Sunday, January 10, 2016

a braid, of sorts

i live about an hour's drive from tupper lake.
to visit the park (adirondack forest preserve)
i drive through vast stretches of forest,
known as the five ponds wilderness area
when i moved to the north country
35 years ago, i landed in star lake
down the road from tupper lake.
where, yesterday, i journeyed
to wind up at the WILD CENTER.
the meander path 
is human made and 
tinted with the iron of our geology
(there were iron ore mines closeby)
and textured with the trees.

  i left the camera in the car
so when i returned later to photograph, the bright light had 
turned to 
rain, so photos were challenging.
 the attention to detail everywhere
shake you up.
 these hold my hand nicely,
which surprised me.

 it's simple really
 but so beautiful
this architecture...
 so like outside
 in the small theater 
i sat in a fine seat
ready for a talk
given by robin wall kimmerer.
she spoke in story and science words
and read from braiding sweetgrass.
she held a braid of sweetgrass as she spoke to us, 
showed us pictures, 
asked us for our questions,
prompted some answers...
i introduced myself after
 (i'd brought my book)
but i'm afraid my copy is full of book marks and notes 
and from her talk i made more notes
 i did ask her to sign it for me
 she graciously did. 
i thought about her words
all the way home
through cranberry lake
and to my new home near the blue line.
when you get to meet someone you 
respect so much,
well it can be a watershed moment: 
it was.
it became evident to me that this woman 
is a teacher, and it would be such a fine thing
to be her student
at ESF in syracuse.
but for me, i will read her words
try to
remember her words, 
and talk to the plants with the respect that they,
our first teachers
must have.


aimee said...

oh! to meet a true teacher, and hear her speak. hooray!

Velma Bolyard said...

aimee, i knew you'd understand!

Mo Crow said...

you teach deep heart with these quiet observations of the spirits of place and plants here in the cyber sea

Velma Bolyard said...

mo, that is a lovely thing to say. thank you.

india flint said...

a student of mine read to the class from one of her books recently
prompting me to (at long last) acquire copies (of 'sweetgrass' and 'moss') myself
still working through them but finding them full of Good Words.

Velma Bolyard said...

india, i think you would have liked to be there on sunday.

neki desu said...

how nourishing!

Anonymous said...

how wonderfully inspiring to meet her in person.

Velma Bolyard said...

neki, YES! exactly.
jean, it was, she has incredible, gentle presence.

handstories said...

You listened & saw her in that beautiful space . . . what a very full experience.

Roxanne said...

Oh what a beautiful journey you've taken me on...

Velma Bolyard said...

cindy, it was rich and exactly right
roxanne, glad you stopped over. and check out her books, of course.

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