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this vixen and her kits


The vixen and her kits emerged from the den this afternoon after the rains had finally ended. The skies have been deluging the earth with torrents of rain for days on end now and they, no doubt, have been hunkered down, as have we, undercover. Even I, lover of the wild that I am, have been grateful for shelter on these biting days and blustery nights.

Alone at first, the mother sat grooming herself in the sun, perhaps relieved to be free of the confines of the more and more crowded shelter. ­Soon enough though a precocious pup came nagging at her teat, bounding playfully around and about her. Each time he emerged she would soon disappear over the lip of land, perhaps to lead him back or to attend to the others, whimpering for her there. I have heard that 6 or 7 have been counted, but this afternoon I have noticed just two, the intrepid ones perhaps, one of them puffed up and grey, the other a reddish- blond beauty. (My anthropomorphizing imagines these two to be brother and sister.)

As I watch them, I wonder. Will those two bold ones, out there practically tackling their mother with their unfettered joy, tenaciously insisting on food, be the ones who will thrive? This doubt in me nags that it may be their very fearlessness that in the end dooms them.

I think about what I am doing here, following this unspoken hunger, pursuing  joy as I am. As I walked the property alone earlier this evening, poking my nose into remembrances, nudging open the door of that  freedom I’d tasted last summer, I wondered about that instinctual ‘yes’ that came rushing forth this winter in response to the invitation to return.  Was it impetuous, imprudent, impulsive?  Or could it be that my soul, some inner wisdom in me, is leading me in a direction whose destination  I cannot yet foresee?  I wondered about the chain of events I have set into action and where it might lead?  Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you are walking out the door?

Out of the crowded confines and into the sun. I must trust that this hunger will lead to a fullness – a fullness of life – and not towards a foolish and  certain death.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

These days since I have been here, I have begun again….this practice of letting go – letting go of my need to know, my need to control, my need to be safe, letting go of anxiety, letting go of regret – which means I have begun practicing trust.  In the space left behind after all of that letting go, beneath all that was crowding my heart, ‘All is Well’ has quietly returned to its rightful home in my heart.

And so here I am, letting go into trust, nipping at this potential breast of nurture.







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DSCF0658.JPGDear friends,

The day I arrived, the temperatures were near 80 degrees, a balmy breeze blowing in from the lake, the windows in my hostess’s log home thrown wide to catch the coming of spring, like those poets who run to catch the poem before it passes through and past.  Aroused the following morning, stirred awake by the exuberance of life outside my head, it seemed as if the earth herself was ringing her astonishment, relieved by her sudden release, at last, from winter’s long hold.

The evening of my arrival, as I wandered about the property, reintroducing myself, the peepers that I visited in the cove were just wakening from their own long sleep to sing their virginal song, where it was the riot of birds in the trees this morning that greeted me. It strikes me that springtime is so much more condensed and concentrated here, as if that movement of the earth around the sun from equinox to solstice, from far away to oh so close, speeds up time as I know it, as if the sprouting and budding and blooming, the emergence of which is slow and sparsed out back home, is a fertile emergency of here, as if she has only so many days in her cycle in which to conceive.

Today, it rains, no, it pours, no, it is more like a deluge, the temperatures near freezing. The rain in the morning ,as I woke, fell in crunchy pellets from a sky that was a brilliant sapphire dome just yesterday, under which my friend and I raked the property from one end to the other, from lake to lane, from 9 until 7, in a race with mother nature (whom we’d heard from the weather watchers would be arriving with her torrents  in tow sometime before dawn) Then, we toted armloads of wood for the fire.  My body is grateful this day for weather that enforces the stillness to sit and to listen, for it is weary from the 2 days of physical labor that makes me feel soft. Swimming laps in the pool, lifting dumbbells, walking hills, and practising yoga are nothing at all compared to the movement of a body at work.

Perhaps I’ve forgotten to mention the Thunderstorm, who rolled through a few hours after that 80 degree welcoming breeze, the gusty winds that both preceded and trailed him, ushering in the cold blast of his mistress. Perhaps I’ve also forgotten to mention the rolling of carpets, the scrubbing of floors, the moving of sofas, the washing of windows and ceilings and walls.

Did I mention that I love it here?

I love the unpredictability of a world still dependent upon the mood of the sky. I love the immediacy of a world responding to the needs of the moment, the way the water responds to that sky…growing still, being whipped into whitecaps, reflecting blue and then gray.  It helps me, perhaps, to let go of my attempts to control, to surrender to what is, and to simply be. Responsive rather than reactionary. Ready rather than regretful. Real rather than stuck in own ruminations.  Receptive of the gift.

In a strange way, in the midst of it all, I notice something akin to peace.

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