High Wake up to the world all around you your heart and your spirit are free accept your mistakes don’t worry try to live try to breathe try to be. Find your peace in the center of chaos listen when you can’t find the words swallow your pride tame your ego make friends with the trees and the birds. Fly high on the wings of your ancestors grow up and find love and find light believe in the flip side of evil seek some answers know your truths do what’s right. ~Becky Robbins
We were hiking in Sebago, Maine when this Ruffed Grouse, Bonasa umbellus, came thrashing out onto the trail and faked a broken wing, dragging it on the ground and squealing and running up and down the trail ahead of us. She must have had babies in the woods nearby that she was trying to lead us away from. She came out of nowhere and we never saw the babies. Such a display!
When I was a kid I went to visit my older sister at the house she shared with a boyfriend. Giving me a tour of the property, he showed me around his old barn. I found this sweet vintage Polish doll in a corner and he said it must have belonged to the previous owners, and that I could keep it. I’ve always treasured her, and she sits prettily on a shelf in my living room.
Years later, long after they had broken up, the boyfriend I had visited hanged himself in that very barn. I’d seen him a few times over the years and it was apparent to all that he had a terrible drug addiction, but I really don’t know why he chose to kill himself. He was young, around 30 years old or so when he died. I think of him and his kindness towards me every time I look at the doll. And I still remember just how she looked when I found her in the dusty, slanted, peaceful light of that old barn.
It’s a wondrous night. The moon is full and framed by branches pregnant with fat buds. A perfect balance of stars and clouds, orange and mauve in the moonrise. There’s a warm gusty wind rustling and bending the pines. And it’s so bright, almost as bright as day, without all the colors. I get the sense that everything around me is awake. It’s like a swell of movement surging from the darkness between the trees. No one out there will sleep tonight. I hear yowling and growling coming from the hedgerow. Songbirds are chirping and trilling and hopping from branch to branch. Woodcock are performing noisy mating rituals in the field. The spring air carries a mysterious sweetness – intriguing, almost irresistible. The primal part of me inhales deeply, wishing to follow that damp sweetness wherever it leads. To slip into the woods and go wild. Rage and run – shake off the long cold winter in a fevered, frenzied prowl. Come home at dawn, leaves and twigs in my hair, panting and muddy, eyes flashing.
The shadows in a cloud passing above the moon form, in perfect puffy letters, “NAY”. I imagine it’s a message from the heavens and try to figure out which question in my life it might be the answer to. The wind breaks the cloud into squarish bits, like cracked mud at the bottom of a dried stream. Every time I’m about to turn and go home I hear a new sound in the woods and the breeze rises and the pines rustle and bend again and the clouds streak and puff and new stars twinkle into view. I won’t rush it. This is a night to be savored.
Fox curled pointed nose on warm red fur scent of the sun and the earth a dry den dug into the hillside But spring is here. Wake up, foxes! Run and jump upon my memory. Wake me up, foxes. And under a painted sky blinking first stars I will find all that I lost in a wet meadow somewhere north under the sky of purity. The taste of the Real still on my tongue. Awake. ~Becky Robbins