Feet up against the dashboard,
my brother drives,
a trail blazing with dust grows behind us.
A song rattles along with the shovels and beer cans in the back bed,
Road signs with faded memories attached to them one by one they pass by.
Black crows spot the sky, an oak tree stands alone with cattle grazing on a few specks of dry straw. Nothing seems to break the code of the back road: Silent, strong it seems to ask:
"Where are you going?" But before I can respond it cocks its head, "I don't care, get on."
If there were a river a flood would rush over me.
Instead a hank spreads her wings sunbathing, after yesterday's rain.
My brother points yonder, "You can find arrow heads over there."
I long for a feather from the hawk instead.
The boundaries traced with a wired fence,
leaning this way and that.
Not holding any thought unclean.
I squint my eyes, I should have worn sunglasses, though I never do. I am tempted to pull off my brother's cap instead I pull the visor down.
Endless space as it should be,
allowing thoughts to come forth,
space to let every thought take its course, twist, curl, sprout or dry up.
Tumble weed, buck's horns, bear poop, oak leaves, tree stumps, shedded snake skin -
I grab my camera that I haven't held in nearly a year, snap photos on the go.
Aimless. Letting chance or should I say the scenery do what it will.
My brother wonders why I don't roll the window down. I shrug, "Its all good. The window smug adds to it."
The photo is just a reminder of the day. The trail burns.
"I want to see a bear." I dream out loud. Later we would see a cub running into the bush, and later a small mountain cat.
We head back down to the valley as the hawk flys by I grab a feather, the cattle look up, the sun goes down,
"Where are you going?" I hear the road echo. I cock my head, "I don't care."
A stalk of books
One is a French dictionary,
another reads, "... The Heart of France."
The are not read, nor opened... decoration only.
Why hadn't I noticed my mother's desk decor before?
As I have mentioned before my mother cooks a monster feast every Monday night for our family. Well, last Monday since it was the beginning of school holidays and the grandchildren spent the day with us, she out did herself with breakfast, lunch and dinner. As I dried the last dish (No dishwasher... my mother always said, "No need for a dishwasher we have two." Meaning she and I were the dishwashers.) she laughed, "Ready for Thursday?"
This morning at 5:45 am we were up... preparing for Thanksgiving.
Thank you every single one of you who have ever read my blog, commented, met me, sent me gifts, prayed for me and for your words of encouragment!
Behind my Mother's home there are rice fields, canals, a walnut orchard, black berry bushes, sheep, dirt roads, the Buttes, the Sacramento valley and years of seeding, toil and life lived.
I flew kites in these fields, rode motorcycles, fell, learned to drive, kissed, raked burn piles, roasted marshmallows, played hide and seek, sat starring at the stars, watched my Father work...
There is something incredibly rich about having a home to come back to all these years, to watch it unfold, age, ripen yet remain the same. To find the same dishes in the cupboard, the same recipes being used, my bed with the same view from the windows. Yet the incredible richness that I sense is more than that, it is embracing the sacredness of what it is... ever present goodness. A fortunate fate. A thankfulness in this simple goodness and wealth of peace of heart.
Some might see it as fields, dirty hands and hard work.
And that is true.
Some might see it as in the middle of nowhere, a vacant little town, nothing to do where Walmart spreads.
And that is true.
Some might see it as a stop on the freeway for gas and coffee.
Some might see it as a place of big pickups, hunting, and baseball caps.
Some might see it as just another small town, where high school sports rule.
And those who lived here, for those who have grown up here, for those who have shared every range of emotion, who have prayed together, worked together, been together as only a small town can be... there is community.
My Godson, a shepherd boy? Or just a kid happy to give some dried pomegranates and fresh grass to the sheep that day
Each moment is how we see it, and how we allow it to create us.
My cousin inspired me to become a vegetarian, enter a monastery, live a life aware of beauty and fall in love with The Doors. She was my idol. My mentor. My cool cousin. My envy. I would follow her anywhere.
Neither of us became nuns. I am a pescetarian, she is a vegan, we both seek beauty in our daily lives and well Jim Morrison is buried in Paris.
Aunt Mary is my cousin's Shelley's mother. Aunt Mary is my mother's older sister.
Isn't this a neat looking tea cozy that my cousin has?
My mom took this photo of my cousin and I.
Oh it is days like this that I wish we lived closer. I wish I could blink my eyes and bi locate wherever i wanted when I wanted. The hours felt like minutes at Shelley's. I think I might come back and help her write her cookbook (as the taster and dishwasher!):
The Elegant Vegan
My nieces Kate and her big sister Gina.
Kate is eight or nine years old, but she is five to me. I do not want her to be any older, ever. I do not want to grow older either, but if I had my way my nieces and nephews would stop ageing right now. I love their antics, their voices, their laughter... their thoughts. Childhood is a wondrous creative force isn't it?
My brother Zane bought ONE DIRECTION concert tickets for all seven nieces plus two more tickets one for himself and another for me. I cannot wait for next July, just to see my nieces cry, scream, sing a long, possible faint when they see the band members. It will be entertaining to say the least.
The other night while having dinner with my brother Mark and his family. Mark and his wife Diane have four children, Kate is the youngest. While at dinner Kate announced that she knew what she wanted from Santa Claus. We looked at her with anticipation. She said that while she was on the computer she found out that at a concert you could have a ticket called a "back stage pass". That the back stage pass entitled you to meet the band, talk to them and sit in front. Kate went on, "I want Santa Claus to bring me a One Direction back stage pass."
Mark looked at his wife Diane, Diane gave me that look that says, "Great, now what?", George their son looked at his parents with a giggle, and the two older girls could be seen licking their lips at the prospect of asking for the same thing.
I quickly added that since Uncle Zane had already bought her a ticket, that if Santa Claus brought her a back stage pass then she would not sit with us, and Uncle Zane would be disappointed. She shrugged her shoulders as if to say, "Oh no." Then with a quick calculation that only a child can do with such logic, she sighed, "Oh well... I guess Santa Claus can bring me a Pink Fluffy Unicorn instead."
A Back stage pass to One Direction
Pink Fluffy Unicorn.
That is neiher simple nor inexpensive, maybe their is an advantage to growing up... at least for Santa Claus.
Why Pumpkin Pie when you could have:
Crème légère framboise, gelée de framboises, biscuit aux amandes
French Husband wants to know why Pumpkin Pie when you could have:
Crème légère framboise et rose, gelée de litchis, framboises entières, biscuit croustillant et génoise.
Tradition that is why.
Pilgrims and Indians that is why.
Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie is like Paris without the Eiffel Tower that is why.
Crème légère à l'ananas, morceaux d'ananas frais, biscuit macaron.
I know French Husband would like to ask my mom to lace the pumpkin pie with chocolate.
Mousseline aux marrons, crème chantilly, morceaux de marrons, pâte brisée et crème d'amande
Do you have a favorite Pumpkin Pie recipe?
Note: The French desserts above are from:
Northern California during autumn,
golden valley, harvested fields, open spaces, geese in flight.
Country roads leading near and far.
Clouds adding texture between the valley and the foothills.
A single tree sets the stage.
A barn in the middle of a harvested rice field.
I grew up in this valley,
under these clouds,
surrounded by rice fields,
in wide spaces,
with long grey paved roads,
and barns in the middle of nowhere, but at the center of our lives.
The foothills north of San Francisco are rolling gold,
The fence post holding nothing in,
are the first sign that my childhood home is nearing.
My heart opens,
I feel the rolling gold, rolling gold, rolling gold.....
Pouring into the Sacramento valley.
Sacha my son often asks, "Why did you leave?"
And my heart stings.
Following your heart is not always easy.
Especially when it divides you in two.
Oh distant geese that fly overhead where are you going?
Rolling gold along the long grey paved road?
I left because I fell in love.
I come back because I am in love.
That is the gift of an abundant harvest.
But toil you must.
At the end of the valley Mount Shasta rises.
What do I see the valley or the mountain, the peak or the valley?
Oh both depending on the day.
A blend makes it interesting, helps to keep one focused.
Blue sky with clouds overhead.
A journey far and wide.
Is not a straight shot.
Blurred are the borders, vast is the horizon,
Driving up and yonder into the Mendocino mountains with my brother Zane.
For several days I have been down and out with a nasty cold, not fun at all since I am home for a visit. Bundled up, I dared to step outside after laying low for over a week: A ride into the nearby mountains. My brother Zane has a cabin by Black Mountain, he knows the unbeaten path or dirt roads the weave deep into the heart of wonder.
We spoke with a range of emotion as rocky and rolling as the mountains before us, a year apart holds a great deal to talk about. The vistas appeared around the bend, giving perspective, celebrating wondrous landscape.
Driving the mountain's back road is such a pleasure.
Unwinding, with a silence that comes with nature that speaks clearly.
Grandiose yet unpretentious.
We stopped briefly at my brother's cabin, had a drink, ate an apple and set off.
Memories of years riding with my dad and Chelsea through these mountains came back. I recalled them, held them, thanking them... and happily carved the day into the tree trunk of my being.
Source: Someday a mountain, Mountain Poems http://www.poetryinnature.com/nature/poetry.asp?poem=5428#ixzz3JZqANhwE