Friday, September 26, 2014

Seawater Begs the Pearl: Aunt Bea

There is some kiss we want with our whole lives,
the touch of Spirit on the body.
Seawater begs the pearl to break its shell.
And the lily, how passionately it needs some wild darling!
At night, I open the window and ask the moon to come
and press its face against mine.
Breathe into me.
Close the language-door,
and open the love-window.
The moon won’t use  the door,
only the window.

- Rumi

Photo: Beatrice & Philip Huntley with my mom.

It was a journey that entailed a 10 am Metro from VA to DC - and - Amtrak from DC to CT.  Then a roadtrip with my dear cousin Adelia that rolled us to her enchanted cottage in Searsport at 2:30 am.
When we awoke, we began our day Jan's homemade jam, then we drove another 2 1/2 hours to Jonesport and made it in time for the 11:00 celebration of my great aunt's life.

When I arrived in Maine and walked into the cottage, the scent of wood smoke immediately transported me to childhood summers with my Aunt Bea and Uncle Phil.  I remembered digging clams with my feet and running up the rocky cliff just as the tide came in to swallow up the beach.  If lucky, I would return with a pocket of sea glass for my efforts. 

Ours were large family gatherings around the table where the air was filled with laughter, and the bowls were filled with fresh chowder.  In the morning there were breakfasts of biscuits and homemade jam while beneath the window my aunt's poppies danced in the sea breeze. 

It was there that I met my first fox.  It was injured and my uncle was nursing it back to health.  There were jackrabbits too, big ones and barn swallows building mud nests under the eaves.  Sometimes I would find egg shells in the grass beneath and marvel.  We caught and released tadpoles from the pond beside their home.  We took walks in the woods to find the peat bogs where the mysterious pitcher plants grew in musky clumps.  Occasionally we would find a snake and bring it in the house to scare the ladies.  

They were good times, and I cherish those moments.

Beatrice Elaine Gray Huntley Urquhart 1930-2014

So many memories.
So much love.


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The Field

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Sunday, September 21, 2014

First Tournament

 I exist as I am, that is enough - Walt Whitman


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Monday, September 15, 2014


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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Leaving this Winter

Her little boy awoke from a nightmare and came to her crying. He said, "I dreamed that I rescued a little owl from underneath the diving board of a pool. It felt warm and I thought it would be okay, but some man grabbed a mic and said, we need to let this poor little owl leave this winter and go where she needs to go".

She had to fight back tears at the uncanny message of his dream. She knows who the owl is, and the long winter that has been slowly killing her, but she will never leave without her son.

She kissed her boy and walked him back to his bed.   "It's just a dream", she said softly. Then she walked downstairs and sat in the dark and cried.


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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

4th Grade

Photo bomb by Oreo the neighbor's cat.

There Was a Child Went Forth by Walt Whitman

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.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass, and white and red morning-glories, and white and red clover, and the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs, and the sow's pink-faint litter, and the mare's foal, and the cow's calf,
And the noisy brood of the barn-yard, or by the mire of the pond-side,
And the fish suspending themselves so curiously below there--and the beautiful curious liquid,
And the water-plants with their graceful flat heads--all became part of him.

The field-sprouts of Fourth-month and Fifth-month became part of him;
Winter-grain sprouts, and those of the light-yellow corn, and the esculent roots of the garden,
And the apple-trees cover'd with blossoms, and the fruit afterward,
and wood-berries, and the commonest weeds by the road;
And the old drunkard staggering home from the out-house of the tavern, whence he had lately risen,
And the school-mistress that pass'd on her way to the school,
And the friendly boys that pass'd--and the quarrelsome boys,
And the tidy and fresh-cheek'd girls--and the barefoot negro boy and girl,
And all the changes of city and country, wherever he went.

His own parents,
He that had father'd him, and she that had conceiv'd him in her womb, and birth'd him,
They gave this child more of themselves than that;
They gave him afterward every day--they became part of him.

The mother at home, quietly placing the dishes on the supper-table;
The mother with mild words--clean her cap and gown, a wholesome odor
falling off her person and clothes as she walks by;
The father, strong, self-sufficient, manly, mean, anger'd, unjust;
The blow, the quick loud word, the tight bargain, the crafty lure,
The family usages, the language, the company, the furniture--the yearning and swelling heart,
Affection that will not be gainsay'd--the sense of what is real--the thought if, after all, it should prove unreal,
The doubts of day-time and the doubts of night-time--the curious whether and how,
Whether that which appears so is so, or is it all flashes and specks?
Men and women crowding fast in the streets--if they are not flashes and specks, what are they?
The streets themselves, and the façades of houses, and goods in the windows,
Vehicles, teams, the heavy-plank'd wharves--the huge crossing at the ferries,
The village on the highland, seen from afar at sunset--the river between,
Shadows, aureola and mist, the light falling on roofs and gables of white or brown, three miles off,
The schooner near by, sleepily dropping down the tide--the little boat slack-tow'd astern,
The hurrying tumbling waves, quick-broken crests, slapping,
The strata of color'd clouds, the long bar of maroon-tint, away
solitary by itself--the spread of purity it lies motionless in,
The horizon's edge, the flying sea-crow, the fragrance of salt marsh and shore mud;
These became part of that child who went forth every day, and who now goes, and will always go forth every day.


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A Flash of Bright Wings

That night they decided to salute the last day of summer with ice cream. Still quite sore from surgery, her gait was slow and cautious. Upon reaching the parlor, a little boy appeared out of nowhere and held open the door for her.

She smiled looking into his eyes and said, "you are extraordinary, thank you so much".

He smiled then disappeared. She looked around and it reminded
her of one of those stop action film sequences wherein nothing else is moving except for the two main characters and when the action starts again, everyone in the scene is completely oblivious to what occurred right under their noses. It was kind of like that with this. Her husband and son walked through the door without so much as a glance at the boy holding it. The hoard at the counter continued their unconscious dance of nudging and shuffling.

As she braved the line with her family, perusing the flavors, a woman nearly backed right into her. She quickly placed her hand over her incision to brace for impact, but the little boy appeared again and stretched his arm between them.

Suddenly she had a flashback to another time, a time before seat belts and car seats. She was a tiny girl taking a drive with her beloved aunt. The car in front stopped short and her aunt instantly reached out her arm to protect her - a gesture instinctual in some and nearly absent in others.

"You are my protector", she said to the boy with a smile, "thank you, my knight".

The boy smiled big then disappeared again.

She has a habit of wondering. She wonders about a lot of things, and in this particular moment she is wondering why everyone around her, including her family, are completely oblivious to what is happening - and yet this little boy is keenly aware, completely tuned in as though it was his job to look after her.

Her husband paid the cashier and took a lick from his cone. She handed her son his ice cream cone then the three of them followed the bustle toward the exit. Just then, the door swung open wide and was held there. Behind the door was the little knight, his body suspended at a 60 degree angle to counter the weight of the heavy door. He smiled gesturing for her to proceed.

"You are truly an extraordinary soul", she said to the boy, "thank you again".

He smiled then disappeared.

In her mind she imagined herself in a meeting. A meeting of souls before they took bodies. They are discussing the lessons they wish to learn on earth.

A voice says, "and one day you will be recovering from will be quite sore, but no one around you will notice..."

Suddenly a small voice chimes in.

"I will notice", he said.

Postscript:  One Week Later and the swelling/bruising is nearly gone...starting to see my abs again.  


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Monday, August 25, 2014

Fairystone Park

"Every fairy take his gait.
And each several chamber bless.
Through this palace with sweet peace.
And the owner of it blessed.
Ever shall in safety rest.
Trip away. Make no stay.
Meet me all by break of day." -William Shakesperare

S has deemed this place magical.  I couldn't agree more.  We spent the weekend in a cozy 76 year old log cabin, with wood floors,  plank doors, a stone fireplace and a few modern conveniences.  The air within and without the cabin smelled heavily of woodsmoke and adventure.  The land is a nearly 5,000 acre haven from noise and light pollution.

"The quiet is loud", he said.

"I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses, and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania some time of the night,
Lulled in these flowers with dances and delight;
And there the snake throws her enamelled skin,
Weed wide enough to wrap a fairy in...."(WS)

We could hear the frogs croaking while I sipped my coffee and watched a slug make its way across the mossy log rail that lined the stone porch facing the lake.

Occasionally he would spot a circle of mushrooms and squeal, "Fairy Rings!"

We made a big pot of vegetarian chili for dinner and S'mores for dessert and the atmosphere of this enchanting place made it more delicious than ever.

In the end, his dream came true...he found his fairy stones.

After his hard work searching for the mysterious stones, he took a plunge in the beautiful lake.

Just as we returned to our cabin, the sky took an unexpected turn when an intense rainstorm blew in and obscured the lake in a shroud of white.  It was like standing behind a waterfall.  We read some of the entries in the cabin journal and inked in our own musings before packing our bags for our morning check-out.

It was a wonderful weekend.

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Sunday, August 24, 2014

Homeward Bound

Taking the scenic route home...

Not stopping there...

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