i'm sorry i've been away. i can't even really say what, if anything at all, has held me back from posting here, a place i used to visit with dependable frequency. i remember writing three and four times a week, not letting any longer pass before i'd sit down in front of the screen and begin to peck away. things seem so off, this way. and now, here we are right in the very heart of winter, when i was last speaking of autumn and workshops and mild breezy weather. my routines haven't changed very much - walter and i still go on (shorter) walks, i still like to keep my footsteps as close to rushing water and rocks as i can. the river, though, where we used to go for those long, quiet winter walks through snow and ice, seems so very far away. i miss it, a lot. i miss that big river, i miss the stone beaches, the sticks stripped clean by beavers, the driftwood, the currents, the elk. the everything of that watery place. these days, i stay close to the cabin without getting in the car for sometimes as long as a week. these days, i am back to building a welcome fire in the woodstove at dusk, just as i did every evening when the boys were still living at home, when we had a woodstove to gather close with books, with music, with paper and pen. i stay busy, running back and forth between here and alabama. i go there, i come home. i go off again. i miss a great many things about the house on firefly road, while falling deeply in love with this cabin on heartrock hill. i miss that wide, expansive open view, i miss the sun streaming madly in on winter days when i worried that the strength of those rays would fade my sofa, my oriental rug. they did, but i didn't care. the sun was a welcome thing. it is welcome here too, in this beloved log cabin overlooking the valley from the woods; it just isn't as insistent, or nearly quite as bold. we walk to the end of Wooded Way to find strong sun these days. the trees wait, as i do, for the midday sun to warm their branches, to thaw the earth at their feet. i'm feeling a little like an old tree, too. i'm letting my hair go grey, like spanish moss, and as some wild mountain woman might do, i'm surprised to find that i'm liking it so far. i like the contrast of white and grey against what used to be as dark as raven's wings. i like that i no longer care. i think of these wandering things on this quiet winter's night. i shouldn't be writing them for everyone to see, but that is what i do when i come here to be. i open my heart, i let you all see just which way the winds are carrying my drifting, winding thoughts of this one solitary, reflective day.
some memories of mine for you to see:
the highlight of these past months has been the health and happiness and presence of my beloved mother. at thanksgiving, my best pal julie and i drove down to alabama (after jules had driven all the way from ohio the night before), spent the night, and drove back with mama and her corgi pup callie along for a grand adventure. julie drove, mama sat in front, and i happily tucked away in the back with both pups and watched the sunset melt into the georgia pine trees rushing past our window.
for a week, this beautiful little cabin was full of love and laughter and wonderful food, stories, movies, auburn football, fires in the hearth, and the beginning of christmas trimmings.
(such a wonderful photo - the light in my mother's eyes! my treasured family, blood and not, gathered round to celebrate gratitude. my best friend with her arm slung around my treasured "auntie" dora. roy! always a good thing, roy. i could, however, have done without that expression in red plaid. grr.)
i was deeply grateful that roy was able to join us for a few of those days, sad that robin couldn't, thankful that robin had started a wonderful new job that kept him behind in colorado. julie dove in and cheerfully joined me in the chaos of the holiday kitchen, and it was a lovely joy to call my mother Queen of Everything for the week that she was here.
christmas holidays in the mountains, alone here at the cabin before i left for a three week stay in alabama, was a time of peace and calm, of late nights guiding a needle and red thread through long swaths of soft vintage muslin. the lights were low except at my left shoulder, the sounds were velvet and hushed. the woods were still. it was a time of walking softly through the trees, of dreaming gentle dreams. it was enough. it was all that i needed. it is home. i am here. i have not gone away. xo
tomorrow i'll be posting again to share with you the latest little pendants that i'm calling "notion" pieces. they are left blank until you tell me which word or two you'd like to wear around your neck, above your heart... a notion or an emotion, a promise or an affirmation, a goal, a dream, a song, a memory. hammered, aged brass is joined with vintage embossed book cover backing; you can see it up there in the top of the right column. tomorrow, then. tomorrow. (p.s. walter says hello) xo