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.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Super Strawberry Summer Solstice Moon

Now all is quite, the children are asleep, only the moon is up with me. It is June; so it is a strawberry moon. The days are long and the nights are short. The longest day is upon us. The solstice, the first day of summer. The largest moon is also here. Each year the moon drifts further away and then closer to the earth as it orbits. Tonight it is at its closest point for 2013. Though this happens yearly, it coincides less often with the full moon and the solstice. But regardless of the moon, this summer night is special, simple because I have observed it as so.
The moon is brilliant tonight. Pregnant and leaning heavy towards the earth. I walk through the garden unhindered by the shadows, for the light of the moon can guide me where I wish. Moonbeams dance upon freshly watered squash and bean leaves. Thousands of spherical beads of crystalline light glisten among the foliage.
The air smells of citronella from torches still burning. At dusk they were lit to chase away the mosquitoes so my son could help me water the garden. After spraying the plants and himself for an hour, the sun sank away and the moon rose. Fireflies frolicked into the yard. I carefully caught a firefly in my hand and showed it to my four year old son. His eyes lit up. Magic. We proceeded to chase the fire flies around the yard calling them, "blinkers." I felt 12 all over again.
Now all is quite, he sleeps. Yet a few birds are calling. The mocking birds are chattering away.  Confused perhaps by the brightness of the moon, they think it is morning. Crickets also chirp their romantic mating song. No, it is not quite at all. But my mind is quite... And that is the quietness so hard to find and so special to hold.


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In the Wind and the Willow Seeds

     Today along the river bank the willow seeds are emerging and the wind is setting them free. Clouds of fluffy white seeds drift past. It is snowing seeds. They collect on the shore and among the reeds but disapear if they touch the water, as if melting into it. The sun is hot but the breeze is refreshing... and filled with mystery, as if the willow seed haze is hiding something or someone. Perhaps it is hiding insects. It is a peaceful day for bugs. The flies, mosquitoes, and bees are not in this tranquil scene with all their buzzing about. Only dragonflies and damselflies swoop low across the river. At first I wonder what they are hunting. Then I see that hiding among the fog of seeds are mayflies. The wind not only released the willows, it is also carring the mayflies on the single most important day of their little life.
     Mayflies live their life underwater in rivers. They are aquatic creatures, darting between rocks, clinging to the stones you kick when you walk upstream. Then on this one special day, they break out of the drab exoskeloton as a dazzeling mayfly. They leave behind an ugly brown body for a shimmering one with wings but without mouth parts for they will not live long enough to need to feed. For one day they fly. They soar over the river and dance in the breeze high above the cold watery world that had been all they had known until now. On this day they find love and make love. These lovers sexual bodies intertwine and together they dance in the willow seed laden wind, high above the water. They live in pure ecstasy, as angels in heaven, as fairy folk in fern gully. Then they die. The male falls upon dry land, exhausted and weak. The female drops into the water letting her beautiful wings get pulling into the icey depths, sacrificing her spent but beautiful body to the fish. But just before the death takes her under, the majestic insect lays eggs, so that another generation can grow up to live life to its fullest for one amazing day!