Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Last Saturday it was like the best of summer here, making it perfect for a walk in the woods with families and their notebooks. The Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District sponsors all kinds of outdoor activities, my walking and writing family workshop included. The youngest person was six and the oldest over seventy.
I put wedding tablecloths on a couple tables, people arrived, some carrying their pencils in their mouths—of all places! “How do you know the world?” The children were quick to list all five of their five senses. We read Wendell Berry, Robert Frost, Robert Louis Stevenson, and this from Byrd Baylor’s Guess Who My Favorite Is,
“She said, ‘Tell your favorite color.’ I said, ‘Blue.’ But she said, ‘See, you’ve already done it wrong.... You have to say what kind of blue.’
So I said, ‘All right. You know the blue on a lizard’s belly? That sudden kind of blue you see just for a second sometime—so blue that afterward you always think you made it up?’
‘Sure,’ she said. ‘I know that kind of blue.’”
It took us an hour to walk what usually takes me about fifteen minutes. We walked. We looked. We saw and listened and touched and smelled and tilted our heads and breathed a little more deeply and wrote and wrote and well, wrote. Nearly lost Alice because she stayed behind, having fallen in love with a clump of translucent berries—and she’s not seven years old!
But her good friend Marina waited up, and we all walked on together.
Here are some snippets of what got written that gorgeous day, a day made for lingering in.
Jacks Peak is beautiful
because the wind
is whispering to me.
It’s also sunny, soundless,
rocky, steep, and curvy.
There were names on a bench
when we stopped.
The trees were lushy green,
and the ocean was blue
like my daddy’s eyes.
My son snuggles up to me in bed
and asks me to flex my muscles.
9-years-old, he tells me he hopes to have
muscles as big as mine someday.
I can't help imagining my strength
waning as his grows.
I hear the silent feet of the earth.
I smell the fresh air that the winds
of the earth give us.
It says: blow silently, blow Loudly.
Walk on the edge, get entangled in the oak.
Tiptoe on the unstable path.
Feel the roots beneath you souls
the flutter inside...
You do not need a compass.
The nature is not only outside of your body
it’s inside your body, in your heart.
Posted by Patrice Vecchione at 6:00 AM