Foxglove Moments

Foxglove Moments

Foxglove is the name of my property, five acres overlooking the Lewis River Valley that was covered with the wildflower when I first moved here in 1996. 



Viewing this morning's photo--

First thought:
Too bad.
Out of focus.

Second thought: 
















[First posted: July 1, 2015]













Sitting out on the hillside at sunset, watching the valley change colors in the transiting light, I read poetry aloud to the gathered squirrels and jays.

No chipmunks tonight. They prefer novels.

For these evening readings, I put out peanuts. On these occasions, I am the food person, bearing feed, seed, peanuts and poems.

(I suspect the squirrels come for the peanuts, only feigning interest in poetry.)

Tonight we're reading W.S. Merwin, a favorite poet of mine,
here on a hillside not far from Lake Merwin.
No relation that I know of, but still it's kind of cool.



















I prefer his later poems,
about life captured in singular moments,
about living in sync with nature,
about that point where the natural and the spiritual intersect.

My critter neighbors know instinctually, maybe intuitively,
what I am forever trying to understand intellectually.

For them there is nothing to understand. Life just is, 
and they are forever present to it
--like the best poets in their best moments.








[First posted: June 22, 2015]




















I tend to rise early. By the time the sun first touches the treetops, the day seems half over. (My oldest nephew responded to one of my early morning emails: “4:00 am? I didn’t even know there was a 4:00 am.”)

It's my listening time, when the world is at its most quiet,
when signals from the spirit are the strongest, and reception clearest.

It's when I am most likely to find Peace, Balance, Perspective...

For soon the Ego will be up 
bustling about with its To-Do Lists,
talking obsessively to itself,
checking emails, the Washington Post, and NPR
to catch up on all the world's madness and mayhem.

And my To-Do Life begins another day.





[First posted: June 1, 2015]


































Getting up my hill requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

(That was intentional. I prefer solitude.)

Not many chance it, but those who do--and survive--
find a road lined with rhododendrons.

This time of year it's worth the risk.





[First posted: May 28, 2015]

















There was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day,
or for many years, or stretching cycles of years...

                                                                                    Walt Whitman


This morning I woke up and became a hummingbird.

Not bad.






[First posted: May 16, 2015]






Yesterday I visited Tsugawa nursery, looking for some herbs to plant on my hillside, providing the mountain beavers a little herbal seasoning to go with the young rhododendrons they are enjoying so much.

A helpful attendant showed me to the herbs area, which contained a large selection--a variety of mints, coriander, basil, sage, rosemary, tarragon, fennel, oregano--then she gestured to a whole separate table, exclaiming, "And I've got all the thyme in the world!"

Her comment occupied and entertained me all afternoon as I planted the herbs, chuckling to myself while thinking:

There is No Thyme Like the Present,
Thyme Flies,
Thyme is Money.
The Thyme is Out of Joint,
one is Killing Thyme.
Now maybe
There Will Be Peace in Our Thyme

Planting the basil wasn't half as much fun.





[First posted: May 10, 2015]

















Over the past two months I have been clearing the thick dense brush below my pond.

When finished, I laid out a "wisdom walk" on the hillside, suitable for contemplation, and planted ten young rhododendrons to celebrate.

The following morning I was heartsick to find that mountain beavers had munched and destroyed four of the plants before I could build protective cages around them.

With the brush now cleared away, I could see that the little critters had burrows all over the area.




"Pests," pronounced my neighbor at the bottom of the hill when I complained of the destruction. He suggested a way to get rid of them that was repugnant to me.

And there is a moral issue here (There is always a moral issue):

Since I was the one who invaded and disrupted their habitat, they may have their own opinion as to who the pest is.









[First posted: May 8, 2015]



















I have witnessed any number of squirrelly creative contortions at the bird feeder, but I'd never before seen these little fellows hanging upside down from it.















[First posted: April 16, 2015]


















Buds one day, blossoms the next.
So natural, even commonplace,
at once mundane yet miraculous.











We have come into the season of bursting blossoms, like children watching the same magic trick, year after year, and still willing to be amazed, surprised, delighted all over again, as seeing it the first time.

 And wondering: How do they do it?






[First posted: April 8, 2015]























The Reds (Rufous) have returned from their winter sojourn,
looking tanned and relaxed, their golf games improved.

The Greens (Anna), who stuck it out through the winter,
are none too pleased. Already the nightly squabbles around the feeders,
a dozen hummingbirds hovering, darting, zipping, flaring, posturing,
threatening hummingbird mayhem,
yet making very little body contact from what I can see.

Anyway, welcome back, Rufus.





[First posted: April 2, 2015]