About Me

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I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water. After twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live and work in the Ozarks and visit the mountain often. These are stories about the Ozark Wilderness written from a women deeply influenced by this special place.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Early flowers

This week I have noticed a few flowers budding and blooming already. The daffodils in my front yard are budding and starting to open. Along the creek I found a single trout Lilly blooming. In the fields and meadows I can find early dandelions. And everywhere tiny blue flowers are speckling the greenery. Today, as rain pours heavy from a grey sky, it feels like spring!



Thursday, February 7, 2013

Throwing Rocks

     Yesterday was sunny and warm. It felt like spring. I let Zane roll his window down and we drove out of town. Beside a bridge, I parked and we hiked down to the White River. Zane rode on my back much of the way because the path (or lack of path) was steep, rocky, and full of obstacles. The rivers throughout the Ozarks have changed in the past two years. I remember this particular spot being a good, deep swimming hole. But even with the rain we have received this winter, it is shallow and full of bamboo and reeds. The splashing water is not strong enough to wash trash downstream and some locals must use the dry end of the bridge as a dump yard. Initially, between the shallow water, bamboo covered shore, and forgotten garbage, I was terribly disappointed. If the hike down the the water's edge had not been such an exhausted ordeal, I would have turned around immediately. But I sat to rest, and Zane began throwing rocks in the river.
     He has always loved to throw rocks in the water, since he was very young. But after two years of very dry weather, we have not had much time to enjoy this favored pastime. When I had finished resting, I suggested we leave and find a better shore.
     "No," said my three year old explained sweetly. "Zane throw rocks in river."
     I couldn't drag him away after seeing the smile on his face. So I showed him how to skip rocks and he spend a while searching for flat rocks tp throw even though he couldn't get them to skip. Time passed. I picked up my book and got lost in the story. Zane threw big rocks until they were all either in the water or too big to pick up. Then he threw little rocks. It was like a meditation to him. He was lost in a trance. He didn't speak. If I talked to him, he didn't hear me at first. I have seen such a trance come over children while playing video games or watching a movie. But Zane was simply throwing rocks.
Almost three hours went by and I was out of drinking water, so I suggested that we head back to the car. By now the rocky shore he was sitting on had become a muddy, sandy beach, completely devoid of rocks. Yet still he dug in the muddy sand in search for tiny pebbles. Perhaps it was not very good for the river, but I believe it was good for Zane's soul.
The drive home was silent and my boy went to bed peacefully.
Today he woke up telling me about his dreams...they were full of frogs.


This was taken last spring, not yesterday.