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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sketchbook Writings

First and very foremost, let me tell you this:
As of July 9th, I am an Aunt, for the very first time.
Gemma Grace Gibson is now part of my life and flesh and blood.
I already love her.

And I have never wanted to buy baby clothes so badly in my whole life.
* * * * *
~ From my Sketchbook Writings, Tuesday July 12th -
The world seems bursting with life, fresh eyed and tender footed, and in far greater profusion than last year.  Last summer all my preparations, my energy, my preoccupations were focused on the swift approaching winter of my heart.  The winter of my body, the time when death in small doses would claim bits of my flesh.  I could not see the glory of the sun for my fear of the snow.  And while I harvested summer's bounty, put up stores and made note of blooms, my thoughts were filled with winter and I shivered in the light.

But this season, this time around, the stakes have changed.  New life surrounds me.  

Just yesterday I sat in focused stillness watching a starling teach her young to forage.  In the suburban expanse of the front lawn, she was iridescently black, sleek, and hopped on two stiff legs through the unmown dandelions.  Her single remaining offspring, a fluffy mushroom colored thing, squawked incessantly.  His gapping pink tongue would be a dead giveaway in dry grasses or squatting with the awkwardness of youth in the cedars, but here in the bounty of green fescue he was ready for every morsel she dropped into his waiting mouth.  She would pop, pop, he was squeak, she would produce a small mystery the color of cherries, he would flap messily to her side and she would neatly place the treasure right down his gullet.  This carried on as long as I could stay still.  I lost count of the minutes in my adoration and childlike amusement.  As an outsider, it seemed a silly teenage ploy for freebies, but deeper down I knew he was learning to survive.  But aren't we all?  Silly things, learning to survive?

Then last week, standing in the lingering heat of the valley as crickets sang, I watched the deer.  A leggy doe, large-eared as any I've seen ambled just on the far side of fence.  Her fawn, spotted brightly, spooked at leaves drifting down from the oaks, at fat and lazy bumblebees, at the sound of tires on asphalt from the road down the hill.  I watched them with purposeful intent, trying to etch their forms in my mind, the tilt of an ear, the light in an eye in order to later record them.  They picked along through the field, the doe leading the fawn towards the greenest shoots hidden alongside embankments and circling the trunks of trees.  I tried to follow silently, but placed a heel right into a crackling mound of dry leaves.  The fawn startled and tucked but the doe snapped her gaze right into mine.  She raised her neck to full height without breaking her focus and pulled in long, slow breaths, testing the wind and my very human scent.  Halting, the fawn followed suit, before they both turned tail and disappeared into the brush.
* * * * *


Alice Istanbul said...


Snailentina said...

I felt the flutter in my heart reading this!

UmberDove said...

You two are the mostest.

pencilfox said...

so lovely, your words and sentiments.

congratulations on *now* being an auntie! [sweet baby name!]


Sunny Rising Leather said...

Yay, Gemma!!!

And hooray to your wellness and the blossoming world.

Love love love,

Lorena sometimes ... said...

i am so thankful that the 'Winter of your heart' was followed by a new Spring, and a new Summer . . . . . .

and i surely expect that innumerable seasons will wash over you turn after turn around the Sun!!!

your writing is lovely. and my gosh, those wee little birdies, they swell my heart every time too!

MrsLittleJeans said...

Congratulations...nothing like being an auntie! xo

UmberDove said...

Thank you Thank YOU ladies!

mme. bookling said...

Last year SUCKED.

I daresay I'm elated to be beyond that lesson.

Also, it just occurred to me how very different our journals/sketchbooks must be. I write every little thing and very few of it is of sharing caliber. Though this makes sense to me regarding our differences in personality, it still struck me as interesting.

slaindragondesigns said...

"focused stillness" . . "purposeful intent" . . . well said UmberDove, well said.

UmberDove said...

Mme. - Yes. It was balls. Thank GOD we're moving on.

Dragon - mmnn, thank you for hearing the words.