Friday, October 14, 2011

A Hint of Things to Come

The wind that strips the trees of the last of their colorful leaves is frankly chilly, bringing with it dark clouds. The kiss of the cold on my cheek reminds me of things I haven't thought about for month after naive month - snow, ice, wind, sliding on the roads, sliding on my driveway. The farmers have taken advantage of the ten day stretch of Indian summer to harvest much of the corn and soybean crop and now the fields are prepared for winter with their array of stubble. The puppy shivers, does her business quickly then runs to the door. I don't know how to prepare her for the concept that this is nothing - she was born in warmer climes and has not experienced a true winter yet. Molly, our elderly Golden, on the other hand, stands in the driveway with her nose into the wind and a smile on her face. She has to be coaxed to come inside. I have a moment of de ja vu, remembering another elderly Golden, this one deaf and blind, who stood in the same place years ago, nostrils working, with the same smile on her sweet gray face. What stories does the wind carry to those with the senses to read it?

Friday, July 1, 2011

It's about loving the place you live

Life is a strange journey. Small changes and decisions have more impact on shaping your journey than you would ever suspect. Some life experiences are painful and some joyful. Some happen easily and some are like childbirth - s monumental struggle with your life hanging in the balance. I spent most of my life in California, but a sequence of events made it seem like a good idea at the time to move to Michigan. Little did I know how this place would get under my skin, slowly but surely. I don't know exactly how I developed my impression of what Michigan was like. It wasn't something I gave a lot of thought to, or had a lot of interest in, but in general, I thought of it as an urban area - Detroit, manufacturing, pollution. I didn't know that one day I would be able to hear the nesting cranes from my yard, have an assortment of spectacular warblers passing through in migration, have Pileated Woodpeckers in my yard, listen to the coyote chorus after dark. I didn't know that I would one day live 2 miles from a pristine river bottomland where Prothonotary Warblers and Cerulean Warblers nested, where I would come upon herons, turkeys, and owls sitting in the middle of the road, and where does could be seen cautiously moving their wobbly fawns in the middle of the day. Is it any wonder that I have come to love this amazing place - this weird mixture of wild lands and heritage farmlands - Van Buren County.