Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spring. Show all posts

Saturday, April 25, 2015


Today's adventures took us outside the city of Algiers and up a twisty mountain road in the Atlas Range to a national park at 5,000 feet.  It was a long ride, especially for my poor, prone-to-carsickness tummy, but it was totally worth it. 

There's always something amazing about climbing higher than the clouds. 

I love the wrinkly ridges snuggled up close to one another.

The exposed rock faces reminded me of those visible in the Appalachians in Pennsylvania, although there was greater evidence of regular rock falls than I've ever seen there.

It's the height of spring in Algiers, and these lovelies grow everywhere along roadsides.

On the way back, we stopped at a scenic overlook that included monkeys. They just wander down the hill and wait for the travelers to share food.

This snap is washed out, but I wanted to show you this mother and her baby hanging underneath. It was the baby's job to stay attached as the mother moved around the rock face and gathered the croissant and cacao nibs on offer.

The image of Atlas, the defeated Titan, holding the weight of the world on his shoulders kept spinning through my mind as we rode through his mountains today. With it came Ayn Rand's image of Atlas shrugging, thereby shifting the foundations of life as we know it. 

Our hearts broke at the news of the earthquake in Nepal earlier today. With so many buildings shattered and lives destroyed, it would be easy to lose hope, but today we had driven on roads congested because of the work of rebuilding after earthquakes in this region, and yesterday we had seen scaffolding supporting earthquake-damaged buildings in the casbah. Resilience wins and life continues even when Atlas shrugs.

Friday, April 24, 2015

a glimpse of blustery

I did some hiking in Michigan recently. 

It was a beautifully blustery day. 

The kind of day where the clouds roll around and the dry grass sussurates.

It was a day between winter and spring.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

a glimpse of certainty

Every time I come to Washington, I try to be on campus for a worship service. When I come to this city, but not to this space, I go home feeling like I have missed something.

This time, though, even as I was happy to be here, I was asking myself why I do this. United Methodist worship services happen on Thursdays at 11:00 PM and Sundays at 7:00 PM, neither of which is particularly convenient for travel.

Photo credit: AU Ambassadors

As I was standing on the quad on this most recent trip, I realized why.

When this was my home, I was happy, I felt safe, and I knew where I was going, and when I come back here my self remembers that identity. It's comfortable, like favorite clothes long lost in the back of the closet.

Putting that identity back on is, of course, impossible. When I leave, I’m still the same nervous, fearful person who has little idea where she’s going, but I have a renewed sense of what that old certainty felt like.

Somehow, having that memory like a token in my pocket makes the uncertainty of my present world more bearable. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a glimpse of transition

Yes, that is snow in the sand under my toes.

Yes, bare feet and a wool sweater are totally logical on the shores of Lake Michigan in April.

Yes, the sun was very bright. ;-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

neither here nor there

I am always nervous the day before I fly. Until that moment when the plane levels off at cruising altitude little tiny butterflies tickle my gut. 

At the same time, as I approach the airport, the sight of other people's planes arriving and departing over my head amazes me. I stand in awe of the human ingenuity that allows us to travel this way. 

Over the years, I've agglomerated rituals to calm the pre-flight flutters. I rehearse my mental list of oft-forgotten things ad infinitum, knowing that I will realize which one is missing and grab it at the last moment. I pause to sit on my suitcase as my Russian sisters have taught me. I bid farewell to the land I'm leaving through the gap between jetway and airplane. (I've given up tossing a coin onto the tarmac for fear the TSA will question my motives.) As the plane begins to taxi and then gathers speed to jump aloft, I breathe the word 'safe' over and over again and imagine my little mantra reaching out in expanding circles to reach my row, my cabin, my plane, and then all the planes nearby.

On this trip, I was struck by the extreme liminality of travel by plane. Certainly all travel is the traversing of a threshold between origin and destination. But a horse, a car, even a train, can be made to stop at any given point on the trajectory. In motion, they occupy a transitory space between, but simply by ceasing to move, the traveler immediately finds her self located in some specific where. 

The traveler by plane, however, does not have the option to stop the vehicle. To travel by plane is to give oneself over to the authority of pilot and air traffic controller, to agree to remain in the space that is no where until arrival at the destination. 

Often though, this destination is still an other space. Today, I crossed an ocean, and even though I am decidedly present in this here, it is an exotic space to me. In a foreign language, in an unusual state of aloneness, in a new city, adventure is mine.  

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Spinach Haiku

NaPoWriMo #15

Spinach Haiku

so long have I
longed for your spring return
to my bowl, spinach

Note: An increased commitment to eating locally and in season meant that I wasn't purchasing greens in the grocery store through the winter. My brief sojourn in Brazil was a nice salad interlude, but for the last month or so, I have been craving a giant bowl of spinach salad, and I finally got it thanks to Bluebird Farm and Sustainable Greens.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Preparation for Celebration

Read Write Poem's NaPrWriMo #10 Celebration

Disclaimer - this is very definitely just a draft.

Preparation for Celebration

For forty days and forty nights,
we ate no eggs - no omlettes,
no french toast, no pancakes.

To be ready for the Feast of Easter
with paskha and kulikh, which
we have been eating for a week.

Easter week has come to an end,
but the chickens continue to lay,
and we return to omlettes,
french toast and pancakes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring is like a perhaps hand

The crocuses and snowdrops are up and in bud, the scallion medusas are reaching for the sun, and e e cummings has taken up residence in my internal soundtrack.

Spring is like a perhaps hand
by E. E. Cummings


Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere)arranging
a window,into which people look(while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here)and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things,while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there)and

without breaking anything.

shamelessly copied and pasted from