T minus 5

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This life we are living here, in the city of our heart, is one of twists and turns. Like all lives there are compromises we have to make so that we can reach our big long term goals. Right now that means that in five days Alder will be heading off to school for the very first time ever. We found a new alternative public school that has small classes, and the kids spend Fridays doing special projects rather than academics. It is far from our dream situation, but I’ve met the first grade teachers and they are enthusiastic and I just get a really good feel about them. Really that’s what matters, it is the people that he is surrounded by at this age that matters more than anything.

So we’ve bought the school supplies, the clothing (more on that in it’s own post), gotten the haircut, and I’ve done a dry run on getting him to school on time. Everything is ready except maybe my heart/soul. It isn’t that I am the Mama who is going be sad to send my son away from me, I’m actually sort of looking forward to a little break, it’s just that traditional school goes against so many of my educational beliefs. Yet, if we ever plan on homeschooling for the long run we have to let him go for a year or two until the rest of our lives are under control. I am deciding to look at these next months as a time where I can put my focus into certain projects, to help them blossom and grow.

We’re trying to fill these last days with adventures and projects, the sort that will be less often for a while. Kevin and Alder spent the other day with the Lego creating their own train, from sometime after breakfast until almost dinner time they were at it. To me that is the speed that learning should take, so I must remember to give him as much of that as I can with in the constructs of the school day.

 The Train

A Night of Music

It was a winding ride up into the mountains to see an old friend. It was an evening of a music, food, a pack of children running barefoot through the woods, and a fire. Though we’re more than half-way through August it was everyone’s first marshmallow roasting, the fire ban only recently lifted. So there were even more that a few sticky faces, adults and children alike. Later, we fell asleep listing to music drift from the fireside.

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I Want to Start So I Have

I started a new job this past week, it’s harder than I expected but I’ll get used to it.

I started organizing my projects in files.

The printer is finally near my desk, oh and I have real desk functioning desk.

We finished Alder school shopping (don’t ask me about it).

I have plans of heading to a friends for a weekend of canning and freezing….and beer.

As a birthday present to myself I bought a copy of The Art of Eating by M.F.K. Fisher.

I’ve applied to teach some adult journaling and collage classes at a newlocal crafting spot.

I’m reading some fluff to get away from the ease of netflix.

I connected with friends for some dinner and dancing.

Now I just need some new music as a sound track!

 

A New Year and a Walk Around a Lake (Wyoming Part 2)

Scene

I can here the rhythm of the rush hour this morning, a mix of cars, scooters, and delivery trucks. Alder’s making tickets for a party this evening and somewhere downstairs Kevin is making coffee. I’m here, writing and smiling about the past week. I turned 39 yesterday, a non-age according to all the world, but to me it seems like it just might be a good one. We celebrated with a few friends and neighbors with good cheese, tamales, and stout. Just the sort of celebration I like, no stressing about getting ready, few dishes for Kevin to wash afterwards. But my own personal celebration was last week while we were in Wyoming.

Here

After leaving Vedawoo we headed west past Laramie and up into the Snowy Mountains in the Medicine Bow National Forest. It was a spontaneous choice, we were supposed to be heading home, but there was no immediate needs that couldn’t be met with a half hour at a coffee shop with our phones. There was no real plan, just spend the night up in the mountains and head home through Steamboat Springs where we would spend the day at the hot springs. Our lack of plans meant that we ended up at the camp ground that felt right. Which also happened to be right across the road from Libby Lake.

The Shore

Once the boys were happy with their journals and fire making I went across the road to check out the lake. It was one of those high alpine lakes that the holds quiet. Though there were a few families around I coulsn’t hear them. There is something when you are already far away and then you go just a little further that brings about a very special sort of peacefulness. That was the space I was in as I walked around the lake.

Water's Edge

The walk itself was beautiful; wetlands, alpine valleys, cliffs, streams, boulder fields. The rhythm of being by myself out there left me to think about anything, not the regular stresses of the everyday but the amusing daydreams that I don’t get to have very often. Of course my mind led to travel, specifically a road trip I have been promising myself and Alder since we moved back to Colorado. He and I want to take a winding trip across the country checking out all sorts of interesting places, meeting people, finding swimming holes, and having adventures. I’m trying to make this finally happen next summer. There are a lot of logistics to work out, but this walk was more about the delicious thoughts.

I love these moments when my mind is clear enough to allow these thoughts to come and go at their own speed, no requirements, no returning to the reality of the moment, because the thoughts are the moment. This was my present to myself. I wish I could explain it deeper and with more texture because it truly is a perfect moment. But the effects it’s had are really the important thing. I’m more focused on what I want to accomplish over the next months while Alder’s in school and where I want to be after then. It makes me want to search out these peaceful moments more. I realize that while they may seem indulgent they are really the sort of caring for myself that I need more of in my life. It isn’t that I need to be at a lake in the middle of no where but that I need to have a way to let go and just think. While there are so many responsibilities in my life regaining my focus and drive is an important part of being and loving.

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I think mother’s spend a lot of time taking care of others and thinking about taking care of them that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Even after just one day of doing this I feel more awake and present than I have in a year. This time I also see that I am the one who has to take control of my days to make them what I want, to have them lead somewhere not just repeat each other. To do this I need not only to be able to check things off my to do list but also make it a priority to take these moments to myself. Because there has to be a balance between living for today and working towards tomorrow. So often I put taking care of myself in the tomorrow pile which if I am never whole will never come about.

Of course now I need to figure out how to find that feeling again a little closer to home.

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Alpine Waters

It all started with a thought (Wyoming part 1)

Campsite at Vedawoo

Evening Light on the Rocks

Last week I mentioned how I was feeling the need to start living again. Well this past Saturday morning during breakfast Kevin suggested that we head up to Vedawoo for a day or two of climbing. I’ve gotten so used to feeling overwhelmed by the idea of going camping, but this time I said yes. four hours later we were driving north on I 25 and crossing out of Colorado.

Scrambling

The thing about us is that when we first met we would go camping anytime we could. There was so much BLM and Forest Service land that we would just go. Sure we’ve woken up to bears, cows, and chipmunks without a campsite but it’s just such a great way to be away and not too far away. But moving to Denver and getting busy changed that. It takes about twenty minutes just to get out of town and with suburbs and such it is harder to find places to just camp. Like many other thingsĀ  it was easy to get complacent and stay in the city, or just go out for a hike or climb.

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The thing is that camping is fun, it’s peaceful, and it’s just part of who we are. So when Kevin suggested it I said yes. Besides Vedawoo is one of most interesting places to play around. Which is important when you’ve got a six year old who rather be climbing something than walking. The other thing about camping is once you get out you don’t want to go back home. So after two days of climbing we decided that rather than heading home that we would explore the Snowy Mountain Range, because well they were near by and we had never been. Which in my mind has to be the best reason to do it.

Our other natural place

Politics and the Personal

Standing up for our rights

 

So much of the internet world seems focused on the Chik Fil A controversy. I am not going to rewrite the detail but send you to this well written post. What I do want to write about is action, what actions I choose to take and those I don’t. By now I’m sure that it’s become obvious that I am unabashedly liberal, that my life choices have come from a deeply held personal philosophy. It’s easy to loose sight of big thoughts when every day there are 1 million other things involved in life. It is easy to step back and say that a few comments on facebook or a blog is sufficient enough action. But too many times in the past year have I taken these passive paths towards my beliefs.

But as this past year has gone by I have felt more and more “suburbanized” not only in my activism but my creativity. Having a child is a good excuse not to participate, but that same child is why I must stand for what I believe. I have been lucky to come from an very liberal and accepting family, but some of my friends are not from as open of families. Some of them had to watch as “friends” spelled out hateful things on their page. It reminded me that to stay quiet is not really an option. My own sexuality has never been a secret, I married my husband for love, not because he was a man but because he was everything that makes him Kevin. I can not say why it was we found each other but we did, he could just have well been a woman, except he couldn’t be anyone other than him. None of this means my eyes are closed or that I am not moved by other people, both men and women, but it him who I choose to make my life with (hey our wedding 9th anniversary was yesterday).

I’ve side-tracked my point. My point is that when life is full that it is easy to get complacent, to talk about things in the third person rather than acting. Not only for causes but projects and even beliefs. Not actively participating in a protest is only the most visible part of this passivity, so is letting beliefs slide in terms of parenting. How many times this summer have I just been too caught up on my own chaos to remember to model the things that I believe is, or to talk to him about kindness or what ever else I know is a important? So today, though I was tired and a little spaced out I chose to step out and support something that is important to me, people’s right not to be legislated against just because of who they love.

Now it is up to me to take this further, to talk of feelings and beliefs with my son, to finish the projects I start and to begin the ones that come into my mind. It is time for me to stop living for just the next day and focus myself on the bigger picture and watch as the pieces come together.