homestead happenings: stirrings
It’s all coming back to me: the chives wending their way out of snowmelt, the evening grosbeaks gathering at our feeders, the tomatoes seedlings unfurling into various vegetal yoga poses.
It’s the first inkling of spring, more like a stirring than a season.
Last week the kids and I were checking the buckets on our box elder trees (which incidentally, was one of those days where I was like hells yes to homeschooling! Who cares that Col’s handwriting is scrichity scratchy, he gets to roam around the hood observing the osmotic pressure of the sap flowing through the sapwood layer…naw, I was just happy to see my kids drinking up spring, outside), when Rose approached me with her hands behind her back.
“This is very rare, Mama,” she said in a voice that can only be described as italics. And then she whips out a blooming dandelion, which she totes home, sets in a mason jar filled with water, and tends to so lovingly that the flower crumples under her attentive, ahem, touch.
Over the weekend we took the kids south to New Mexico, for the day. We live in the intersection of the Four Corners, we can do that.
That particular sensory slam of sagebrush, red rocks and sunshine brought back every pre-childbearing memory of camping in the desert. The familiarity was strange, like a word being on the tip of your tongue, or like watching a grainy movie of your own life through the wrong prescription glasses. Was that us, trekking through the desert hoodoos, spires, pinnacles and slot canyons while our minds whirled on their axis? In today’s sequel we’re saddled with snacks, 1 mile from our car, and ready to leap at a nanosecond’s notice to rescue a child from the claws of a yucca plant.
The kids hiked in about a mile, which is easy when you’re completely distracted by the thrill of steep drop-offs,
Nothing to see here, children, just the edge of the world
…or the thrill of releasing a gazillion cattail seeds to the wind, which holds both the allure of flight and the agony of tiny seeds in your eyeballs.
it took five million ill-placed cattail seeds before the kids tired of this game.
…or finding a ruin perched on a steep boulder.
Which your Mama won’t let you scramble up via the rope provided. Access: left side of large boulder. (But I could see in Dan’s eyes, that had I not been there, he would have toted one kid under one arm, while using the other arm to shinny up the rope).
Rose is not happy with my decision.
The highlight was this rope swing, hung from a stout old cottonwood.
Rose affixed her little fun-hog bottom to that swing and didn’t move for an hour, while underneath her Col fashioned bark lifeboats for a mouse family, “this is called lifeboat #92, for the baby mice,” and built a dam, “to help the beavers out.”
We spent five hours in the canyon. Col wondered if his friend Sebastian would love the rope swing. I could imagine a tangle of parents kicked back in the sun, drinking beer and watching our tribe of kids frolic. But it was nice to be there together, just us, one family feeling the stirrings of spring.
Happy Wednesday to you!