My Emerald Forest

Dawny and I will really miss this beautiful backyard.  When I look out of the kitchen window, the vibrant greens fairly shout at me in their intensity, their glory.  And the air… so clean, so fresh, and always filled with birdsong.

Yes, we will really miss this backyard.  Even though this house, our home, has sheltered us for all of these years and provided such handy amenities as electricity, water, food… it is the backyard that we will miss the most (sorry, house!).  For our beautiful yard has provided nutrition for the spirit when down in the dumps, peace for the heart when caught up in life’s troubles, and sheer joy and freedom for the mind and body (game of tennis, Dawny?).

Thank you, my Emerald City, my beautiful forest, home to:

  • the white pine, planted when I was five months pregnant with our son, and that now stands tall and straight and justifiably proud, as does he;
  • our organic garden which for years fed us healthy fare–and provided the best place in the neighborhood for our son and his friends to make mud pies, mud cities, to carve out lakes and rivers;
  • the magnificent tree we anchored the zip line to and sent children sailing through the air, careening towards another tree, now succumbed to high winds and old age;
  • solid turf where Buster–the best dog in the world–taught Dawny–the greatest dog in the world–to play tennis-ball fetch when she came to us frightened and maladjusted from a young life spent in a kill-shelter;
  • the grassy ledge where numerous beloved pets have been laid to rest (along with a client’s cat that had nowhere else to go).

Yes, our backyard has been an oasis, a tiny little nature preserve, a reverent place for quiet comfort, raucous joy, and unbridled freedom.  Thank you, my tall, proud Emerald Forest.  You are a precious jewel that has sheltered our family with steadfast beauty and grace.

Thank you, and fare well!

Today My Son


Today my son left the home in which he was born.  Literally.  The room where he let out his first cry, peered at the world through virgin eye, now echoes barren space.

I remember walking him (and the dogs, of course!) through the neighborhood for some fresh air, and a neighbor asked me about my new baby, my “son.”  That word, “son!”  My heart swelled with pride.  I did indeed have a son, a beautiful, perfect, miraculous son.

Today my son spread his wings and took flight.  Literally.  He should be somewhere over the Shenandoah Mountains about now.  I hope he has a window seat and can enjoy their sight, like a sloppy giant’s big green, rumpled blanket… left out for his mother to pick up, no doubt!

Today it is as if all of the plans and activities of these past few months–decisions, preparations, cleaning, repairing, selling–have crossed a fault-line in the earth.  A huge gap in the mountains’ pass.  Between then… and now.  Between looking back… and moving forward.  Our current doggie, Dawny, and I will be harboring within these now-clean walls–devoid of family pictures and childhood artwork–for a little while longer before we also set forth, to begin our new adventure.

And my son?  Our son!  He has been blessed with strong, loving roots that will nurture him wherever he ventures.  May his path be sprinkled with seeds of joy, his heart showered with great love, and his mind grow fertile with creative inspiration.

Love, Mom

Great Grandfather’s Rocker

Do you think that somehow there are laws totally outside of physics that allow pieces of ourselves, our love, our memories to permeate physical objects or places?  Not unlike how the love and experiences we share with everyone we touch leaves an imprint on their heart, in their mind… a sign we’ve been there…

That would explain ghosts, perhaps.  Some mental link or an extraordinarily powerful emotion, or even something small–a hope or a dream–permeates a place, an object to such a degree that a fragment of soul, an echo of spirit lingers there.  And even after its creator’s death, from generation through generation, it can be reawakened and shared anew by a touch… a memory… a tear…