tule fog on the drive home from work tonight. i hate driving in it because it’s terrifying. i love driving in it because it’s beautiful and thrilling. i wish that i could scud through it in some kind of safety capsule. but i reckon it would lose part of its appeal like that.
saw a mountain lion on my dad’s porch a while back. i’d never been so close to one. she was stalking my dad’s house cats. i came round the corner of his cabin carrying a bag of groceries and startled her. she made a short jump from the porch to the bottom of a cut bank. her tail was straight out behind her. golden with a black tip. she looked over her shoulder for a second and then took off like lightning up the bank and over the hill towards the river. she was totally silent. my heart liked to have pounded out of my chest. i will never forget it.
went for a hike on my day off. after a few spring rains have come i like to go gather nettles for soup. but this year i wanted to dig up a clump to put in my garden. my dad also wanted a clump of them for his garden because he loves to stew them. drove to the far side of the lake and parked under my favorite bee tree. i didn’t hear them stirring. hiked down along the river bottom and over a fenny patch. there’s a boardwalk there now so my shoes were spared. all the cattails are rasping yellow things but down in the shallow water you can see the new year’s growth all green. the old year is blowing away on the wind. i opted to dig nettles farther down the trail because the water was flowing slowly and smelled brackish. i took the little trowel out of my sack and levered up some stolons. urticated the backs of my hands even through my gloves. it doesn’t bother me so much now. when i was a youngster i always gave nettles a wide berth. i was more tender of skin then.
somehow even though i’ve hiked that same track a number of times i never noticed the ruins of an old root cellar. climbed down the stairs and went inside. someone had scratched a date into the cement when it was newly poured. 1929. the floor was littered with decades of party favors. across the back wall an opinionated soul had written “gene needham is a dick” with a hunk of cinnabar. needham was the game warden when my ma was growing up in the 40’s. by all accounts he was not a popular fellow. the fact that nobody had moved to etch over this particular graffito is testament. the hillsides all around the cellar were smothered in shooting stars. the wind smelled like their cousin cyclamen. so purty. on the trek back i kept feeling a light rain even though the day was fine. realized it was honeydew from the waking willows. it rained so thickly you could see it hanging in the air.
i’ve been such a busy bee. too busy really. working my wonderful library job. loving my wonderful boss and coworkers. working a second unpaid job. registrar for a small museum. fingers crossed for a third (paid) library position. however naively i still dream of a time when i’ll get to travel and write a little bit. so much to do. so much to do.