The thing that makes dividing my time between these two different paths work well for me is that I’m listening to how I really want to spend my time and looking for meaning regardless of where I am.
For a while we entertained the idea of building a tree house for the kids in a stand of giant hemlocks at the top of the mountain. That idea was squashed when the hemlocks were infested with the wooly adelgid parasite. As the dead trees fell we found other uses for them.
It’s been cool and rainy for the past two weeks. When misty drizzles swell into weightier drops the birds desert our feeders. I feel sorry for them, worry about how they’re keeping dry.
I’ve returned to my beloved mountain valley. After five days the stillness is starting to settle in. This morning the eastern sky was red. “Red sky in morning, sailors take warning.” It will probably rain today.The sun is slow to reach the west side of the house. For now the garden is shrouded in shadows and mist.
A BIG black spider crosses the porch toward me. What if it climbs up my leg while I’m absorbed in my book? My territory. I consider stepping on it.This feels harsh. Maybe I’ll just relocate it. I slide a piece of paper under it but it leaps onto the nearby wall and scuttles beneath a plank of cedar siding.
My third-grade grandsons were given an assignment to write about the most beautiful place in nature they can imagine. Jake has wonderful memories of a special winter day in the Smoky Mountains. He drew the picture you see here. This is his story: