Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sunday Was A Day Like This

When nothing extraordinary happens, but it seemed like I was grabbing the camera every five minutes.
First, I looked out the window toward the pond and saw a goose standing on the roof of the spring pump house. How funny I thought.
Then the geese waddled up the driveway, and one flew to the support in the trees that holds the swing. I think she was trying to find the best nesting spot and is using elevated places for a better view.
Then, I was on the phone talking to my brother in Virginia, about this amazing bread that we've been baking, comparing notes and recipe changes, when this pair of Wood Ducks walked up the driveway. They waited there so long to eat food under the cedar tree, but the squirrel would not yield for a second.
Then five deer came to see if the birds and squirrels had left any sunflower seeds for them. After a few meager nibbles, they went to rest in the backyard on the other side of the fence for an hour or so. Nice to see them so relaxed.
We took a walk after dinner. First time we'd seen any blue skies for a while. We're in for another week of rain. Climate change is such a trip!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Funny Thing Happened...

...on the way to a balmy spring after an almost weirdly dry and warm winter. Winter arrived. In a big way over a six day period.

I can't find exact totals, but I'm fairly certain that we had twelve inches of rain from March 12 through March 16. That's a gully-washer of a downpour. Streams and creeks over-flowed their banks, and we were under a flash-flood warning, but it all was resolved by Saturday morning.
We woke to this, amber fog and soft blue skies.

That lasted until some time Saturday afternoon when the clouds rolled back in. By nightfall the snow started. We read the national weather service report and expected a light accumulation of one inch.

This is what we woke to on Sunday morning. By noon it was still falling, and there were six inches on the ground. It's obvious that this crazy storm has stalled on the western slope of the Sierra foothills and is just pouring its snowy little heart out here. Less than an hour's drive down the hill in Sacramento it's sunny and mild.

Ah life in the mountains. Beauty abounds.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Remembering My Father

At sundown on Tuesday I lit a yahrzeit for my father, as we mark the 20th anniversary of his death. It's hard to imagine that 20 years has passed since that sad early morning of March 14, 1992, but it has. I was only 39 years old when my father breathed his last breath, and soon I will be 60. I think a lot about time, always have. When I was young and my favorite cousin would come to visit with us, I would count the hours she was there, and then count them when she'd left. I think I was eight when I calculated that a week was 168 hours long. When I held the numbers like that, it made the anticipation and separation containable, hours and seconds seemed knowable to me, less painful than days and years.

My father has been gone for less than a billion seconds. Seems like a blink of an eye, doesn't it? We don't even breathe a breath a second, I feel like I could almost recapture him just by remembering the air. I wrote a poem for him once that ended: spirit they say you are everywhere
yes, everywhere everywhere
but here...

But now, I look around and see that that's not true. My father is everywhere and here. Not in spirit, but in fact. Nothing is ever lost. Oh thank you for that "The Law of Conservation of Energy." I do take great comfort and solace in that reality. Still, I wish that he were in his body, laughing and eating his favorite foods, dancing the shimmy with his crazy shoulders and doing the cha cha with my mom, loving his family like a man who knew he would always be remembered.
Burning Candle

Monday, March 05, 2012

Our Winter So Far

Before the storm, the sky darkened in the east while the late afternoon sun shone on the sugar pines.
The first day of snow, the birds came and waited for food.

And, huddled together on the rocks.
It snowed on and off Wednesday and Thursday. We couldn't get out for a walk until Friday. We headed out to the irrigation ditch. There were no other human footprints for most of the walk.
Sometimes after a snow or rain the sun appears, and the moisture evaporates from the tree trunks. I always like to imagine that I'm seeing the tree's breath.

By Sunday the snow was mostly gone. Temps were up in the 70s, and we could walk in sneakers and didn't need jackets, enjoying the last soft white bit that still remained.
This is our winter so far, two days and counting.