Thursday, October 29, 2009

brrrr

HUH!!! Snow already...yep and we have been quite ill to top it off. Shane and Bodhi had a mild case last week and Owen came down with a meaner version over the weekend and I, being the family canary, had the full frontal flu, respiratory, cold, migraine combo by Monday. Of course I had to come down with it when the boys had two snow days off school..."Oh mom can you please come out and play"...a low groan of descent emerges from beneath a eucalyptus haze of chills and disbelief. I stumble about cladding children in snow gear and wool, then boot them unceremoniously out of doors where they joyously play for a half an hour before re-entering, cold, wet and hungry. Oh the only worse thing than being sick is being a sick mama. The boys mitigated the discomfort by performing an impromptu puppet show on my bed... and Owen entertained himself building an elaborate snow fort, complete with an intricate story about another world with castles, secret tunnels, various chambers, villains and heroes. Here he is pictured lying in the King's sleeping chamber. I spent several long moments looking for him, too hoarse to call out, before I was finally relieved to see a hand emerge.
Both boys are now ensconced in the rich fragrant aroma of hot cocoa and I am retiring once again to my warm bed.

Monday, October 26, 2009

So here is a little Halloween preview...a Johnny Appleseed improvisation (one of Bodhi's favorite celebrities)AND one of Sendek's, Wild Thing's (costume courtesy of Mom- made while Bodhi napped and the sick patient, Owen, listened to a book on tape). As soon as he donned the monster costume he yelled, "I'll eat you up" and within five minutes he said, "I don't want to be a monster anymore for Halloween. I want to be a bat.", to which I kindly responded, "TOUGH!"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

We don't see things as they are. We see things as we are.
Anais Nin
One of those terrifying revelations of truth, which, when accepted, has the power to irrevocably change the way we inhabit the world.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

hiking

When I hike, I usually take my camera, it has become one of my greatest teachers. Before I began taking pictures with the avidity of a dog chasing a bone, I wandered through the woods without seeing. I had to remind myself to look, to listen, to be. I remember one horrible trek over Granite Mountain in Arizona, I was 22 and I was beset by the demon of self. I kept trying to see, to smell, to shut up for five minutes and experience the instant in which I stood in the shadow of pinetrees. I began crying in defeat. Eventually I just let go, I listened to my mind babble away, only occasionally looking around with present moment clarity, usually when startled out of my reveries by other hikers, scat on the trail or an unusually loud rattle. Then I was given my beloved Canon Rebel XTi. I began hiking with it's weight hanging over my breast and something changed. I felt more peace, I breathed deeper, I listened, I stood in awe more, I was quiet longer, I smiled mostly and I lingered. I stopped listening to me and began looking for beauty everywhere. I find it there, where it always is, just beneath our nose, beaming. Now I pause in front of a black widow, a powdery branch, a blaze of color, water rushing over stones and looking through my camera lens, I find it- that perfect moment and snap, then it is gone. My camera has become one of my greatest teachers, helping me to remember that although the lens of self may be small, mortal and narrow- it is still capable of witnessing enormous beauty ... if only we keep looking.

Here are some moments from today's hike:
In the fields...
At the creekside...
and in the woods...
There really is beauty every where.

sunday hike

What is Angelina's favorite weekend activity? ... Yep, hiking in nature, preferably on a warm day, surrounded by life breathing and buzzing, swaying and being. Today we selected Lair o' the bear, a perrenial favorite. The guys and I walked for the first mile together, winding through dry grasses, tinged yellow and orange by the hand of Autumn.

I always love the way nature doles out one beautiful chance to open after another. This time we ran across a caterpillar. The fuzzy creeper produced a chorus of oohs and aahs. I have never seen Bodhi more gentle. Both boys watched in rapture as the little body edged it's way over extended hands and arms, eventually landing on a blade of fiery grass intent on lunch.
Owen get's so quiet and cool when he is exploring...
Bodhi becomes even more animated, if that is possible.Shane turns into a child again, eager for play and with the abandon of a Lost Boy he casts off his cares creating boats and vessels from twig, leaf and grass, excited by the possibilities ahead.After the first mile, Maya and I left the guys playing near a stream and ventured up into the hills for a 4 mile solo trek, armed with a camera and breathing in the fresh air of solitude with nourishing abandon.
(stay tuned for more pictures from the journey)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

pumpkin festival

Saturday was spent kicking up dust at the Annual Pumkin Festival fundraiser for the Botanical Gardens. WHEW! talk about exhausting. We arrived at 10AM and left at 3PM dragging four weary boys behind us(or was it the other way around). In the intervening hours they rode rides, ate corn on a stick, all things greasy and drank gallons of lemonade. They wandered through an intricate corn maze for a half an hour before throwing caution to the wind and taking an unauthorized short cut to the exit. The youngest member of our party ogled lamas, caressed pony manes and even talked to a real witch, moonlighting as a balloon artist. We scavenged for pumpkins and looked for the three big boys in our keep. In the end we drug our selves home and admitted defeat. There is no way to outlast a child in a battle of fun, you may stay awake longer but you are inevitably far worse for the wear.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I've simply been too tired to post...what with family visiting, sick children and the constant rush of living, I find myself parched for rest.
I will post later, once I have reached the end of the alphabet with a prolonged pause on the zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

first pumpkin carving of the year

WOW!!! Bodhi is ecstatic with Jack-o-Lantern fever...he speaks of pumpkins with the ardor of youth. "LOOOOOK, LOOOOOK MOMMY A JACKOLLATN!!!"
After the pumpkin was thoroughly cleaned and carved we lit a candle and oohed, awed and marveled over our handiwork.In honor of our pumpkin frenzy we had a harvest supper, beginning with ratatouille served over a bed of spring greens and broiled polenta, topped with freshly roasted pumpkin seeds. For dessert we made a gluten-free chocolate pumpkin cake with maple-pumpkin frosting. AAAAAAAAAAHHH! Autumn we love you.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

a walk

I went for a walk, one of my favorite walks, up green mountain. I progressed slowly. Without children or deadlines, I just walked. It has been a difficult week, beleaguered by a body unwilling to comply with the demands I impose on it. A body whose heart beats erratically, thyroid waxes and wanes of its own selection, whose head throbs in response and whose limbs refuse to operate without sustained rest. Weeks like these remind me that I inhabit a body, but am not the body (and certainly not this busy thing we call a mind)...I am reminded that things happen in life. I don't need to resist or personalize them. As I walked I found myself simply placing one foot in front of the other and reveling in the awe of sharing life with so much beauty: a dead bloom against a blue sky, a powdery blossom along a russet hued trail, the gentle flutter of butterflies and the crunching sound of hiking shoes on a trail. After several days gripped by the vice of a migraine, I just didn't have the energy for mind talk and because of that something beautiful happened. I just walked. Without thought of groceries, work, children, time, purpose or even God. I just walked and my heart bloomed in gratitude. It reached out to the beauty all around me and bathed in kinship, reverence and awe. Perhaps that is gratitude. Simply embracing the moment as it comes, without the babbling mental bullshit that we entertain every breathing hour. Perhaps it is enough to simply walk.
When smallness believed the world was flat,
it danced in spherical splendor across a wide cosmos.
When sun spun round the earth in heavy books,
the universe staid it's course.

When I stare out with unlooking eyes
And long to shed my isolation,
God breathes through every atom, in every space
with undaunted wholeness.