amazement of things and thoughts on house-sitting

I love house-sitting at the Farm. House-sitting at the Farm provides such an opportunity to really enjoy the variety of houses we have here. In the past couple of months I have stayed at Mummy Dearest and Hubby's house; B1 & B2's small, old school cabin in the woods; and now, here I find myself sitting in one of the newest editions to the farm, N&M's adorable cabin in the woods.

N&M and their adorable girls M&S are in Ithaca for the weekend visiting N's family and I find myself here, shrouded in the silence that trees and tall grasses on three sides of a house provide. I promised to keep the pets company: Cooper (a chocolate lab), Beeker and Chester (cats), but I feel as though they are keeping me company this weekend. The weather has been wonderful so far, providing me with a full array of Mother Nature through the windows of this tidy little cabin.

Last night it rained hard and I found myself coming "home" to a fog swept forest (even believing that I saw one of the Farm's many bears while I was walking, which led me to run down and borrow Mummy Dearest's car to get up here. I am still not sure if I saw the bear or if it was a trick of a very tired mind.) Earlier today while I was walking Cooper it was sunny and hot and humid, though now it seems an entirely different place. Rain clouds swept across the skies and gave us a slight rain/thunder/lightning storm which did not last long, though now it seems to be making a reappearance. It is wonderful to sit and type and look out the windows at the darkened forest, gaze at the cat on the window seat on one side and the dozing, curled up cat on my other side and know too that Cooper is not far away.

I had a cigarette earlier on the porch after Angie and Kelly left (we watched "Last Chance Harvey with Dustin Hoffman and Emma Thompson--good!) and mused at the creakings and groanings of the woods all around; the noises of the forest which are no less different than those of an old house, noises which incite much fear in children--imaginations gone wild of what could be causing those noises. I became that child for a moment, at first fearful of the noises, then slowly allowed myself to remember that these woods are home and a place I know so well. I let my mind wonder over what could be making the noises and found myself not afraid, but rather calmed by the sleepy neighbor creatures that begin to stir in the dark: perhaps behind the groaning oak trees pairs of eyes peeked out and wondered at this stranger producing smoke? Maybe a mother raccoon with her family in tow; rustling movements, a deer, carefully picking her way through underbrush looking for just the right snack; the larger rumblings, perhaps thunder in the distance were to me those of a bear, walking nonchalantly through the underbrush, bumping against upturned trees' roots, not caring who heard.

All this wonderful nature all around. All this peace and quiet is part of what makes my life more magical. When I lack the words I turn to Uncle Walt:

"Wonderful how I celebrate you and myself!
How my thoughts play subtly at the spectacles around!
How the clouds pass silently overhead!
How the earth darts on and on! and how the sun, moon, stars, dart on and on!
How the water sports and sings! (Surely it is alive!)
How the trees rise and stand up—with strong trunks—with branches and leaves!
(Surely there is something more in each of the tree—some living Soul.)

O amazement of things! even the least particle!
O spirituality of things!
O strain musical, flowing through ages and continents—now reaching me and America!
I take your strong chords—I intersperse them, and cheerfully pass them forward.

I too carol the sun, usher’d, or at noon, or, as now, setting,
I too throb to the brain and beauty of the earth, and of all the growths of the earth,
I too have felt the resistless call of myself..."
~ Walt Whitman, "Song at Sunset"

It is getting late and the thunder is getting louder, the perfect reason to leave the computer for the window seat and a book; to listen to the thunder and increasing frenzy of a storm which promises to not disappoint the flowers and trees and good food stuff growing in the gardens not too far away!

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