Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Digging into Gratitude

Waves Crest the Ridge, Spraying the Pond
Season of Black Crows Returns
Only Rain Drops on the Pond
Necessary Gear for Examining Garden
For Now, The Garden Loves the Rain
Like ocean waves, the rain rolls over the Selkirks spraying Elmira Pond, my garden and everything up and down this northern Idaho valley. Mist clings to the ridge west of us like white sea-foam. If I were a scientist, I could better explain how the Pacific Ocean pools in the sky, all gray, heavy and wet before charging west, as if expanding the shoreline above the land, inverting the sea. I'm not even a poet to make an explanation rhyme with reason. But I'm a writer, and I notice its coming.

It is officially autumn in the Pacific Northwest. Not because the equinox has past and it's darker later in the morning. Not because pines are shedding cones and needles while aspens and alders are now leaved in gold and cranberry. Not because the summer tourists have gone home and the winter tourists have yet to arrive. Not because it's elk season, deer season or simply the season to fill the freezer with meat and venison pasties. It's autumn because the rain has returned.

Raindrops are all I see upon Elmira Pond. Black crows flock like gangsters realizing the streets are empty. Blue Heron might actually be gone. The osprey flew away into the mist, hopefully to emerge in Nicaragua or some other southern fishing climate. I need Todd's snorkeling goggles just to examine my garden which remains lush, soaking up the rain as well as it had the sunshine.

Trapped inside is not a bad place to be. I want to write, to dig into research, drink coffee and bake. A blog that I follow has offered up a gratitude challenge and that seems a good place to start acclimating to the rainy season. "Clean" is fresh following of country living, simplicity and peaceful parenting. The writer, Rachel, is also the owner of Lusa Organics which are crisply clean beauty products like scrubs and lotions. So, this blog post  is my answer to Rachel's call:

"I believe that cultivating gratitude can transform not only how we view our (beautiful yet deeply imperfect) lives, but transforms our lives themselves. Each week I will share with you seven things that I am thankful for. I'd love to have you join me in your own post or simply here in the comments. Because taking just a moment to appreciate what we have can change everything." (From "Clean," September 2013.)
 Digging into Gratitude at Elmira Pond as Autumn Returns the Ocean to Dry Land:
  1. I am grateful for huckleberries, for finally figuring out what they look like and where they grow at 7,000 feet among granite boulders, for picking an entire gallon the day before the weather turned.
  2. I am grateful for five Brussels sprout plants that emerged into glorious plants with huge green leaves lined in purple despite the seed packet warning of their difficulty to direct sow.
  3. I am grateful for grown daughters who show up to surprise their parents with the gift of presence, eating our food as if Mum's kitchen were Zagat-rated and driving in the Blue Goose on a cold day with no window was the ultimate in weekend fun.
  4. I am grateful my husband is temporarily laid off so he can walk the dogs in the rain while I stay dry in my bathrobe.
  5. I am grateful for writing and editing gigs that surface when needed and pay for the satellite Internet.
  6. I am grateful for a WI-college son who calls both Mum and Dad on his birthday as if it were ours.
  7. I am grateful for the patter of rain on a metal roof, for not having to water the yard, roses, berries, fruit trees and garden...whew!
What are you grateful for? Be sure to share here and on "Clean."


  1. Beautiful! I love your spot and look forward to reading more. The discovery of a cherry tree is an exciting thing - any good surprise our gardens or yards is welcome!

  2. Lovely list and photos! We live in B.C- very similar wet, heavy clouds right now!

    1. Thank, Sharilyn! I've wanted to take the Selkirk Loop up into B.C. and see the beauty that way. Well, 'tis the region and the season, although I woke up to sunshine today.

  3. It's so good for the soul to focus on gratitude. Glad you're joining the group of us who are listing blessings on Tuesdays! You write so beautifully : )