To Whom the Robins Call

BlueandWhite (898x1024)

Out on a Limb


Whatever you did, thank you.

Since my “More Please” post, the snow Gods made an effort toward settling the score with Colorado by sending off a few decent storms. Not enough moisture to remove our plight of extended drought, but enough to discourage the too-early fire that already scorched land near Ft. Collins. Your snow dances, rainy-day-thoughts and well wishes are always appreciated.

I saw the snow sculpture above on a morning walk with Rosie. I see in it a heart—maybe a little broken and a little out of skew—but nonetheless, a heart stuck out on a limb, barely hanging on. There have been times when my heart has occupied that place.

I got that shot just as the sun geared up for another big melt. Here above mile high, the crews do not bother to warm up their rigs till at least eight inches of snow is ready for plowing. But after the storm moves off and the sun powers back up, it does not take long for snow to turn to slush which turns to rivulets which then travel off to washes and creeks and rivers, feeding the unquenchable earth along its way.

We still need more moisture. Any person who lives in Colorado for a few years learns you never complain about rain or snow. “Beneficial moisture” is always a good forecast, even when it pours on a wedding and even though we have cycled and walked and played outdoors without coats for much of winter and now spring is here—and, by golly, what’s with the snow?

A large flock of robins flushed out of a tree as I walked this morning. I have heard them but these were the first I spied. It was a large cluster and they were loud and insistent and seemed a bit out of sorts. They made me think of the folks who come to their second homes in Colorado a little too soon and who are not happy when their arrival coincides with a late winter storm. Lots of squawking then too.

Snow Kissed

Snow Kissed

As the storms have come and gone, I have read and written a-plenty. I have always been one who has stacks of books beside her bed but I realized not long ago that my span of reading attention had morphed into that of an 8-year old needing Ritalin. Reading blogs and magazines and newspapers is enjoyable and informative, but I have missed the long interludes of mind travel that come through immersion in a work of longer length.

Yes, I have missed the read of a fine book. Even if I cannot stay loyal and true to any one book. I have a bad pattern of carrying on with two or three at a time. One for every whim and mood I might have. So to satisfy my base need for a good story, I am about to finish Calling Me Home, a debut novel by Julie Kibler. It makes me think of a nice mash-up of The Help and Driving Miss Daisy. I have read that a movie deal is in the works.

From the nonfiction side of my bedside table, I just finished A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest by William DeBuys. It is eye-opening and well-written and sheds new light on all the factors that have stressed an already-stressed arid land, and what that might mean in the very near future. I highly recommend it. This is the latest in a series of books I have read about water scarcity in the West, research I do to fuel the writing of some small works and to add to the “big” work that I continue.

Nudged between, I’ve been busy with grant writing that is challenging and provides some income for me, but even more importantly, it brings in a good chunk of change for a nonprofit in Southwest Colorado that serves victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Important work, they do.

Snow NymphYou know that I like to take a few pictures along my way. I am happy to report that one has been selected for the cover of a small literary and arts magazine. It is a picture I took of sunset over the mountains as a huge wildfire blew up exactly one year ago. Sadly, three people died in the fury that caused the eerie, beautiful glow of that picture.

My mention of photography brings me to one other project which is occupying my time and thought. I will share it with you soon.

Till then, may you sink heavily into a good book, may you find a crocus along your path, and may you hear the call of robins if it is spring in your part of the world.

Springs Up the Crocus

Springs Up the Crocus

57 thoughts on “To Whom the Robins Call

  1. One of the most lovely letters I’ve ever read. Your words flow directly into a peaceful place in my brain as if you have just held my hand.

  2. Your posts have become fewer and farther between. It only serves to savor them more. Nice to hear you are taking care of Stacia and congrats on the photo. It’s about damn time your aesthetic eye received this recognition!

  3. I smile every time I look at my list of new blog posts by those I follow and find you’re in there. Lovely post and congratulations on the photo being picked. *hugs*

  4. I have made sure my current reading pile this year includes at least one non-fiction to broaden that wonderful but limiting trench I enjoy. I saw my first robin this morning so spring is here.
    I have worried about the ground moisture as last year devastated our crops and am grateful this year seems a little better. And yes I too see that wonderful heart and feel familiarity. Great post Bella!

  5. You only prove that quality is finer than quantity. I have missed your posts and this one was like a real gift. You are a fabulous writer. Keep them coming, even if you do get diverted by all those books-for-every-mood.

    • Thank you Dor. You are very good with both quantity and quality. I just get distracted by various things and then my writing does not want to stay in the boundaries of my blog πŸ™‚

    • I can imagine a day not far down the road when we bloggers sit with our tea and interact via video chat. Don’t think I am ready for that morning exposure, but it would be nice. Thanks Laurie and have a good week.

  6. I’m always thrilled to see your post in my queue! Your prose and photos are the perfect compliment to my morning coffee. If you are preparing a photo book I cannot wait to buy it!
    Stay well Stacia! Enjoy every moment of Spring!!

  7. I hope you get more moisture. I was shocked to hear about the fire in Fort Collins. Some good friends live there and for two summers now they’ve had to evacuate their home. Fortunately the home has survived, but summers are hard on them.

    • All the fires in recent years have set us all on edge. Some places are far more at risk than others and I feel bad for people who built their dream home in those places. Thanks TBM. πŸ™‚

  8. Beautiful post, all the way ’round…
    My bedside table is devoid of non-fiction, as I find it too-often gives me nightmares, but I have multiple Fantasy volumes to choose from as I wind-down for the night…
    Will keep up the Magic Moisture Thoughts for all of you out there!

  9. Always enjoyable, Stacia. Bittersweet congratulations to you for your photo being selected for the magazine cover.
    I look forward to hearing more about your photo project.
    This rings very true to me, “…but I realized not long ago that my span of reading attention had morphed into that of an 8-year old needing Ritalin. Reading blogs and magazines and newspapers is enjoyable and informative, but I have missed the long interludes of mind travel that come through immersion in a work of longer length.”
    I long to sit and dive into a good book. I’ve started State of Wonder, but I have left it hanging, distracted by the short-attention span fueled with blogs, etc.

    • You have the additional distractions of family under roof…….when I was raising my family, there was no escape to the blogging world but I escaped to books as often as I could steal away πŸ™‚ Thank you Lenore Diane.

  10. there is something quite moving, always, in the way you write. perhaps its the rhythm…such a natural easy pace, like a gentle woods walk. perhaps it’s the very words you choose, so precise, evocative, never forced. perhaps it all comes down to the soul of you. i’m quite sure it does. it shines, in your words and your images, and it’s lovely.

    • Thank you huffygirl. To tell the truth, I submitted the photo at the last minute after previously submitting some writing. Got a rejection note on the writing and when they called about the photo, I nearly forgot I had sent it in! I will attend the launch party as a “photographer” amidst the published authors, but that’s just fine with me.

      • Wow – impressive. Whether it’s your photos or writing, they are lucky to have it. You’ll have to post about the publication when it comes out and share the photo.

  11. It seems you had a lovely walk in the almost snow left. You have kept quite busy and yet you still manage to share such lovely words with us. I appreciate that. Congratulations on the photo being chosen.

  12. I realize now how much I took for granted all the time I had to read when I was younger. I devoured books of all kinds, from the classics to science fiction. Now there are so many works by my blog buddies that I want to fit in, but there seem to be ever-fewer hours in the day.

    Congratulations on your photograph being chosen for the magazine. Those of us who follow you here already know how wonderful your eye is for striking and thought-provoking images!

  13. Congratulations on the cover photo! And thank you for doing the grant writing for the nonprofit. You do so much, I don’t know how you do it all. I will echo the thoughts above, it’s always a delight to receive a blog post notice. πŸ™‚

  14. I tend to read three or four books at once, too. It’s like going to the dessert buffet, choosing several favorites, then alternating bites of each. That way, I’m less likely to get tired of any of them.

    Good luck with that “big work.” I’m sure it’ll be great.

  15. Bella, Congratulations on your photo being selected for the magazine … how wonderful! So happy to have snow on the ground here in Colorado. I even appreciate cloudly days. Sending best wishes and smiles.

  16. Thank you so much for a few extra books for my list, recommendations such as these are gold to readers such as us, and congrats on your image being on the cover! excellent. c

  17. We were stranded in Spokane at the hands of your recent blizzard, but so grateful that we finally made it to our little family reunion late last Saturday nite. I’m grateful for the snow as well. My granddaughter from Florida was able to build a snowman and ski at Keystone. Good times. As for your latest missive, outstanding blog post, Bella. You write beautifully.

  18. Congratulations on the book cover – your photos are too lovely not to be shared.

    I’m not sure how you knew about my snow dance. I must have forgotten to draw the blinds that day.

  19. Now and then I come across a book so riveting, that I don’t want to read anything else… but in recent years I’ve often found myself reading a couple of books at the same time… it’s a shame, I think, when they don’t grab us all the way.

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