Monday, September 14, 2009

By Land or By Water

Spent last weekend on the river. Something so right about putting all the stuff I need for a weekend in a boat and taking off from shore (sure). Sam fished, intensely, as usual. I did too, some (didn't catch nearly as much as he), but I also just enjoyed the quiet, the flow of the river, paddle in water and slip thorugh waves and rocks, see what's around the next bend.

We saw an eagle take off above us, woomph woomph helicopter noise as it unfolded its wings. Also saw an osprey dive and catch a fish, feet first.

Had the girl scouts over at our place for a picnic. I had set up the games: badminton, bocci, kickball. But they elected to walk in the creek, all the way down to the hammock we keep in a wooded grove. After burgers and dogs, somebody said, "let's go back to the hammock." And somebody else: "by land or by water?"

Next weekend, mud run and hanging rock observatory to watch the raptors migrate.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I’ve been bad. Awful really. Terrible. Blame the ebony jewelwing. The nighthawks that flew over the other night. Blame the great blue herons that fish in our creek, or the little green ones. Blame the garter snake the kids recscued from the kittens. Or the screech owl that puts us to bed at night. Mostly blame the sun.

My last entry was May 11. Around that time, we were learning of the my father’s melanoma. We made trips Pennsylvania, the Poconos, about six or seven during the summer, and each time he got worse as the cancer metastasized. A month ago today he passed away.

So I haven’t been writing blog entries. I’ve been writing obituaries, eulogies, and tributes. As I worked around the place last night, I certainly thought of him, a man who spent a great deal of time tinkering around the house. My stepmother just called to say that she has no idea how he kept the deck and driveway so free of leaves . . .

Nature has been some comfort in all of this. I wrote in the eulogy that loss reminds us of what is joyful about our world even as it wounds us. We look at something with a renewed sense of both its splendor, and its brevity.

This weekend, out on the river for some healing time, though any time I’m on a river, just the smell of it, I’ll think of my father.