Monday, November 14, 2011

Harvesting Walnuts

     Being here in Ukraine is like time traveling on a magic carpet through my childhood. When I said that to someone recently their response was, “Oh, No.”  As if it’s not a good thing to drift back into yesteryear.  But for me it is a gift—to me it is swift ride through the years on a flying carpet to a time that was magical.    Every day in some way I seem to be reminded of the little red cottage where I grew up surrounded by aunts and uncles that were more like brothers and sisters.  My mother being fifteen years old when I was born made me the youngest in this large close knit family.  These memories swirl around me whether I am in the market buying dirt covered carrots and potatoes just plucked from the ground or watching someone tending their garden—In a wink of an eye I am suddenly transported into a distant but sensate memory.
     Today my magic carpet took me back to a time when we would walk through the back yard, passed the wire fence that contained chickens or pheasant and passed a garden that had pretty much been harvested. 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Celebrating Independence Day in Poltava, Ukraine

Recently it was Independence Day here in Ukraine where I have lived for the past 16 months.    Ukraine was celebrating their 20th year of independence.   All the museums were open and free and there was a free concert in the park where the flowers gardens were ablaze with color. Nature is abundant in Poltava and honored by blue and yellow on the Ukrainian flag which represents blue skies over golden wheat fields  It’s amazing how lush and thick the vegetation is and I am told it flourishes because of the rich black earth.  . 

Apricot, pear, and apple trees are everywhere.  Right now the walnut trees are laden with walnuts.  It reminds me of when I was a child and in the fall we would go into the forest to collect walnuts then we would all sit around and hull them for my grandmother to store for the winter.   We are coming into harvest time here in Ukraine and people come back from the villages with buckets of fresh vegetables to sell at the market or display for sale along the sidewalk.  The weather is now cool and leaves have already begun to turn brownish yellow.  I noticed shriveled dried leaves floating softly to the ground as I walked along the cobble stone street.  Summer is fast fading as is the sunlight.  Summer is celebrated and treasured here in Poltava since the winter skies are gray and void of sunshine. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Softening through Loss

One of my favorite authors is Oriah Mountain Dreamer.  In 1999 she published The Invitation and in 2003 it was The Call.  During that time I received her newsletters hoping to be able to attend one of her lectures.   I remember one particular newsletter in which she wrote in her beautiful prose how she needed to take a break from her lectures, she needed to rest and take care of her health.  She wrote she was getting married and told about how they had found a wonderful home in the country and were creating a life together.  It all seemed so perfect.  And, I read her newsletter like a child reads a fairy tale, imagining the loving mate, a home nestled in the country surrounded by trees and wild life, and a warm glow in the fireplace to snuggle by.   

Monday, February 14, 2011

To Write or Not to Write...

I was so surprised when I saw that my last blog was written in October.  I wondered for a moment how so much time had pasted so quickly.    I would like to think that I was busy and had no time to write.  But that would not be the truth.  The truth is that I avoid writing.  Why? Why do we so often avoid those things in life that gnaw at us from deepest level of our soul?  Several years ago I spoke with someone I had not seen in since childhood.  He said to me do you remember what we had talked about doing when we grew up.  I was fascinated by this question because I didn't remember having this conversation with him.  He continued to say all I ever talked about was that I wanted to write.  I didn't remember saying that to him but I do know that writing is something that has been and is always on my mind and something I have avoided.