Sunday, September 9, 2007

Mendocino Week

We're home from a week at our house in the Mendocino County redwoods. I find myself imagining that I am still in the canvas deck swing (the most comfortable seat in the world) swaying slowly and rotating to look into the jungley green of the undergrowth of the redwoods to the west or up to the the towering redwoods to the south. Even facing the house, I see the reflections of the woods in the floor-to-ceiling windows that face the deck.

Not that this was exactly a vacation - especially not for Otto. He met with the roofer who will install the new roof on the fenced house (the sometimes guest house), climbed to our roof to waterproof around the brick chimney where it leaks, and went many times up and down a ladder in the house to drill a hole in the ceiling through which he blew boric acid with a compressor and hose. We hope it will encourage the carpenter ants to move elsewhere.

The upper photo shows the dense undergrowth of the redwood forest in front of the house. The second photo is looking south across our meadow and up toward the redwoods whose base is far below us, down by Cottoneva creek.

Our dinner bell - 2 sawmill blades.
We beat between them with an iron bar to call to meals

One unanticipated pleasure was to find the old apple tree behind the house, its trunk long riddled with woodpecker holes, still bearing a large crop of apples. Otto was the apple picker (more ladders!), and I was the cook who made delicious apple crisp.


Oak tree and redwood tree,
madrona and pine
sing, "Close your eyes and sleep
baby of mine."

Mother bird on her nest
beasts of the wild
sing, "Close your eyes and rest
Sleep little child."

Someday my child will go
far from the trees,
no longer hear the low
whispering breeze

But, while you choose to stay
the forest's strong arm
will guard you night and day,
keep you from harm.

Oak tree and redwood tree,
madrona and pine
sing, "Linger close to me
baby of mine."

I wrote this lullaby well over sixty years ago.
I'll try to post more often now that we are home for a spell.


Marianne said...

What a beautiful place, the photos are wonderful.
Love the poem, gentle and touching.

nonizamboni said...

You were definitely in God's country and I felt I was there with you. Wonderful photos too!
Your heartfelt poem brought tears to my eyes. . .I often need to be reminded of the gentle care of mother earth. Thanks, dear friend.
p.s. my first trip to the Giant Redwoods was when I was 7. Of course, I tripped, fell and had a lovely goose-egg the rest of the trip. I was so proud!