Tag Archives: Grand Canyon

Midsummer Daydream

On the occasion of Tom’s and my 43rd wedding anniversary:

ravens over the Grand Canyon

ravens over the Grand Canyon

I bought a copy of Don Quixote in 1974 as an early step in an ambitious plan I had lined up after my first year of graduate school. One of my favorite professors agreed to work with me as I decided to read “the big novels” during the summer break. I was going to read Don Quixote, The Red and the Black, and Remembrance of Things Past. In this professor’s class I had already read all but the last fifty pages of The Magic Mountain. I think my failure with the last fifty pages should have given me a clue.

Sometime in May that year, my friend Tom thought we might as well get married. Reader, we got married at Midsummer and it has worked out very well for us. Back then, it was all friends and family, love and excitement played out on a red rock and pine forest backdrop. Over the years, some pain, sadness, envy, anger, and other of the less favored emotions have been added to the mix, but our picaresque still wanders on intact.

Thinking about our wedding usually makes me laugh Given only a few weeks lead time, my parents gamely drove out from Michigan to Salt Lake City to attend (and pay for) our wedding. I think Hank and Audrey might have thought I was marrying a Mormon, but being people who minded their own business, they didn’t ask. I suspect they were relieved when they found out that Tom and I were being married in an Episcopal church, but I would never know because they would never talk about such matters. The one thing my mother did say after meeting Tom was, “I knew you wouldn’t marry a jerk.”

1974 were salad days for my brothers and me, so only one brother was available to attend the wedding as the official representative of the whole team. The designated brother, George, was a Michigan-style skier (the top elevation at Alpine Valley where he used to ski is 500 ft with a vertical drop of 240 ft), so he wanted to see the Utah-style slopes.

The day before the wedding, my dad and mom, George, my husband-to-be, and I piled into the family’s LTD for a drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Snowbird ski resort (top elevation 11,000 ft, vertical drop 3,240 ft). My family was suitably impressed with the mountain peaks, rushing creeks, huge boulders, and the tram ride. The tram ride was nothing compared with the drive back down the canyon. Hank was a flatlander born and bred, a driver since he was about twelve, and never one to spare the accelerator pedal. He said he wanted to spare the LTD’s brakes, so–and this was before seatbelts were standard in American cars—we all hurled down the six miles of canyon road twisting and turning speeding I imagine between 40 and 50 miles an hour—with no brakes. I thought I might die before the wedding. We younger ones were frightened, but I believe that my mother took it all in stride.

Back to the Wedding: A friend, Becky,  whom I had roomed with when we worked at the North Rim was a clothing and textiles major at Brigham Young University. She kindly made my wedding dress. The pattern and material cost only about ten bucks, and the resulting dress fit my body and my mind perfectly. Another woman, Laura, a fellow graduate student and (since that era) my lifelong friend, embroidered violets on the dress’s empire waist. At the almost literal eleventh hour, Laura decided to embroider not just the front hem of the dress, but all round the bottom of the dress. She stayed up all night to finish.

Tom’s best man was our friend Art, whom Tom knew in high school and whom I met at the Grand Canyon. My maid of honor was our friend Sally from the canyon days.  Back then Tom was a cook, I was a salad girl, Art was a waiter, and Sally sold tickets for the mule rides down the North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs.  As a point of information, I would like affirm that people ride mules down the canyon; they do not ride burros or donkeys. Mules are large, intelligent, and sure-footed; they know what they are doing even if they do seem to want to walk closer to the trail’s outer edge than to the canyon wall.

Not only did Sally make Tom’s tie to go along with his Z.C.M.I. (Zions Commercial Mercantile Institution) bargain rack suit and perform the maid of honor tasks, but she also provided the music for the service. Tom wanted her to sing “Ode to Joy,” but we were all satisfied with “The Lord of the Dance.”

All our Utah, Arizona, and Wyoming friends attended the wedding. I know this because we have photos of our friends lined up along the tables with odd expressions on their faces. Most of our friends back then could use a good feed at a decent restaurant. In addition, since Utah still made drinking alcohol in public difficult back then, our friends were dazzled by the Mormon version of an open bar—all the mini bottles you wanted.

I don’t tell you about it much, but sometimes I despair about this and that. Then I think of my family and my friends and, like Anne of Green Gables or Jo March, I buck up.  The world can sometimes  seem difficult, but Tom (and my family, our friends, the gardens and the books) have been my comfort and joy. Thank you.

Lynda and Tom, August 2016 (photo by David Moss)

Lynda and Tom, August 2016 (photo by David Moss)

cliff rose, Cape Royal

cliff rose, Cape Royal

(adapted from Losing It: Deconstructing a Life, unpublished work © Lynda Terrill, all rights reserved)

 

 

 

Earth Days: Past, Present, and Future

daffodils

daffodils

Since January 2017, I have belonged to a Facebook group, March for Science. This group has been focused on organizing Earth Day (April 22) marches in support of science. In my life I have been mostly an English teacher, not a scientist. On my registration form for the march, I checked “science enthusiast.”

For months, March for Science group members have been posting “Why I march” comments. I loved almost all of the comments I have read and sometimes I cried about the stories. I never laughed because the current repeated attacks on scientific truth are deadly serious.

I love—I really do—the scientific method. I have read about, known, and admired many scientists.  I admire many of my mentors in the Rivanna Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalists. In literature,  John Wesley Powell, who scaled canyon walls with one arm, is one of my heroes.  Farley Mowat, who railed against the decimation of human and animal populations in Canada, is another. However, my reasons for marching next Saturday in Washington, DC are, perhaps, more in keeping with my English major sensibility.

Exploration

The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons

Why I Will March for Science on Earth Day

I attended the ENACT (Environmental Action for Survival) Teach-In on the Environment at the University of Michigan in March 1970 (see https://blogs.lib.msu.edu/red-tape/2016/mar/march-11-14-1970-university-michigan-holds-environmental-teach/ for more information about the teach-in). I was a young idealist then and I am old idealist now. I won’t give up.

I march in honor of my mother. I planted my first garden with my mother: popcorn and radishes against the side of the house in Detroit. Counting that garden and the one I grew with my brother George, that’s 45 years of gardens, most of them organic. Food and beauty. I won’t give up gardening now.

swiss chard, "Rainbow Mix"

swiss chard in my garden: “Rainbow Mix”

I march in honor of my father. My father taught me how to fish, skip stones, rake leaves, and shovel snow. He put up a hammock between two tall oaks, so we could see the sky, the water, and the leaves while we rested and dreamed. I won’t give up the dreaming.

Scenic Lake, Michigan (my brother's lake; I don't have a photo of mine)

Scenic Lake, Michigan ( my brother’s lake; I don’t have photos of the lake I grew up on)

I march in honor of Michigan and the Great Lakes, my first home. They want to cut EPA research for the Great Lakes by 97%. I want them to hear my “no.”  I remember the crayfish and the sunfish in the sunny shallows of our lake. I remember the power and strength of Superior. I will not let them destroy our lakes without a fight.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

I march for the Grand Canyon, Zion, Glacier and all the rest of the federally protected lands.

Transept Canyon from Widforss Point

Transept Canyon from Widforss Trail, North Rim of the Grand Canyon

I march for the Kaibab squirrels of the North Rim, for the condor who glided past us on the South Rim, and for all the crows and ravens everywhere. I march for the bees, and for the butterflies, and for the American hornbeam that we planted in our yard last month and for the ponderosa pine, iconic tree of the North Rim (and food for the Kaibab squirrels).

butterfly with black-eyed and verbena bonariensis

butterfly with black-eyed and verbena bonariensis

I grow old. I do, in fact, sometimes wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled, but I will not stop now.

I have many more things to say. Maybe I will write about them another time or maybe not, but I will march and I will not stop.

Happy Spring.

 

I Need to Stay Close to the Ground

Some days, weeks, years,  and decades seem difficult.

I think, at heart, I am a simple person.  I believe what Scout told Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird, ” I think there is just one kind of folks. Folks.” I am having a hard time holding to that ideal, or, more precisely, getting the world to accept it.  So what I do is cling to the ground to help preserve my sanity (or at least a bit of equilibrium). My ground includes the bugs, the bindweed, and the first tomatoes in my garden. More fundamentally, though,  I am thinking about the wild (more or less) places I have been lucky enough to hike in.

I had been planning to write a post about the hundredth anniversary of the National Park Service. For a  few minutes earlier today,  I thought the topic was too light for this day, week, month, and year of violence, ethnocentrism, demagoguery, and hatred.  I dropped that thought almost immediately. I believe also what Thoreau said, “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

Enough words. Below are a few photos of some of my favorite places within the National Parks system. May we have peace (I still believe in that ideal, too).

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park

Kolob Canyons, Zion National Park

Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Congaree National Park, South Carolina

Mesa Verde

Mesa Verde

Widforss Trail, North Rim, Grand Canyon

Widforss Trail, North Rim, Grand Canyon

Canyon de Chelly

Canyon de Chelly

fritillary, Yosemite

fritillary, Yosemite

Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons

Lava Beds National Monument

Lava Beds National Monument

Needles Overlook, Canyons

Needles Overlook, Canyonlands

Chisos Basin, Big Bend

Chisos Basin, Big Bend

Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah National Park

Lava Beds

Lava Beds

Bee’s Knees and Bears Ears

So far this morning I have: skimmed the front section of the New York Times, worked on yesterday’s crossword puzzle, swept the floor (picking up stray oat shards that fell off the bran muffins), emptied the dishwasher, washed and dried clothes, plumped up the bath rugs in the dryer, tried to clean the cushions for the porch chairs, and corresponded with friends and relatives. All of this was not in an effort to be neat and efficient, but to pile up more tasks in order to avoid finishing this blog post. I began this post over three weeks ago, but I have not wanted to finish it. Part of this reluctance may be because, especially in this over-heated political climate, I want to avoid writing about political topics. As my friend Sharon said once, I do like to please people. I think, though, the bigger stumbling block is that I don’t know how to synthesize my ideas and feelings to express them succinctly in these few paragraphs. Synthesized or not, succinct or not, I am done waffling. Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies*, I’m going back in.

By the time I was 20 years old, I had pretty much given up the idea that politics could or would save the world. Earlier on, I had thought that non-violent political and social engagement could do that. That’s why I majored in political science. That’s why I had canvassed for Martin Luther King Jr. and had rallied against the war in Vietnam, had tried to organize to save Biafran babies, and had written about preventing the Alaskan pipeline. Well, the war in Vietnam did end eventually, but, in significant ways, the other causes haven’t worked out well.

I was 20 when the news of the Kent State massacre wafted into Zion Canyon where I was living. I felt pain and outrage for a bit and then the canyon and the sky took me back.

Zion Canyon

Zion Canyon

I spent three summers on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Back then we were mostly isolated from the news. Instead of the news, we listened to the wind in the ponderosas and the calls of the ravens.

ravens over the Grand Canyon

ravens over the Grand Canyon

When I was 22, I taught public school for one year in Page, Arizona, just outside the Navajo Nation. This was challenging for me because of loneliness, school bureaucracy, and fairly rampant ethnocentrism. This experience was also an honor for me because of the land outside my classroom, some caring colleagues, and the students themselves.

Those early years in wild country passed quickly and I settled in close to the ground with my husband, my children, and whatever little bit of land I had to garden. This is where I have mostly remained. However, sometimes I force myself to bring my head up.

our garden

our garden

Bee’s knees: Already this spring, I have seen a few wasps, several bumblebees, several types of native bees, one cabbage butterfly, a couple of yellow swallowtails (or one twice) and another unidentified butterfly flying across the street. A few blocks away, I saw what looked to be a couple of honeybees among the flowers. I am hopeful that we legions of organic gardeners and farmers, and other assorted tree huggers will stem the tides of poison, disequilibrium, and destruction of our earth and its inhabitants. I plant my garden and I look (and find) signs of hope. Recently, I moved a clay pot that had over-wintered on my front porch and I startled a red-backed salamander. About a week ago, Tom discovered a garter (most likely) snake in one of my rock piles. Two evenings ago, I attended a presentation about non-honeybee pollinators at Ivy Creek Natural Area here in Charlottesville. It appears that many varieties of native bees and other arthropods are continuing to pollinate the flora for us, but we need to plant more native plants, and, of course, refrain from using poison.

bee and flower, Idaho Botanical Garden

bee and flower, Idaho Botanical Garden

Bear Ears: Ever since it came in the mail last Saturday (now almost a month ago), I’ve been wearing my “Protect Bears Ears” tee shirt to the gym and around the neighborhood.The few people that have commented on it seem to think this is an initiative to make sure that bears have adequate hearing protection.

No, it’s not about that. I have brought my head up from my comfortable dirt, rocks, and plants and I am becoming political again. Bears Ears is the name for an area of Southeastern Utah, east and south of Canyonlands National Park. Many Native Americans and environmental groups are calling on President Obama to name this area a national monument through the Antiquities Act. Some people  advocate leaving the control (and designation of use now and in the future) of this approximately 1.9 million acres of land to the state of Utah. Since I am adverse to, well, adversity, it’s a relief that people around here don’t seem to know what my shirt is referring to.  Confession: A couple of weeks ago realizing that many other gym goers’ tee shirts sport names of races, vacation spots, or bars, I chickened out and started wearing my wordless tee shirts again. This week, I toughened up and tried to put my body where my heart was.

My heart is with the native people of the Colorado Plateau—Diné, Hopi, Ute, Zuni and others. In many instances back in Page, my students, their families, and their cultures were not respected. It looks like there are still some people now who disrespect and disregard the cultures and histories of the groups who have lived in the Colorado Plateau hundreds (and thousands) of years before the pioneers settled there in the latter half of the 1800s.

bullet holes in pictographs, Southern Utah

bullet holes in pictographs, Southern Utah

My heart is with the rock, sand, and sky of Southern Utah. I believe that this land should be preserved for all the inhabitants of this earth. I hope that President Obama will designate the Bears Ears a national monument.

Southeastern Utah

Southeastern Utah

There. I have said my piece and I am hunkering down close to the ground again.

protect Bears Ears

protect Bears Ears

For more information about Bears Ears, please see: The Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, The Grand Canyon Trust, and many articles in the Salt Lake Tribune and other periodicals available online.

* Thank you, William Carlos Williams and Allen Ginsberg (see the introduction to Howl and Other Poems).

 

Link
Transept Canyon from Widforss Point

Transept Canyon from Widforss Point

Of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, our friend (and best man) Art says there are, “Absolutely no words.” I think he’s right, but I am going to sprinkle a few among the photos.

North Rim, AZ

North Rim, AZ

 

Grand Canyon Lodge

Grand Canyon Lodge

towards Bright Angel Point

towards Bright Angel Point

Roosevelt Point

Roosevelt Point

Our friend Paula DeLancey–gone unto another plane these 30 years and more–said we were “lucky ducks” and so we were to live together there on the rim.

cliff rose

cliff rose

forest floor

forest floor

butterfly and flower on the Widforss Trail

butterfly and flower on the Widforss Trail

When I am at the rim, I think quite a bit about William Butler Yeats.  Hard not to with the bee-loud glades in the sunny meadows among the ponderosas and aspens. Right now, I am thinking of  “Easter, 1916”  where Yeats lists those he won’t forget. Along with Art and Paula (above) and Sally (below) I don’t forget:  Chef Floyd and Bertha of the pantry, Leah and Karen–the sisters, Bill of the Mozart horn concertos and Kentucky bourbon, Anita and Becky–cousins and my roommates, Terri–so earnest (one of my favorite character traits), Keith and Pat–hippies among the Mormons, Sue–courted in moonlight by a wrangler on horseback, Richard of the trail and pantry, Jim–sweet baker, Howard–dear friend, and all the rest. Thank you.

Kaibab ponderosas

Kaibab ponderosas

Aspens in the Kaibab National Forest copyright Lynda Terrill

Aspens in the Kaibab National Forest

This photo is for Sally, mule girl, friend, and maid of honor:

mule desk, North Rim

mule desk, North Rim

Yes, I said maid of honor.  In three days, Tom and I will have been married 40 years. In that time, we’ve shared many lunches.

lunch

lunch

Lucky ducks, indeed.

April: Cruelest Month (?), Earth Day, Earth Mother, and the Possible Limitations of Agnosticism

lilacs, Denver Botanic Gardens

lilacs, Denver Botanic Gardens

I want to go on record that I don’t think April is the cruelest month. How could I believe that when my youngest child and my father were born one day (and about 70 years) apart in early April? I just like T.S. Eliot and so I usually remember these words about this time of year:

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow, feeding
A little life with dried tubers.

From “The Waste Land,” by T.S. Eliot, 1922

I have also been thinking about Earth Day/old days. In 1970, I went to the Teach-In on the Environment at the University of Michigan. We were big on teach-ins back there in Ann Arbor. 1970 was also the first summer I went west and thereby became even more taken with nature than I was growing up on a lake in Michigan. In Ann Arbor, I was a minor functionary in ENACT (Environmental Action for Survival). In fact, in 1971, I submitted testimony for ENACT related the Trans-Alaska Pipeline to Congress. My own comments related to possible drawbacks of the pipeline for native peoples were included along with other, more academically expert, testimony. Since I am bringing up this tiny historical footnote, you probably notice that it was a big deal for me. I think we all stopped the pipeline for a few minutes or something.

Not only was I not very successful as an environmentalist, I didn’t even make it as an Earth Mother, and that designation didn’t seem to require any coursework. I sort of went back to the land to the extent that I have been an (mostly) organic gardener for forty years. I do recycle (some), I do clean with vinegar and other non-toxic materials, and I think our children feel a connection with and a responsibility to the natural world.

The Part about Agnosticism: Actually, I am a flaming agnostic (some might say waffler, know-nothing, etc.). I don’t claim to know anything  about god or the meaning of the universe–and I have a hard time figuring out how one would claim to know such information–and I don’t have much use for or patience with organized religion. The thing is, because of my broken wrist (see, Scat Happens), I have had call to stretch my hands like this:

hands

hands

This exercise has made me think about prayer. I am still a flaming agnostic and proud of it, but I am still reverent and hopeful within the natural world. So, below are a few of the photos I’ve taken on our travels. Happy Birthday Bill and Dad. Happy April. Happy Earth Day/Week/Month.

butterfly and coneflowers

butterfly and coneflowers

 

Scenic Lake, Michigan

Scenic Lake, Michigan

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona, Arizona

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

Great Sand Dunes, Colorado

View of Cape Royal and Wotan's Throne, Grand Canyon

View of Cape Royal and Wotan’s Throne, Grand Canyon

Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island, Utah

Great Salt Lake from Antelope Island, Utah

Garden of the Gods, Colorado

Garden of the Gods, Colorado

 

 

Ain’t No Reason to Go in a Wagon to Town

Canyon Storm

“Canyon Storm” oil on canvas by Sally Hall

It took me a week or more to get accustomed to the altitude on the North Rim (about 8,000 feet). Just the walk from my cabin to the back dock of the kitchen where I worked wore me out. I also seemed to catch and then share strep throat with my coworkers. Those were minor obstacles. The hard part was slowing down and learning how to see the canyon in a more than just a superficial way.  At first, the canyon looks like a postcard. If you’ve been to the canyon, maybe you know what I mean. You’ve seen views of the canyon your whole life. I found it disconcerting to be there—at the Grand Canyon!!—and not have fireworks exploding or at least hyperbolic signs posted around saying things like, “This really is the fabulous place you have heard so much about.”

Lucky for me, by the time I shook off the altitude sickness and the streptococcus, I was also beginning to adjust to North Rim time.  I think it may be different in the national parks now—more sex, drugs, and cynicism probably. There were sex and drugs back in the day, too, but probably not the cynicism, at least among the Mormons and me. Instead of, or in addition to any s & d, the young workers were encouraged to put on performances for the dudes.  Why not? I’ve already told you we—the workers and the dudes—were a million (80) miles from anywhere and it was before TV made it up there, let alone WIFI and smart phones.  So, there were talents shows and comedy routines and singing to the dudes at dinner and singing them away in their Utah Parks Company buses in the morning.

Where was I? I remember: things to do at the rim.  You could walk out from the lodge patio and saunter along the little path to Bright Angel Point.  One time a friend introduced me to the joys of sparking in the dark.  Probably not what you think, and it certainly wasn’t what I was worried about.  When it is dark outside, if you crush mint (I think) Lifesavers in your mouth you can see little flashes of light.  It worked at Bright Angel Point and the Mormons did it, too. What astounds me right this minute is that when I just Googled what kinds of mints one uses for sparking, I came up with, “About 868,000 results (0.31 seconds).

Other pursuits Like the young creatures we were, my friends and I often gamboled around, in this case, on and off the rim. Just writing this discomfits the parent (for almost four decades) and old person (I’m trying to get used to it) in me.  The walk from the lodge to Bright Angel Point is only ½ mile round-trip.  We used to make fun of (to ourselves, not publicly) the moms and dads who held onto their children with grips of steel.  That was wrong and I have realized it ever since I held onto my own children with grips of steel at the Yellowstone hot springs. Also, I now feel nervous on narrow trails on mountains or in canyons. Furthermore, for some reason— sun glinting on bifocals, bigger butt, etc.— trails in general seem narrower than they used to. Even worse, the last time I was on the walk to Bright Angel Point, I huffed and puffed the whole damn ½ mile.  I could pretend that it was just because I wasn’t used to the altitude, but mostly it was because I was out of shape and getting older.  I am happy to report that I am now in much better physical shape, but I do keep getting older.  Enough unsettling reverie, I’m going back to talking about the rim of my youth.

On their days off, many of the young workers went hiking. One of the guys, who worked with me in the kitchen pantry, was an especially avid hiker. Throughout the summer, several people might take the 23 (give or take) mile hike cross the canyon on their day and ½ off and then catch a ride back from the South Rim to the North Rim. In the same amount of time, this particular friend could hike across the canyon and back. What would he pack for nourishing food?  He would take loaves of Wonder-style sandwich bread and squish them into handy, easily portable little balls.  While I never tried that one myself, this friend also turned me on to grilled peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I wish I had one right now, but I am controlling myself because I want to be in shape for the next time I hike the canyon.

Vocabulary malfunction I will name our friend Sally right here online. She’s on record somewhere anyway as Tom and my maid of honor.  Sally is also a painter. You can see some of her work from her Web site: http://www.sallyhallpainting.com. Anyhow, when she was a child, Sally spent many of her summers at the North Rim. Sally’s dad, a zoologist, studied the Kaibab squirrels that live only on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Sally’s dad was a genial person and I interacted with him many times through the years. I remember one particular conversation I had with him. I think it was by Bright Angel Point, when we were talking about the canyon. I am still embarrassed about this discussion. I kept saying the Grand Canyon was far-out. At that point in my life, I am sorry to say, I didn’t seem to have any other words to describe the place  As I said, he was a genial man, but Sally’s dad looked mildly disgusted at my words.  I had a college degree and was an English major type to boot.  There may not be words available to adequately describe the canyon, but I wished I had at least been able to come up with some more specific and less clichéd vocabulary.  I am sitting here now, though, and trying to think of apt modifiers and I still can’t do it. What? Fabulous, stunning, deep, wide, multi-colored, changeable, unchanging—I still can’t do it.  I just asked Tom to give me three words to describe the canyon.  He said, awesome, magnificent, and stupendous. See what I mean?  If you haven’t been there yet, I hope you get to go to the canyon some time and spend some time behind the postcard.

Ain’t no reason to go up, ain’t no reason to go down You can take U.S. Route 89A from Marble Canyon or from Fredonia, Arizona up to the Kaibab Plateau. At Jacob Lake, you take Arizona State Route 67 through the Kaibab National Forest to the North Rim.  Beetles, fires, and encroaching civilization have had their effect on the forest. Even so, I can still just barely imagine Rivendell back in there somewhere, but now the Orcs have been making inroads into the forest.

A few weeks into that first summer, our chef organized a party out of the national park and into the national forest.  That may have been because it was easier to drink out there—as I recall, our chef was partial to the now-defunct Olympia beer.  It was night in the forest and I sang (in my mind or aloud) lines from Joni Mitchell’s “Songs to Aging Children”:

Does the moon play only silver
When it strums the galaxy
Dying roses will they will their
Perfumed rhapsodies to me

I didn’t know what the lines meant then, but they struck a chord. If we were aging children then, I am sure I don’t know what we are now, but I still like the lines.

Point of information: I wrote my Masters’ thesis on An Analysis of the Imagery, Structure, and Theme in the Song-poetry of Joni Mitchell, so Joni and related characters tend to pop up in these pages. I guess it is my version of David Copperfield’s Mr. Dick. You probably shouldn’t bother to look for the thesis.  I think there is a copy in the J. Willard Marriott Library at the University of Utah. My original copy is in a box somewhere in our temperature controlled storage unit at 1525 Putt-Putt Place in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Back in the day, I dreamed of sending a copy of the thesis to Joni. At the dollar a page good copies cost back then, it would have been hundred-plus dollars that we didn’t have.  Now, I have a hundred dollars, but the time has passed.

One day I wondered alone in the forest and I found a bee-loud glade. One day, or maybe it was the same day, I considered jumping from the rim to a rock outcropping that would have let me actually stand within the Roaring Springs side canyon. My natural cautiousness stopped me. I found out years later that Tom had come across that same place and contemplated the same action. I guess if we had jumped— like some nature-crazed lemmings— into Roaring Springs Canyon, we wouldn’t have had think about memories and meanings and mortality now.  On balance, it has been worth it keeping on, but I would have liked to have stood on that rock.

Time passes slowly when you’re lost in a dream Here I am, back at the dream (bars) where I began this reverie a few posts ago. I love thinking of my mother and father and my brothers in the pleasant peninsula of my childhood.  I love thinking of the canyon and those days and nights with my friends, the rocks, and the forest.  Time has passed, slowly or not, but Wordsworth was right:

… Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But, oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration

Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” 1798