The Beginning of Adventures

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It’s not really the beginning of¬†all the adventures. We’ve already been to El Paso. It was hot, and pleasant, and you could see Mexico right over the poor excuse for a river. It was lovely.

Tomorrow we begin the long-term adventure to Arizona, to the desert where we’ll be spending the next two months. In the many times I’ve been to this lovely state, it’s always been summer, which I think is probably the worst time to go.

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And yet, it’s not really that bad at all. It’s beautiful. Just a different kind of beautiful than my own beloved state. I’ve been drinking in all the greenery here, hoping it’ll tide me over, a little nervous of leaving the protective hills and peaceful trees for the always open landscape and wide open sky of the desert.

There aren’t many clouds out there. You can’t get your bearings or mark time by the passage of giant masses of water vapor. In El Paso at an open air mall I looked up to see a patch of sky bordered by buildings all around me, and I was bewildered. All that was up there was blue, no framing trees or hills or clouds. I felt lost and disoriented for a moment.

There have been many times I’ve felt so bewildered, for reasons besides the sky. This past year–one year of marriage, yay!–has been bewildering in many ways (not because of marriage, okay. That part’s been great). I’ll look up from all that’s going on and try to get my bearings on the clouds and trees in my life, and when I don’t see them I become disoriented (and also really crabby). I’ve had to realize that my bearings do not come from the fickle sky or the changeable landscape, no matter how decent or reliable they might sometimes be. My bearings must instead come from the earth, the Rock I stand upon.

All other ground is sinking sand, which I realize¬†is the desert, but that’s beside the point.

Feast

I see the bone-white tree with its yellow leaves,

and my tongue salivates. I swallow

and my stomach curls up in contentment.

I breathe and my heart grows warm.

I eat of this tree, this free feast

until I am nearly full.

The Artist of this culinary masterpiece

smiles through it,

and I leave a little room left

for this is only the appetizer,

and one day I will feast

on what now would make me burst.

Birdsong

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Hide away, hide away

in the green holly tree,

while the ice and the wind

whip you raw.

 

Hide away, hide away,

build your nest in the leaves,

make a pocket of home

in the frost

 

Hide away, hide away,

don’t you fly from the cold.

Sing your songs while the snow

plays the drums.

 

Hide away, hide away,

for the season grows old,

and the snowdrops will melt,

sprouting up.