To Whom the Robins Call

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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