Returning from Abiquiu, New Mexico to Maine split me in two. Part of me is there and part of me is here.
A four – day driving marathon is only important in retrospect because we survived it.
Arriving safely at dusk in light rain gray tree frogs trilled in the leaf laden tree trunks – a sound that I have longed for in my dreams… The drought in Maine that continues in spite of the monsoon leaves my brook two feet below normal – and yet the water flows still, so I am grateful.
The next morning a Luna moth (they only live two weeks in this form and have no mouths to eat) graced the porch window.
Starving deer girded many fruit trees, ate most of my medicinal elderberry bush, and are presently feasting on fresh grape leaves thick with tiny grapes, but in this world the first summer emerald green inspires the poet in me just as the sound of the brook soothes me into sleep like Red Willow River recently did, the memory of which remains as fresh as the first day I ever heard its symphony.
Phoebes nested above the door and the young fledged about three days after our arrival. I was thrilled.
Last night we went to an art show and on the way home I successfully saved one fat green frog and a nubbly brown toad from extinction – other’s we just couldn’t stop for because other cars bore down on us.
EVERY SAVED LIFE MATTERS.
(Above: Datura from New Mexico that I grew this spring from seed bloomed first morning after our return perhaps in gratitude for light -it spent 4 days in the back of a trunk).
White pines have new lime green shoots at least a foot long paths are overgrown and in need of a trim. My tree slaughtering neighbor damage has been mitigated by new tree growth… Nature is such a powerful model for survival. “Just keep growing,” S/he intones with every action.
Lemon lilies are late and their fragrance is overpowering in the overgrown field. Around the house, old – fashioned peonies, honeysuckle, my favorite lavender blue clematis, dame’s rocket (early phlox), and deer chewed bee balm (very strong mint) will eventually bloom anyway. My gardens have gone wild and I am simply enjoying what I see. Yesterday, one bumblebee visited and the hummingbirds are here but are fewer in number.
The thick umbrella shade of the deciduous trees that hold us in the arms of this hollow dims the fierce summer sun (or will when it returns) and the stunning feathery ferns are a feast for wild eyes.
A moment of joy flooded me when we saw the little 70-pound yearling, this one a male black bear – one who is a descendant of the kinship group I studied for 15 years. He doesn’t have much of a chance for survival since bear slaughter, “practice hunting” with dogs, begins this week (July) and the 4-month killing season erupts in earnest this August. Folks brag that they have a hundred percent chance of killing a bear in Maine, and they are correct. Yearlings like this male bear are at the greatest risk because they need to travel to find a new uninhabited territory. European settlers have taken over native land with a vengeance – slaughtering Native peoples and any animals/trees/plants that got in their way. Now the bears (like the people who are stuffed onto reservations) have no place to go. This story does not have a happy ending.
(Above – phoebes ready for first flight)
For this precious moment there is peace here in this sanctuary – although the exploding bombs of the Fourth of July “celebrations” are still ahead.