Photography

Such Singing In The Wild Trees | a poem

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It was spring
and I finally heard him
among the first leaves––
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness––
and that’s when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree––
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing––
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfect blue sky–––all of them

were singing.
And, of course, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn’t last

For more than a few moments.
It’s one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you’ve been there,
you’re there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then––open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

-Mary Oliver

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M U D ::: Sensory Delight


Mud
by
Polly Chase Boyden

Mud is very nice to feel
All squishy-squash between the toes!
I’d rather wade in wiggly mud
Than smell a yellow rose.

It was a rainy Monday. Then the sun peeked through the clouds for a bright moment, she lit up.

“Mama, do you want to come and play in the mud!?”

Who can resist… We splashed and jumped, we oozed our toes through the gooey mud. We laughed, and laughed, and laughed.

We’re currently loving this song from our friends Dear Saint Isaac. Especially, when our darling belts it out. Enjoy!

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A R I S E

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  My beloved spoke and said to me,
“Arise, my darling,
my beautiful one, come with me.
  See! The winter is past;
the rains are over and gone.
  Flowers appear on the earth;
the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
is heard in our land.
  The fig tree forms its early fruit;
the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
my beautiful one, come with me.”

Song of Songs 2:10-13

The hike, the cave, and the brave (independent) girl

After lunch we ventured out on a hike. Constance had the privilege of riding on my back in the Ergo. It was supposed to be a simple hike with waterfalls and a cave amongst the glorious autumn colors.

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But somewhere along the way we got a bit, er, sidetracked. Lost in the woods with a baby on my back is not my idea of fun and relaxation, but nevertheless, grumbling under my breath, I pressed on. Down the steep, leaf-covered trails.

There was a moment when I was too afraid and wanted to turn back (balancing with a baby on my back isn’t the easiest and I’m not the most fit I’ve ever been), but what happened in that moment was so beautiful. I’m still stunned by it.

The tiny one on my back began cheering me on. “You can do it, mama. You can be brave. It’s okay.” Then she yelled out to the waiting others, “Mama’s coming, guys. She can do it.” I just don’t know. Sometimes we need each other.

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The guys found the cave and though we missed the waterfall, this was well worth the effort.

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I had to let Charlotte go on her own during the hike, my inclination to hold onto her surpassing my ability. Wings spread, she soared.

Mothers and children both grow in the letting go, taking flight.

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We loved the river so much we had to return one last time before leaving. So we ventured off a little farther down the way.

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This is Emma asking if it’s okay to let Charlotte climb up:

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This is Emma telling Charlotte that it’s a big fall and she should let her help her down, and Charlotte refusing that help:

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This is Charlotte sitting her independent self down in protest:

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Emma climbs down after I tell her to let go. Big sisters have to do this sometimes, too. Charlotte told me later, “I was a little scared when Emma got down and left me up there alone.”

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She climbs down. Safely. Stronger.
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Because though she is small, she is fierce.
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Nourished.

All of life is aflame.

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We watch it burn. It warms us. Heals.

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He loves to stoke the fire. Drawing out the rushing, burning moments. Wild.

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Morning light through the pines. Fresh breath. Life. We breathe it in. All this holiness.

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Share a meal and laughter. This is love. This nourishes.

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A game of miniature golf among the flaming wild trees.

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Reminders of Uganda…dangerously made play-sets,
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barefoot babies,

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tire swings,

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freedom beyond fences.

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All this love, this life that surrounds. A gift.

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