The Tree House

IMG_1938 (1)For the first time quite like this, we sit out here in what we call the Tree House and anticipate the “heat wave.” It will have a hard time vanquishing the cool breeze coming down the hill through the woods.

This morning when I had finished taking most of the ivy off the Tree House trunks, I realized how much we had built into that treasured place. Horseshoes found in the woods, from my father’s pony, Bud, are on the uprights. Those in turn are our own trees, and the rafters, railings and braces are pieces of old split-rail fence we found here when we came in 1965.image2

The little bronze owl totem sitting on the south rail is one I was given when I received an Aubrey Watzek award at Lewis & Clark twenty years ago or so, and the rhododendrons in bloom just beyond him are wild ones transplanted there by my grandfather.

image3The little crouching wiseman just below the owl in the totem is echoed by the troll we had carved last year in the tree stump next to the structure. The whole was never planned but there it is, full to the peak with blessings, needed now. We started it right after 9/11, partly I suppose to help us through that time. And it goes on.

(This was for my Writing About Birds class that came here for lunch Friday after a morning at Audubon down the hill. We never got past the porch.) 

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All in Each Others’ Arms

Last year about this time, a time of birthdays, I wrote this for Emily, our eldest grandchild.

FullSizeRender (22)Dear first born
of my firstborn daughter,
we whirl in gentle
wreaths
of love and understanding
imagine lives without each other
remember how it was
before
knowing how it will be after
but all the while holding
suspended
that which will never be lost
never be forgotten.

Images of you in my father’s arms,FullSizeRender (20)
of you first walking
in grass with flowers
even as he was going out,

swirl now with your babies

all in each other’s arms
for good.

JSB
June 5, 2016
For Emily, on the first birthday after she bore her first daughter.

IMG_2320Now, I put it together with a painting we bought yesterday, “Music in the Night,” a small landscape by Barbara Stafford-Wilson, from her current show at PDX gallery. She did it from memory, of a night they heard a fisherman singing in Cadgwith Cove on the South coast of Cornwall.

Apple blossoms are in bloom now. I add them and the smell of apple blossoms opens another layer, a sheen of light, shade, timeless.

The realities blend no less because they blend only in my mind.

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