I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. ~Andrew Wyeth

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

A Valentine visit from our son

Our oldest son said he would come up for Valentine's Day. This is, at least, an overnight trip. It's a few hours from the Bay Area. He arrived on Saturday. The Corgi boys knew this ahead of time... because the sofa bed was opened and ready.
Carl loves it when someone comes. He thinks that we open the bed for him and he lets us know that it's his bed, by laying on it as soon as it's made up. He never challenges anyone with his possession of things...well, sometimes he does... but in a cute, loving Corgi way. He loves company... so when the bed is opened he knows that someone is coming. 
He and Cutter greeted our son at the gate like an old friend.

I love having our boys here. It seems I still have that maternal instinct inside of me, even now as they both move through their 40's. I guess you never stop seeing them through your childhood memories. They are grown men, but they are still our children. They are adults with lives of their own, but the feelings are still protective and loving, as if there is still a small child inside of them. I guess we all have a small child inside of us.
So "M" came to visit us for the weekend. We had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on Saturday night. Great food and, because we are having summer early this year, the weather was beautiful. Didn't even need a coat at 7:00 p.m. This is California Winter at its best.

On Sunday we went for a short hike up to the ridge. It was so lovely... warm and sunny.
About halfway we saw a gang of turkey on the hill above the trail. As soon as they saw us most of them continued to move away, but two of them (young jakes) came straight down the hill to see us. Too funny. As if they were waiting for us, "Oh, look. It's Farmlady and she has someone else with her."
They were so friendly that I think if we had given them some food they would have come right up and taken it from us. Of course, when we didn't offer anything, they turned around and left.
We headed on up the hill and walked to the little, old house that is falling apart. Someone told us that he was born here. I tried to imagine being born here. It would have been a great distance from town and kind of lonely for his mother.
When we first moved here the house was standing upright. That was 16 years ago. Over the years it has withered into a pile of moss covered wood with few signs left that someone once lived here. A sink, a bed spring, some wire connectors, a rusty water tank and pieces of corrugated roofing. 
A window, without glass, that frames the old oaks...
and poison oak that is slowly devouring the small house. In Summer the poison oak has big, shiny leaves that almost shield the house from view.
There was a stove pipe laying on top of the roof, rusted and looking useless.
We discussed who might have lived there and what their lives would have been like. I tell "M" that when we first moved here and I found this house, there were Iris blooming close by. I dug them up and took them back to our house. I planted them in my new little garden ... dark blue flags. They still grow there.
We walked further and "M" noticed a caterpillar on the trail. We could have stepped on it.
Just a little thing... crawling across the open trail to who knows where.
I picked it up...
It was so pretty... but some day soon it will make a cocoon and create some magic.
I wondered what kind of butterfly this little caterpillar will be? I set it back down on a leaf and told it to move on into the bushes. It didn't move... so we continue walking, trying to remember to step lightly from now on and watch the ground for other arrant creatures looking for some sunshine.
I thought to myself that we should be careful and keep an eye out for snakes too. The weather was so warm and more like April or May out there.
We decided to take another trail down to the little creek. There is a mine here. Someone did a lot of work looking for gold in this area. Probably before World War II.

There is a creek that only has water in it during the winter.  There's a lot of bedrock in this creek and a concrete wall to hold a reservoir of water in one area.
Someone built stone retaining walls for reasons unknown. Houses, roads? channeling water? Who knows. It's a beautiful mystery.
"M" and I spend quite a while exploring the area. We found an old wheelbarrow, old pilings and a good size water tank. What stories this place could tell.
We even found more mushrooms...
Fairy like and delicate...

tiny yellow ones...
and some that look like they were eaten for lunch. Maybe the little caterpillar was there.
This one looked good enough to eat.

It was time to go home... walking back down the trail to the house,
 I remembered Mary Oliver's poem called ~How I go to the Woods.~

"Ordinarily, I go to the woods alone, with not a single
friend, for they are all smilers and talkers and therefore
unsuitable.

I don’t really want to be witnessed talking to the catbirds
or hugging the old black oak tree. I have my way of
praying, as you no doubt have yours.

Besides, when I am alone I can become invisible. I can sit
on the top of a dune as motionless as an uprise of weeds,
until the foxes run by unconcerned. I can hear the almost
unhearable sound of the roses singing.

If you have ever gone to the woods with me, I must love
you very much.”

This was a walk that I shared with my son and it was beautiful. It was a gift for me... and he knows that I love him very much.


4 comments:

  1. places like that old house...and stone wall....they intrigue me...my cousin and i just to go on these grand adventures on sundays...and would find places like that...and make up stories...

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  2. Loved hearing about your walk with your son and seeing the old building and the other things you and your son saw. Have a blessed day. Madeline

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  3. As always, you've captured my heart with the rambling, broken down houses, stone walls and poetry. I think Mary Oliver might have let a dog as a companion be the exception to her rule of being alone in the woods.
    Since Griff's been sick I sure miss our long walks. Hope you're well.

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  4. what sweet love you have shared here...profoundly beautiful.

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