Swing low, sweet compact car

posted in: Nature, Uncategorized | 0

I don’t remember whose idea it was to climb into a strange car in the middle of the night and drive around Boulder, Colorado looking for flowers to steal. On our direction, the driver would stop and several of us, all students, bolted to the flower beds that lined the streets in a posh section of town. We tore stems, dozens at a time, free. By the time we decided we’d gathered enough, we were buried under piles of irises, peonies, daisies, zinnias, snapdragons.

Once home, we dumped our haul onto our long, scratched, fiftieth-hand dining room table. They smelled incredible, filling our dank little rental house on The Hill with the wheeze of tender summer, just beginning to unroll. We didn’t own vases or containers that hadn’t or wasn’t currently holding alcohol…read more

Bring on the Day and Its Worms

posted in: Nature, Parenthood, Uncategorized | 0

I couldn’t sleep last night because one of my kids made rotten choices, lied about those choices, and her future is threatened. It’s heavy and hard. My face hurt from crying. My head felt like I was wearing a helmet two sizes too tight. Over and over, I’d feel myself slipping into sleep, but something would jar me awake. My husband pulled on our covers. A kid woke up crying but was easily settled. I wasn’t. Then, the birds started to sing outside.

The chirping infuriated me. It was still dark. Birds have the ability to see sunlight before we can, and they are all for it: Bring on the day and its worms, they demand…read more

The Porch Rabbit Lives

posted in: Faith, Nature | 0

Every time we have stepped out the front door the past few days, a small rabbit was hunkered a few feet down, trapped. Earlier in the week, one of the kids saw the rabbit dart into a small hole under the concrete front porch. It would have made an excellent home, but my husband filled in the hole with dirt and packed it tightly. The rabbit’s only hope rested solely in digging itself out.

I wasn’t happy when I heard. I have a soft spot for rabbits. My first non-fish pet was a rabbit I won at work when I was a senior in high school. I worked at Target and they were giving away a rabbit as a prize in a trivia contest at the store’s Christmas party. As an adult, it occurred to me a co-worker must have wanted to unload the rabbit and believed the Christmas party was just the ticket. There is no way they obtained a rabbit to be a prize when they had an entire store of items to choose from. That’s why God invented Requisition Forms… read more

Life, Death, And All The Trimmings

posted in: Nature | 0

When a curled, dried leaf hits the street, it doesn’t stay. Wind scrapes it to the wall of a gutter where it gets matted by rain runoff. It’s not going anywhere, but it’s not alone. All its partners on the tree above are shed, too, then raked up together and stuffed into black plastic bags. The time spend sewn to a tree where the stem meets the branch is a flash compared to the harvested, dark state. Separation is always painful.

The first time I heard the theory plants feel pain, I was a child. It was a ludicrous, laughable idea…read more

The Gossamer Castaway

posted in: Nature | 0

One morning, while it was dark and too early to rouse the family with lights, I tiptoed down the stairs thinking only of coffee. When I reached the bottom, my face felt a tickle. I reached to investigate and my arm felt a tickle. Overnight, a spider built a web in a disastrous location for all of us. Everywhere my arms batted, I felt web and with each sensation my shudder grew. The hapless spider caught a flailing, giant, leaping human. I shook my hair and danced around imagining it was riding me like a wee cowgirl.

Like asters and mums and pumpkin spice-everything, I’ve long associated spider invasions with impending autumn. I’ve wondered if science backs up my amateurish observations collected over the years. Beginning every late August, our front porch is inundated with creepies. Webs spring up overnight. Their builders lurk in corners monitoring the situation with eight eyes, each. Nothing gets past them, except us… read more