We’ve run away to our aunt’s cottage on Lake Ontario for a couple of days since we didn’t get to travel anywhere really this summer with my being very pregnant and then delivering. Even though we’re still responsible for our two children, it feels nice to step away from the daily routine and be around the water for a bit.
I’m hoping to have a couple of months of being able to get outside more, now that the baby is almost 4 weeks old. Last weekend, we sat with some family at their campsite at a state park for a few hours, and we’ve started taking walks around our neighborhood. It was really difficult being cooped up inside for several weeks, and I want to get to my favorite hiking trails at least once before they close up at the end of October.
Getting back to nature is one of the ways I draw inspiration for my creative work and heal myself, and I am so glad my son likes to walk the trails with me. I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to that as well.
I found myself
On the shores
Of the lakes
And the seas.
There I was,
Buried in the soft sand
Or rough rocks.
The surf lapping
The sweet spray
Coating my entire being.
I found myself
In the paths
Through the woods.
Or crimson and golden.
There I was,
Rolling in the leaves,
The smell of the
Damp, rich earth
Rising to meet me.
And all of me
Felt the urge to grow.
I found myself
Of me I never knew.
There I was,
Full of light
Full of love
Beyond this life.
For all to feel.
I found myself
When I lost myself,
A puzzle both sweet
My family and I took a morning excursion yesterday to Pratt’s Falls, a local county park. This is one of my favorite places to escape to for a little bit, even if it’s just to spend 20 minutes by the falls. Not too far of a drive, and even though I had to work late last night because of it, I needed the time there.
There was still snow around the falls and in the gorge itself, even though the weather has been warm.
The trees are so beautiful. I love the way they intertwine.
And because it is a former mill site, there is some old stonework at the top of the falls.
So now I’m rejuvenated and ready for two and a half weeks of absolute insanity at work. Then maybe I’ll head back here for rejuvenation again.
I did my morning pages and began editing my graphic novel draft sitting on the front steps this morning for the second time this season. Coffee next to me, sun hitting me full on… it felt glorious. And I am resolving here and now to do that every morning that I possibly can.
I’ve spoken before about how important being near water is to me, but being outside in general is something that I never realized how much I needed until I grew up. It took moving to CA to really appreciate the greenness of the northeast. And since developing a homemade bug repellent last summer that I really like, I find myself happy meandering woodland trails and soaking in scenic sights.
We’ve discussed purchasing a seasonal NYS park pass this year. I want to try to get to our local state park almost weekly with my son, and we’ll pick different localish places to go on day trips. And the season pass is so reasonably priced.
I don’t know if I’ll ever get to the point where I can wilderness camp for weeks at a time. I like my flush toilets and my warm/hot showers. But we’ll have to see.
I didn’t see the ocean today
Didn’t hear its roar
Didn’t taste its salt coating my lips
Didn’t feel the wet sand between my toes
I didn’t dance on its shores
Didn’t meditate at its edge
Didn’t sing with the gulls
Didn’t race the wind
I didn’t see the ocean today.
What a waste.
Copyright 2008, Kat Micari
I post this older poem on a cold, blustery day here in the northeast, where I begin to doubt I’ll ever see the thaw come. When I wrote the piece, I was in my last semester of grad school, buried in work, and even though we lived a mere three blocks from the ocean, I hadn’t been able to see it more than briefly from the car or city bus for months. The poem was a reminder to myself to reconnect with nature whenever possible, something that I still have a difficult time keeping in mind. Well, I’m better than I used to be, which is at least a small consolation.
And yes, there is quite a bit of trash and debris in that photo. Most people chose not to swim in the waters near where I lived as it was too close to the harbor and off-shore oil refineries, but there was an awesome biking/walking trail and a huge expanse of sand that was cleaner the further you got from the actual shore.
On Saturday, I made the two hour trek with my 3 1/2 year old son to my aunt-in-law’s cottage on Lake Ontario for a clambake (the same cottage we stay at in our annual New Year artist/writer retreat). As soon as we got there and started in on our greetings, my son started saying “I want to go see the water! Go see the water?”, and I told him that we had to finish saying hello to people first. After the round of hellos were through, hand in hand, the two of us ran to the deck overlooking the water, wind in our faces, laughing and shrieking at the cold. Then we stood on the deck, watching the water, though I was torn between finding solace in the waves and just watching my son watch the water. Then he was off, running, me at his heels until he reached out his hand for me again, and we went to the neighbor’s deck, which sits lower to the water and he had explored this past 4th of July. And again, we both just watched the waves and felt the wind and grinned at each other. We bundled up later and spent more time by the water.
It was one of those absolutely perfect moments that life hands to you at times, that indelibly imprints in your mind and lets you replay it like a movie. I don’t talk a lot here about my son (beyond complaining about him keeping me up at night) or my views on motherhood, but it is such a profound joy to me. Every day that I get to spend watching him grow further into himself, every moment he slows me down and lets me see the world through his eyes, every time his sweet smile makes my heart feel so full that it should overflow but somehow it doesn’t, it gives everything else in my life such profound meaning.
It was worth having to stay up late Friday and Sunday night working to be able to do the trip, to go to the water’s edge and have this time with my son. All I could think as we ran to the water was Please don’t let him ever lose the joy of running full into the wind and loving the water. I hope he keeps it into adulthood as I have. As a seemingly inherited trait, there are far worse ones he could have.
The whitecaps are stunning. They crest with amazing intensity, and it is difficult to tell the difference between the spray of the water and the snow whipped around by the wind. I think I was a mermaid in a past life. Or maybe an Atlantean priestess. I could watch water for hours.
I’ll post my reflective New Year post tomorrow. For now, it’s time to get to work. Happy New Year’s Eve! Be safe!
I haven’t been present as much online lately, mostly because my time at my day job has been spent prepping my manual and beginning to train a couple of different people with my various duties. It is unknown as of yet if they will hire a replacement in time for me to train so we’re covering all bases. Two weeks from tomorrow is my last day! My nights have been spent doing freelance work, product mockups, or packing. Not a whole lot of time to spend online.
And in a few hours, I will be COMPLETELY out of contact for a couple of days. We are getting in the car and headed for southern PA. My older brother is getting commissioned in the Methodist Church after getting his second masters in divinity. I’m so proud of him and his family for supporting him in fulfilling this dream. Unfortunately, his area is SO rural that you can only get cell phone signal at the bottom of his driveway and no internet or cable. It will be good to see family though. I miss my nieces and nephew tons. While we are in the area, we will also be going to Gettysburg. I am very excited to visit the area as I’ve never been. Hopefully I can get some good pictures and do up a nice post Sunday or Monday.
But the reason for this post is to tell you that I actually really love a road trip. I like seeing the scenery change around us. I like singing along with music. I like having prolonged conversations with my husband with little distraction. I generally navigate while my husband drives (so stereotypical) but am happy to take over when he needs me to. And I usually bring knitting or crocheting to keep my hands busy, or a notebook and my husband and I scheme and dream up new ideas. My toddler fortunately enjoys road trips too, and I like having the excuse to stop more frequently or for longer than a bathroom break to let him stretch his legs and get some pent up energy out. It encourages us to not feel like we have to rush, and it enables us to take in some of the natural beauty at rest areas and locations we drive through.
I have this odd split feelings. I long for a permanent home-base, to create a nest to nurture and love my family and play hostess to our friends. And yet I also long for travel and visiting new places and old friends.
How do all of you enjoy traveling? I view flying as a necessary evil but would always opt for being in control in the car. Is that totally an American way of viewing travel? I don’t mean “control” in the “I can’t relinquish my fate to someone else” but in the sense of we can stop where and when we want. I’ve traveled by train but it was not very comfortable. I imagine if we could just travel via first class, my opinions might shift, but maybe not.
Bloody waves pull
A soul to sea.
The light grows dim.
But life is churning,
Soaring to the moon
And back again.
The watery depths,
Distortion never revealing.
Reaching through the mind.
Time stretches forth
As the tide claims