moment though, the dogwoods lured me down deeper into the woods and I went on a spontaneous little woodswalk, taking pictures of them and slipping around on the rain slick leaves. Something I meant to write about a couple of weeks ago was that I finally discovered the source of the “running water” sound I can hear from the rocks somewhere down below me in the trees. It isn’t coming from the semi-nearby river after all, it is bubbling, chiming, water running underneath the ground, through the rocky cleft down the hills and into the woods. While it sounds like a delightfully, babbling spring, I don’t think it really is one, I think it is really the excess water runoff from the road, making its way down the “gulch,” filtering through the layers of bedrock, and eventually reaching pond, river, or water table. After the rain this morning, I could hear it really clearly.
This walk felt like a much better use of my time and energy than getting “caught up” with packing and grading. I breathe easier now.
Heavy and wild
Perfect and free
in the trees…