where did may go? somewhere on a warm breeze.
i saw two snapping turtles mating today which is a lot less romantic than it sounds. at first i thought they were fighting. then i thought they were hugging. then i was like OHHHHH. oh okay. i get it.
something's in the air i think. love and so much pollen.
and not just furry ones either, i love ones with many legs and ones with no legs and ones with strange warty legs that ooze things into my hand while i'm holding them and thinking, nature man, woah.
my friend michelle has a reoccuring desire to lay down on animals which might seem a strange inclination unless you feel, as we do, that we aren't superior to other beings, but part of the same interconnected system. we're all brothers! sisters! fellow beings who need air and sun and food!
wanting to hug/pat/hold hands with animals is just a loving byproduct of that knowledge.
though they really should learn to hold still.
there are very few things i love as much as i love tacos (whales, wolves, jeremy, the fencing scenes in princess bride). cutting out all meat minus poultry and the occasional poisson meant saying goodbye to ground beef in tacos, a difficult and emotionally fraught farewell. ground chicken isn't very satisfying and i don't like all the things i can't pronounce in soy-based, ground-beef-like vegetarian products so for a spell, we just went without. sad.
then came the wheatberry.
wheatberries are the entire kernel (less the hull) of the wheat plant. in france, people eat wheatberries as we would eat rice and in eastern europe it's used to make a christmas porridge. for our purpose and explorations we like how their texture is similar to ground beef - tender, granular, and just a wee bit chewy. we seasoned them with garlic, chili, cumin, oregano and a little curry powder and what do you know, a delicious and meat free answer to my taco addiction.
we also swapped out the sour cream for yogurt, the shredded iceburg lettuce for mixed greens and topped it off with guacamole to complete its healthy makeover without compromising any of the flavour or textures of the original taco i learned to love.
crunchy! fresh! flavourful! i can knock back 4 NO problem. 6 if no one is looking.
one morning, just the two of us got up early. we ate granola with yogurt from our camping mugs.
we made coffee. we made steam.
we climbed to the top of a granite rock and watched as the sun spread warmly, slowly, evenly.
we felt the rocks warm,
we felt the coffee warm,
we felt our toes warm where they touched in the middle. do you know my grandpa's ashes have been scattered here? that killarney is a special place to my family?
it only makes sense that we'd end up here together. with our matching hearts and hikers.
one of the funnest activities we engaged in on our couples camping weekend (aside from couples napping and couples eating of delicious food) was the couples climb to the top of a mountain.
it's called 'the crack' which is a name that makes me uncomfortable because i am 12 and because there are no small number of hilarious opportunities to use its name for witty and embarrassing jokes. journey up the crack!
it's a 4 hour hike, almost half of which is some degree of upwards. during the final leg you climb/scamper/drag yourself up and over large, tumbled boulders to one of the most spectacular views i've seen in my lifetime.
we had snacks up there, consulted a map of the area, and hung around, feeling like the wilderness was limitless and we were at its summit.
it was good to go early as we hardly saw anyone save for another couple and a small adorable family (complete with dog and young child in backpack), but passed quite a few on the way back. we also saw black bears barreling through the woods beside us which felt exciting and rare.
sometimes i like to force myself to answer random either/or propositions. if i had to choose mountains or ocean, for instance, what would i choose. although i need to do more research this trek was one strong push in the direction of mountains. rocks formed billions of years ago, before plants or animals even existed, and here i am jumping about them with all my energy and might.
okay, great, yes please.
i've been having a little creative boom over here. that's how it happens, it would seem, with the cycle of my creativity. there will be periods of inactivity which i like to think of as brainstorming sessions or inspiration searches or any other positive way to describe the time when i have plans to make things, but do not. i could be doodling, i could be writing ideas down on scraps of paper, journals or the chalkboard door in the kitchen or i could be spending all my extra time practicing my headstand and contemplating the transformative power of naps. sometimes things are related and sometimes they are not.
this past week i finished a giant whale body pillow, a little squirrel with scarf, and a set of 4 animals cards i made for a silent auction fundraiser so relatively speaking, i'm experiencing a bit of a creative upswing. everything i come across i wonder how i could interpret creatively. last nights dinner conversation about hyenas turned into this mornings doodle session to perfect their sneaky, slinky hump. it's sunnier outside. the birds are extra noisy. my swatches of wool and tweed no longer look like inanimate fabric, but part of something i've yet to discern.
there's always a moment when i'm deep in the mode of creating where the thing that i am making becomes something of its own accord. not, i would say, completely and altogether different from the blueprint i'd imagined, but just, its own thing. like i am less a creator and more an assistant in its ultimate desire to be whatever it is that it will be. i am making a whale and in return the whale is teaching me things like not everything can be planned and you never know how something will truly turn out until you get there.
zen moments in crafting and life lessons from whale body pillows. i ride the creativity with glee and try not to worry about when it will inevitably come to the necessary lull of the cycle. and anyways, i always need more time to practice naps and headstands.