Friday, July 30, 2010

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Getting Colder

Lover's Leap
2.6 miles

Not crisp, damp. Morning
mist leaves mud. Soggy decay is all that is left
of summer. And leaf-mold intrudes
my sensitive sinuses.

Twenty years gone;
Feels like ancient wreckage.
The earth recovers,
moves on.

Bare-trees filter misty Sunday sunrise. Skipped church for sabbath alone.

November drizzle
distant children's laughter
I stand in the cool, damp ruin,
this place longs to tell its story

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sometimes a planned sabbath just isn't

Collis P Huntington State Park
4 miles

Sometimes sabbath just doesn't happen. I set aside a few hours, found a park, planned a hike and set out on a beautifully clear day.

By the time I reached the center of the park, it had started raining. Just a little, but enough to make me worry about the camera and cell phone in my pocket. I decided to hurry and take a shortcut trail that would clip off about half a mile and get me back to my car a little sooner.

Too bad my map didn't show topography as well as distances. Turns out the path I chose as a short-cut was a series of incredibly steep hills littered with so many tiny stones that I had to slowly and carefully sidestep down to avoid losing my footing and tumbling.

Somewhere in those hills, the path I was on turned and I didn't. I remember seeing another path cross mine, but since it was not blazed, I continued forward. And then I came to the swamp. Being November, its surface was littered with fresh leaves. I had no idea what I had wandered into. My foot sunk into the mud about six inches about my ankle.

I lost my footing and went forward, catching myself on a log. I managed to pull out my foot, but not my shoe. Foot went back into the muck, shoeless. I dug out my shoe, stumbled to more stable ground and slid the slimy thing back on my cold, wet foot. Then continued my hike.

After a while I came to some signs. They made it clear that I was leaving state land and that there was to be no trespassing, "for any reason." So, I turned back, pulled out my trail map and tried to figure out what had gone wrong. I had wanted that unblazed trail. This time I went around the swamp, I had to go off the trail about a hundred feet, half-climb a tree and shuffle across a stream to do so, but I think the result was better than wading through the muck again.

I found my trail and headed back to my car, texting Josh along the way, telling him that I was ok but cold, wet and unhappy. (I had sent him one in panic before telling him that I had fallen into a swamp and might be a little lost. I think its always a good idea to let someone know exactly where I am going to be and about how long I think it'll take if I plan on hiking alone).

He was sweet. He told me to come to him and when I got there I had dry clothes and hot lunch waiting for me. And in the end it didn't really seem so bad. I did get some nice photos. I did explore a great local park. And I do plan on going back and looking at some of the other trails. I didn't get much poetry out of it immediately, I just wasn't in the right place mentally. Maybe once I can step back from the experience a bit I'll have something to share.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Summer 2009, etc.

This project seemed to have fallen aside this summer as I started working again. And this fall had some added craziness. Now that my life has some order again, I am going to try and get back on the trail next week and stay with my 1 a week minimum entry. Meanwhile, here are some of the photos from the hiking I have done since my last post.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Two hikes went unposted, and then I had the kidney infection from hell...

One planned for Sunday. Back on track soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

So We Don't Feel Alone

Wadsworth Falls
5 Miles

In that omnipotent way of the IPod's random setting, it brought me to The Good Book by Melanie Safka on my drive to the park. And for the first time, not only did I listen but I heard the words and was struck. The song ran through my head as I hiked and thought and wrote...

So we don't feel alone. A good friend once said that it was simply untrue if you try to say that no one loves you because God always does. Everyone is lovable and loved, everyone. Sounds simple, but it is so easy to forget.

Give the poet a poem and the singer a song. And they'll tell us you love us.
The concepts are more important than the truth. During holy week I ran across and watched several documentaries on the life of Jesus and the search for the true story and its artifacts. I think they are missing the point. Organized religion in general gives us a communal sense, a non-genetic family, a sense of belonging. It gives us our traditions and shared stories. It is our job to share these stories with each other. Not only the elder generations passing them on, but the writers, storytellers, musicians continue to creatie new ways to share those stories. It is in these songs and poems that we are told of God's love and they encourage us to grant each other the same grace.

And it's sad we aren't born like horses and sheep, to know where we're goin', to know what we need. This is a difficult time and place in my life. I voluntarily left my job and moved back to Connecticut because of several factors. Now I am finding myself struggling to find a new position in this awful economy, living with relatives and friends with my things in storage and relying on others more than I ever thought I could allow, not to mention need. And I don't know what I am supposed to be doing. I have a strong sense of call but keep hitting road blocks. I'm not sure how to answer.

Write us a book of instructions or signs. And if its been written then give us more time. We have known how to make the world a better place for thousands of years: love, forgive and treat everyone with respect. It has been written innumerable times. We keep messing up and we are still given chances.

But tell us you love us so we don't feel alone.
If there is one thing I have learned in the last year its that you may not get what you want, you may not get what you expect, you may not even get what you work for, but you do get you need. Somehow, through the right people, the message comes across.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Has Arrived

Narragansett Trail
10 miles

Set off on a beautifully warm and clear April morning and explored an area of North Stonington. We started at Wyassup Lake and worked our way South for several hours. Came across an area with some amazing beaver activity, found a cliff with a view to bask on for a bit, met some dogs, climbed a tree, explored a freshly blazed new trail and came back sore, tired and happy.

I didn't use a notebook this time, so the bits of writing are even more rough than usual, but as with the others, these will be reworked in time.

even this forest was once farmland, rock walls bisect land, divided into parcels and fields, property now forgotten, hidden under new growth, found only by those who are searching

Stream widens quickly;
broken and hourglassed trees
point to lodge and dam.

Cool spring wind
rustles buds, deep
red and pale green.
Runoff: melted
snow and ice, crosses
our path and sparkles
under the bright blue sky.

Pine filtered sunlight bends rays and softens the crisp air.

They used what the humans left behind; improved our rock wall. Once it stood to divide, show possession and dissuade intruders. Fortified with branches, it now retains water; turns stream into pond and creates a home for their community.

Spring's first roadside daffodil blazes hope in yellow.

A warm boulder accepts my
tired limbs. I lean
back, breathe
cool fresh air and raise my
sunburned cheeks in

Unemployed Doesn't Mean I'm Not Busy

I missed week three. I couldn't find even an hour anywhere.

Moved my best friend. Somehow that took two days longer than planned. Then helped my brother-in law with some demo/construction. Then it was this week.