When I last posted for D-Day, I used web photos. Couldn’t find mine, taken 20 years ago. Turns out I had placed them in an album. What a concept!
Here are just a few. It’s hard to imagine the majesty, unwavering determination, courage, and selfless devotion to decency, country, and community which conceived and carried out this breathtaking endeavor.
Fifty years after, walking on flat ground above the water, vast to the sight and empty yet, steel blue, placid like the black cows grazing on the furrowed field sky a colored mirror watching, waiting, breath bated – for an eye blink’s vision clicking quickly into clear focus – armada of liberation, filling the sea idea so daring, it stuns still conceived and carried out with brilliant care burden of risk bearing great hope
present sacrifice agreed exchange for future life
Moose tracks in dirt or snow and knotholes in pine – We are all connected to each other and to this beautiful place we call home.
2 poems from Songs for a Beloved Friend, Poems and Essays for the Planet, which explore this connection:
Birds fly across the sky
in the shape of clouds.
Continents form from vapor
and drift with the wind.
Fluid, fire, air, and core
are bound in intricate design.
The universe weaves the pattern,
and we are one stitch.
COLOR OF EARTH Collie color of earth, lamb and lion throat echoes shark’s jaw human hand revealed in paw bird feathers trace ear edges fur swirls in exact pattern of wood grain on my table as I look and see the universe sing harmony.
At the bottom of our hill, we found moose tracks in the snow leading into the woods.
That’s not unusual; moose often spend time on our mountain property. We see their tracks regularly: the solo tracks of a bull moose, and the double tracks of a cow with calf. Easy to spot in the snow. We often get the chance to ski in the moose track.
But this was different. Sticking out of the snow was something worth investigating.
This piece was heavy, too heavy to pick up and carry back to the cabin. My husband had to get the sled – the one we used to carry our son into the cabin, before he was old enough to ski himself.The antlers look like bone, wood, bark, and a flower, all together. Glorious. Not easy to carry around on one’s head, even for a bull moose.
I am reasonably certain that the rack belongs to the (formerly) ornery moose I describe in “Elixir of Ornery Moose” Not too many bull moose occupy the same territory at the same time.
Here’s a picture of a moose in the Tetons sporting a gorgeous headdress.
Head down, eyes occupied with intimate moments on tiny screens, we no longer stand upright and fail to notice the menace approaching, fangs bared and posture threatening, ready to pounce and do us in.
Senses overcome from information overdose, brains dull from lack of exercise, inhaling the opinions of others in lieu of the pleasure of thinking for ourselves, neural connections evaporate, unused and unnecessary.
Fewer will be available in future should there be one.
Public domain photo credit: Hermann Schaaffhausen “First Reconstruction of Neanderthal Man”
It turns out Neanderthals* were not brutes after all. We have evidence they buried their dead with great care and loving attention. Neanderthals did look different from homo sapiens,
and that’s enough to give them a bad rap.
However unlikely, perhaps we will un-evolve into creatures somewhat like our predecessors: for whom life in harmony with the environment was critical to survival; and who felt no need to concrete over the planet.
Plus, the protruding brow will eliminate any need for sun visors. Something to look forward to.
*Early fossil-finds came from the Neander Tal (Valley) in Germany.
The lie at center stage occupies expanding space extremities weaken, norms crumble foundations totter, unsupported the ground folds back upon itself in blood-red ribbons the brain reels as unreality repeated rules unchecked.
Arctic ice crusts the inside length of the cabin door. The ancient space heater sputters. We dress quickly in the cold seeking a hot morning meal before venturing into magic, the landscape of Yellowstone –
– standing lodgepoles engulfed in white snow creaks and snaps beneath our skis breath entwines with geyser vapor where solid, enthroned, sun-sparkled winter rules in unguarded splendor.
We said good-bye to our beautiful collie dog Beau last week. As usual, Beau was in charge. He refused food for six days and rested on the seventh. We had time the evening before and morning of to caress him and speak softly into his open ear. I know he heard me. He was almost gone when the vet arrived. Very peaceful and gentle. Just like Beau.
Collies cannot be forced. They do what their loved ones want – or suggest – because they love to please, as long as it makes sense to them. Beau, having been abandoned twice by two former “guardians” (and I use the term loosely), was not anxious to go new places or do new things. I had the strong impression he feared being abandoned again. When Beau and Bella first came home, they consented to walk for two days. (Even though at age five, they did not know how to walk on a leash.) On the third day, Beau refused to leave the premises. I had to drag my 89-pound collie a few feet to take him on a walk. The neighborhood grew to be OK, but the park, the highline canal, and other dog-walking highlights were a “no-go” for Beau. Stick close to home and everything will be fine.
The one exception was Beau and Bella’s beloved cabin, the favorite place on earth for every one of our dogs. Wild and open, with plenty of ground to roam, and elk, deer, moose, bear, fox and squirrels to sniff for and birds to listen to.
Here are some pictures from B and B’s time there. The first is probably my favorite photo of Beau, surveying his domain from a nearby hill.Here’s another of Beau and Bella on a hike. Two are from the day in February we first took them to the cabin. Our road is impassable by car in the winter, so we walk or ski in about a mile. As we turned the corner into the cabin, both dogs came to a screeching halt. I couldn’t see their faces, but Beau’s demeanor indicated clearly to me that he felt he was in paradise. Beau was a collie, and therefore elegant and dignified. But not always. Here is Beau upside down, in a rare moment of abandon. I’m pretty sure Beau has met up with Bella and is now romping around doggie heaven, sniffing for squirrels and chipmunks. They and my other doggie dear ones will know me when I show up there one day.
This poem is about Beau:
No Kisses for Valentine’s Day
No kisses today I’m sorry to say I saw you about with a squirrel in your mouth a very dead squirrel you dropped at my feet a Valentine’s treat So I must remember to let time go by How long does it take for bacteria to die? Impatiently waiting anticipating… No kisses for me but what do I see? that nose in the air so soft and so fair resolution be naught I already forgot.
I’m going straight to doggie heaven
Better wear earplugs when you arrive in doggie heaven
poems are from Bright Moon Wandering, Environmental Love Poetry