Smooth Sailing

Every time a new season arrives on the scene, I find myself thinking, “Now this. This is my favorite season.”. Well, with the exception of summer…which used to be my all time favorite season until I moved to San Francisco. Now it just makes me want to cry.

So when Fall arrives in the Bay Area, I find myself encountering the out-of-doors in a brand new way. It often takes me a while to put my finger just on what that difference is. Then I find myself on a jetty at 4pm in afternoon and marvel at how my entire body is relaxed, rather than braced and cringing. The old poem goes

No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! –

There’s a line missing, but I will add it now…

No muffer effing, bone piercing, soul shrieking WIND!

I’ve been spending a lot of time at Heron’s Head, in the Bayview/Hunter’s Point.

Situated near a super-fund site, San Francisco ports and the gnarliest neighborhood in the city, Heron’s Head is a triumph in wetland restoration, a ridiculously clear reminder of the resiliency of nature.

The park has quickly become a bird sanctuary, and I was absolutely shocked to see a whole flock of these…

This is also an absolutely, shockingly bad photo of a Western Meadowlark. Meadowlarks are shy (like some people we know…a-hem) and without a telescopic lens, I had to take this pic from far away and then crop it. But I swear, that IS a Meadowlark. Dear friend and totem, knowing that you are here in the waters by the bay makes everything turn right side up and I can feel my feet on the ground just that much more. 

They are rehabilitating the land with natives. Coast Buckwheat.

As I was walking along here a few days ago, I thought of how, amongst many other reasons, I love the transitional seasons of Fall and Spring because of the way they remind us of impermanence. Sometimes this is horribly painful, and I liked things just the way they were, thank you very much. But once past the threshold of change, indeed, once all the way through…there is a nice pause and a chance to take in the scene. Aspects of self that I had tricked myself into believing were solid, now seem like a dreamtime prayer, very little substance and even less sticking power. We are heading into Winter now, and I wonder what I will trick myself into using as a pillow, in this dream called life? Right now, I am lifting up my arms in praise of transformation. Speaking of which.

Have you been remembering to look up?

Everyone will be wearing one this season. Spotted Tussock Caterpillar. 

Yesterday we took the kids to the Presidio.

Fern started it, but both kidlets had fun ignoring park regulations. (Don’t worry, they didn’t go much farther than the fence. There is habitat restoration going on which I was mindful of).

In search of gnome homes, Leo and Fern drifted into the forest.

Leo wanted to look for gnomes expedition style, and Jeff joined in. Fern collected sticks. I pointed out what seemed like a likely gnome home entrance, and Jeff and Leo proceded to harrass the gnomes by prodding the door with sticks and groping around. I pointed out that, the more they bothered the gnomes, the less likely they were to see one, and may create the unintended effect of scaring the gnomes so much that they move away. Leo got teary and said, “But I really really waaaaant to see one!”. So I snuggled him over and we had The Talk. No, not the birds and the bees. The elves and the fairies. I explained The Rules, which are something like this: 1. You can only see gnomes if they want you to see them and 2. That you have to prove yourself worthy by treating them with respect and 3. You can’t see them straight on, but rather, out of the corner of your eye.

Leo was thoughtful for a minute and then said, “I know! Maybe we can come back with a snack, like a treat or some fruit and we can leave it for them and they’ll find it and say ‘Hey, whoever left this must be really nice’ and then we’ll get to see them.”. Ah ha! You’ve got it, little man!

And I wore another good outfit.

Everyone keeps reassuring me that these boots don’t look big, but I think they look pretty honkin’ in this picture. Dress, thrifted. Hat, Target. Boots, accidental birthday present from Jeff. He ordered them online, thinking they were granny boots. As a friend said, “Well, they are kinda granny, but industrial too.”. Doc Martin meets Old Mother Hubbard.

You may have noticed I’m not commenting on comments as much. I’m experimenting with using that time to visit YOUR blog instead. How do you feel about that? I miss the conversation, but it was hard to keep up.





7 thoughts on “Smooth Sailing

  1. i have size 11 feet, so i know big honking shoes. those look just fine. and that is indeed a very good outfit. love the sort of Depression-Era meets 70’s floppy hat meets Natty Gan practical boots. i love fall, too. and i also say everything is my favorite everything. i’m enthusiastic! i rarely remember to come back to my comments, so either way is fine with me!

  2. I like those boots, and also quite like ‘granny industrial’ : )

    Your dress is gorgeous! as are even distant meadow larks. I love the song by Fleet foxes in the same name. We have some here, a little different I imagine, I have seen them up the hills once or twice, flying high in song.

    Fern just melts my heart, I think its about time me and little M sent her a little surprise.

    Glad you are loving Autumn, Its officially Winter here now! tough warmer still then usual. Love TO You and your sea walks and birdsong and glorious golden evening sun, your letting go and awareness of how things are.

  3. ha. our towns are polarizing each other. november in boulder is wind central. we are talking WIND. fallen power lines this weekend cuz of it, turned wildfire again, cuz of it. we (me and the firefighters, ha) were all over that this time. contained in a few hours. but we were ready to bolt. oh man.

    virginia woolfish is what i’m thinking with that cutie oufit.

  4. thanks for the thumbs up on the outfit and boots, all!

    Elizaeth, if you’re thinking of sending something, let’s make it a proper swap and fern and i will send something too!

    heather, i’m sad to hear about the wildfires again…i wonder how your experience is this time, given your process with the last?

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