Henry…

I am sitting here in at the dining room table, amused by the sight before me. Scattered over the deep red tablecloth are many colored envelopes, containing cards for loved ones. A stray crayon, an address book and pen are the bits left behind by my foxling last night. We had such fun yesterday, and The Professor dropped in unexpectedly for a short visit, which simply put icing on the cake of the day for us.

Smiling, I am thinking about love. How I am happiest when I feel enveloped in that elusive miasma of joy, respect, support and happiness… be it the loose-limbed hugs from him while he rubs my hair, or her puppy-like climbing on me when she says goodnight with an embrace that touches me to the core. Or the swell of love when mom and I are on the phone, and really connecting, and she laughs at just the right time, and supports me every step of the conversation. Ooh, cannot forget the love that creeps up me like a blush when I tell a good friend my insane college plans, and she replies “of course you will do it, you are so f-ing smart and I wish I was there with you, I would watch the foxling so you can start tomorrow”…

I am a big believer in love, all kinds of love. Love is like ice cream to me, how can you ever have enough flavors ?! I also love chickadees, teaching my daughter, the sound of the waves crashing against the shore, good chinese food, folding towels, all kinds of music, kittens, the color blue, meditating, drinking coffee, rubbing his feet, taking long walks in fluffy snow, reading, bubble baths, great hair conditioner… I could go on all day. =) I do not love all these things with the same intensity, frequency or desire, but they all play a part in my daily happiness, and self satisfaction, which leads to deep contentment on my part, which is nothing but a good thing.

Henry Thoreau’s writing speaks to me as if he knew me every step of my life, every moment and breath. I adore him, his wisdom, short temper, ability to stand up for what he believed in with no though to how it would effect his future. He was brave, brilliant, strong, kind… the kind of man if you brought home to mother, she would want to marry him herself. I love, simply love reading his words, chapters and books cover to cover, then picking pages at random, to ponder thru the day. I cannot say enough about him, and his incredible talent, so I will stop here. =)

Last night I was browsing thru his eloquent words, too drowsy to commit to real reading. I came upon a page in “Walden” describing the wood cutting he loved so much. I, too, am drawn to the earthy pleasure of chopping and stacking wood. “A few pieces of fat pine were a great treasure. It is interesting to remember how much of this food for fires still concealed in the bowels of the earth.” He then describes how he went “prospecting” thru bare hillside, stopping where pine woods had once been, and how he would dig out pine stumps 30-40 years old, a gold mine of thick pine roots.

That got my attention, I love the underlying connectedness of everything under the sun. I picture him in my mind’s eye, digging for the treasure that has lain there for a hundred years, dragging it in pieces to the wood pile. Storing up this “food for fires” as he stored up everything he would need for the long winter ahead. This time of year, I often go to sleep thinking of his experiment in living plainly, happily alone in the wood. The snow and wind howling remind me that he heard that same wind, so many years ago, stroke the tops of trees like the ones outside my own window.

He was excavating his bounty of roots; on the flip side, I am laying my own down, and hope they get me thru the darkness of winter to the beautiful sunny days and warmth ahead. I have no fireplace to fill, no wood to chop with a sturdy axe, creating piles of sweet chips around my feet. I have no berries to pick, no vegetables to cook and lay up in neat jars across shelving like soldiers at attention. I feel disconnected from his world, then remember it was his for but a short time, and even he chose to resume life among the bustle and insanity of towns. I fell asleep dreaming of cooking jam with my foxling, and washing all the winter sheets and heavy coverlets. Of walking on snowy evenings, making nourishing soups with which to keep her healthy. Of my small, but significant role of mother, provider. And when I awoke in the dark this morning, I could smell the faint scent of our holiday tree in the chilly, morning air. Brisk, pungent, earthy. I inhaled deeply with a smile, and loved waking up, loved the tree that put the smile on my face, and loved being able to share all of this with you. =)

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