May Fieldnotes

Beltane has come and gone. Warmer weather slowly inches into the days.
The lilacs, which initially looked like we’d have a good year, appear frozen in time
and yet their small purple-hued blossoms are still magical.

We should be seeing the monarchs traveling through on their journey up north but no sight of them as yet. The first fully opened iris appeared and was later devoured by
ground squirrels or bunnies.

And speaking of ground squirrels, after lovingly planting our first rose bushes (Julia Child and Koko Loco), those rascal squirrels nibbled a good amount of leaves and the first blossom from Julia’s bush. Didn’t see that coming! We’ve sprayed the surrounding mulch with strong combination of water and apple cider vinegar and after 2 days…so far so good. Apparently, the buds taste like sweet strawberries and the leaves, filled with moisture are a drink of water for them. Live and learn.

I’m on the other side of both Pfizer shots. Today, the CDC came out saying those vaccinated no longer need to wear a mask in “nearly all situations” (with others who’ve been vaccinated/gatherings both indoors and out.) I’m not there yet. And I’m not going to rush it. Comfort level is important.

Work returns my cut hours to “normal”. Three 8 hour days instead of the 3/4 hour days I’ve been working for nearly a year now. This, I’m ready for, some sense of movement forward. And, a taste of whether this is the beginning of my road to early retirement. Of course, that word is a misnomer. For me, it’s simply moving into living the rest of my life.

Day by day, each morning, I look out my kitchen window and take note of the barren aspen trees just a month ago, slowly fill with the beginnings of their magical quivering leaves.

I’ve all but left social media. There is such a feeling of lightness to not be told how you should be feeling/thinking. Being blasted with unasked for ads selling you all the new ways to transform and lean into and process your trauma and move through and into the new earth and ascend.

I’m talking less and listening more. To my body. To my partner. My sons. My animals. What are they wanting to say? No, what are they wanting me to hear? I’m feeling the importance of integrating and being in communion with everything around me. I am not just a part of nature. I am nature. Perhaps our lives are about remembering what we agreed to forget when we first arrived in these sacks of flesh?

Spirit has been speaking L-O-U-D-L-Y. HEY!! As if our bodies, those that I interact with aren’t simply arms and legs and eyes and hearts beating. No, they are/we are, all integrated parts moving through this field of space and time.

I’m meditating twice a day using the mantra I received in the TM tradition. It is wide and profound in ways I’m not equipped to speak about/have the language for. (yet)

I have a dear friend who’s brother took his life last month. I’ve been holding this non-descript open space for her to grieve as she moves through this painful journey. I have always found suicide to be an extreme act of courage. An action that conveys a deep hope that things must (have got to be) better/less painful than the current state of things. And it is still heartbreaking and extraordinarily complex.

I’m reading a novel. This is usually not my way. I’m more of a memoir/biography person. And, poetry of course. I’m not sure how to describe the book. It’s called “The Overstory” by Richard Powers. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction a few years back. I can say that the stories and characters are pulling me forward into the unknown. I can say that each vignette has, as the main character, a tree. Well, trees. So far: chestnut, mulberry, linden and douglas fir. It is a telling of our connection, whether we know it or not, to the natural world. You might need to read it yourself.

“You must never stop being whimsical.
And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.”*

and this

“All things are meltable, and replaceable. Not at this moment, but soon enough, we are lambs and we are leaves, and we are stars, and the shining, mysterious
pond water itself.”*

*Both quotes are from “Upstream Selected Essays” by Mary Oliver

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