Black sandals on the porch
I miss my mom
400 miles down the coast
Too far for a creaky old car
It took me years to realize
Our shoe sizes are not the sane.
I enjoyed walking here for a bit before volunteering at Natural Bridges. This evening someone in the grocery store said she saw me walking there and remembered me because she thought my outfit was cute! I passed on the good vibes on by complimenting another woman I saw in the store.
Volunteering was nice. I am slowly getting more comfortable talking to visitors about the monarchs as I memorize more information. Then I headed to oceanography class where I learned about features of the sea floor, then oceanography lab where I studied paleomagnetism, then geology lab where I studied plate tectonics and more paleomagnetism. There is much overlap between these classes.
This evening I finally figured out how to chop up a fresh pineapple and was in heaven with its perfectly ripe taste and aroma. I miss my grandfather, who I last saw in Hawaii a year ago before he passed on a few months later.
This quarter at UC Santa Cruz I’m taking an introductory course in oceanography because I’m very interested in studying how climate change will affect California’s coastline and I need this course as a prerequisite for higher level courses in ocean science. A course I took in climate change last quarter ignited a deep concern for how sea level rise will alter the beaches I know and love here in California. Then I learned about a grant recently awarded to UC Santa Cruz (and the UC system at large) for the purpose of studying how climate change will affect the local ecosystems of California. I approached my professor today to ask if he can point me in the direction of my interest and he suggested I take his course in coastal geology offered next quarter. It is an upper division course so it will be at an appropriate level for me and it will go toward my degree in environmental studies while also furthering my specific interests. Win! Usually the courses of the following quarter are a mystery until a month before they start so it’s great to know at least part of what I will be taking.
Alone, I am tranquil
Beneath oak trees illuminated
With morning light
Deer step carefully across my path
Seeking tender blades of grass
Brought up by the storms
Birds chirp from high branches
Out of sight, out of reach
Free to sing their own song
Here I rest on this wooden bench
Unfettered for a short time
Free to write my own story
Phoebe spotted a mossy branch the other day and pointed it out.
“Yeah,” I said, “You can take that home and examine it with your magnifying glass.”
“What does ‘examine’ mean?” she asked.
“To look closely and make observations. You know what observations are,” I replied. “You’re learning a lot of scientific terms.”
“That’s because I am a scientist,” she asserted. “I’m a ballerina scientist. Do you know what ballerina scientists do?”
“No, what do they do?”
“They dance all around through the forest and when they spot something interesting, they stop and take it home and observe it. They do that again and again and again. That’s what they do.”
The fog. The wet trees dripping water down the backs of our shirts as we walk.
The library. Print this. ..then this… read by next week.
The preschool. The bustling, loud, sweet children. The director. My schedule. Encouragement.
The grocery store.
The Christmas lights at the houses of the rich.
Listening for Fall
On my back gazing upward
Dry leaves rustling
I went to Henry Cowell by myself this morning after dropping Phoebe off at kindergarten. I got there at about 8:45am while the sky was still cloudy and mist shrouded the trees. After passing a pair of women walking out of the forest, I had the place seemingly to myself. I followed the interpretive trail walking slowly and drinking in my surroundings, trying to feel at ease. When I came to the Fremont tree where an early pioneer was said to spend the night on his journey through the area, I ducked inside, right into the darkness, opting not to use my phone as a flashlight. It took several minutes for my eyes to adjust and see the patterns of the wood and the little enclaves people had carved out.
It felt like the most magical place in the world to be in the center this massive tree which extended so far above and so deep below, sitting in the quiet darkness. The birds had been loud in the forest but all of that was inaudible from within the tree. All I could hear was the occasional bellowing of the train horn. I knelt on the ground for a while with one knee touching the scratchy ground before sitting down on the seat of my sundress with my thighs against the dirt.
I sat there as long as I could manage and when I emerged, the deep green of the branches above looked as vibrant as ever. I sat on a bench in the clearing and read in my book for a while, then continued my walk. It was getting sunny then (around 10) and there were small groups of people around every turn. I stumbled upon a doe with two fawns who seemed indifferent to my presence just 20 feet away behind a very low barrier fence. The fawns were adorable and I stood still and watched the family until they walked behind a thick redwood. There were another two does nearby. Both paused when they saw me but relaxed when it was clear that I would continue my walk.
Brilliant twilight sky
Outlining the pure, dark form
Of oak trees above
Clouds blanket the earth
Against your chest, I lie still
Breathing in and out