Sunday, August 24, 2008

Surviving the Tornado

Ellis insisted that most of the big rides at Como Town were too scary for him. I pushed him a little to try one ride with Nate. For agreeing to ride the Tornado, I made him a special challenge medal: "For bravery on the Tornado and conquering your fears."
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Friday, August 8, 2008


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The main lesson of this summer has been how the best things life has to offer are impermanent things. I have spent my time submerged in things that are by nature fleeting - little flowers, little boys, time spent in quiet thought, good food, the ability to wander according to my whims. The summer itself (with its inherent reminder that life itself) is a season that disappears. I meditate daily on the word "ephemeral" and the connection of this reality to the fact that I have achieved peak experience this summer.

Thank you, thank you for Charlie's babyhood, which, in a blink of an eye, will vanish as his brother Ellis's is doing this summer. Thank you, thank you for the plants that smell like incense on quiet morning walks in the cool green wetness. Thank you, thank you for each unique wildflower that exists for a short time never to exist again. Thank you, thank you for the ability to know that this life is paradise in its pain and tears, its happiness, its mundanity.

All things come and go in their time. I come and go in my time. And I hope only to release into the world my gratitude like the sound of a struck bell that swells and then fades into nothingness.

My Constant Companions

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Backyard Treasures

We let our backyard grow wild this summer. I would like to say there was a master plan to it, like those plots around town with a "Native Plant Restoration" sign staked into the center so that the neighbors don't complain. The native plants reclaimed our yard because we had too much going on to stop them. At first, I was a bit ashamed at how chaotic it seemed back there (such blatant evidence that we don't quite have control of the everyday details of our lives), but the time I spent in local wild flower gardens lately has changed my vision completely. I am so grateful we did this. Not only are some of my favorite local flowers growing in our yard, but also a host of other amazingly beautiful and strange plants.

As I've been thinking about what I want to do with landscaping in future growing seasons when the duties of cultivating children are a bit less intense, I now realize the head start we already have by what is growing on our land. Physically, it's like the opposite of a blank canvas, but mentally, it has the same effect. Or maybe it is more like a piece of marble for the sculptor's chisel. What do I keep? What gets chipped away? The answers are not so simple because the wildness reveals to me things beyond the knowledge my mind possesses. The plants know things I do not about the history of this land, what grows here, what thrives. The best I can do is give them the space to teach me.
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