September 5, 2012

Each Year, Right Now

Sometimes, even though I know such phrases are cliche, I can't help myself from repeating over and over comments like, "Time flies by" and "Where has the summer gone" and "Each year, each year goes more quickly, I swear." 

Perhaps these phrases are repeated so much simply because they are very, very true.


In the spirit of that quickness, I thought I'd pop in here and offer up a few arguably sparse updates in lieu of my somewhat moseying style.  
  • In case you missed my little announcement, I've had one particular little thing on my mind lately: a baby! My husband and I are expecting our first child at the end of January. Although I'm sure bits and pieces of that journey will end up here, I plan to keep this blog mostly place-focused. I'm writing for a pregnancy blog, too, though, so if you like yourself some baby and are interested in a different kind of (more personal! more crazy?) writing, then head over here and check out some of my recent posts.
  • I'm happy to be back in my classroom again with a whole new batch of English students. I really love my job. So thankful for that.
  • Been eating lots of cucumbers
  • Been eating lots of ice cream.
  • Spent an afternoon at a local coffee shop discussing, among other things, the poetry of place with our lovely and kind Minnesota Poet Laureate Joyce Sutphen. In cooperation with Prairie Oaks Institute, we're planning a writing workshop for this spring. Look for more information on that in a few months.
  • I'm presenting at a Nature and Environmental Conference in Sandstone, Minnesota, on September 21-23. I know many of you (hello, new subscribers and followers!) hail from outside the Midwest, but if you're lucky enough to call Minnie or even Wisconsin home, check out the line-up and treat yourself to a weekend away with other writers. I don't know about you, but those words strung together sound like an early Christmas gift.
  • And I'm heading off shortly on another bike ride with my darling. Well, I should clarify. I bike. He runs. We discovered this surprisingly effective way for both of us to hit the trails together a year or so ago, and although we get funny looks sometimes (okay, yes, those looks are almost always directed at me), we love it. Some of my favorite evenings this summer have been spent this way, at twilight, with the sound of frogs filling up the night between us. 

How about you, friends? What have been your favorite parts of summer? What are you looking forward to about the fall? If nothing else, tell me this (and warning: I just might quote you at that northwoods conference): What is it about the natural world that you love?

30 comments:

  1. Congrats on the baby!

    This is a lovely shot.

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    1. Thanks, Lady Fi. We have a lot to be excited about lately. :)

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  2. Enjoy your bike rides, Emily! Nice to read your post today.

    What is it about the natural world that I love? The leaves beginning to turn colors and the air getting slightly cooler.

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    1. Mmmm...can I pair that image with a lovely bonfire and wood-smokey sweater? That sounds like the perfect weekend activity. Hope you enjoy your Saturday and Sunday, Andee!

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  3. Emily:

    You will be a great Mommy! You will record every event and mood and degree of love that a new child brings to your lives. I am happy for both of you, that soon you will receive the gift of a child.

    I understand what you're saying about time passing so swiftly. See my post "A Father's Day Message". Then count your Blessings every day.

    Richard

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  4. Emily:

    One more thing. I know you and your husband will be like the family in my post "Open the Door" (April '12). Your child will grow up doing what Richard Louv advocates. Blessings to your growing family.

    Richard

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    1. Richard, I still can't quite register that "mom" is going to (already does?!) apply to me. My MOM is Mom, you know? But thank you for your vote of confidence, and I will indeed check out the posts you mention. Cheers!

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  5. I laughed when I read "Been eating lots of cucumbers.", "Been eating lots of ice cream." It sounds like a new woman with child variation on "pickles with ice cream." And much better for you.

    Although I enjoy all of the seasons somewhat equally (OK, I love winter)summer is the time that is most full of life. It is the peak of the living experience. Watching grass hoppers sprout wings, grubs emerging to become air born beetles, brook trout congregating in cool stream pools avoiding warm water temperatures, and listing to crickets slow their chirp as the air temperatures cool off. It is all soooooo cool. It makes me wonder how some don't notice.

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    1. Admittedly I have not been eating cucumbers and ice cream together, but who knows where my taste buds will take me! Before the garden produce is totally gone, I just might have to try out a new combination and send my results to Ben and Jerry.

      And I love your descriptions of summer, Bill. Our August went so very fast, and I think you've just given me a few details to slow down and watch for the next time we're out on the trail. This morning, the honking of the traveling geese are serving as wake-up calls, filling the sky.

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    2. Geese flying south-now that is monumental!

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  6. Congratulations on all the good things spinning your way. Such awesome stuff. Also, thanks for asking us to pause for a moment to reflect on all we loved about summer, and what we look forward to with fall. I love the huge harvest moons that come with fall, pumpkins on people's porches, the cool, crisp colors of the woods, and that sweetly-scented air that reminds me of picking apples with my mom and sister on a Saturday more than 25 years ago. I love fall!

    Have a great school year!

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    1. Thanks, Lisa. I love fall, too. Each season makes me ecstatic for its own reasons, but there is something about the hanging-in-the-balanceness of this time of year. It's almost like--if you're lucky--you can feel time suspend for a few hours or even a day. Some flitted-down-magic from that harvest moon? Hope you continue to enjoy your "return-to-presence!" (Such a great idea!)

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  7. I love fall for the color, the crispness, the harvest. Only I don't like the thought of winter knocking on the door. But give me these cool evenings, the blue sky of October (nothing like it), the goldenrods and pumpkins. Soup and snuggling under a warm throw with a good book...

    Congratulations to you on all you have happening professionally and personally in your life. So much for which to be thankful. You're going to make a wonderful mom; you truly are.

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    1. Isn't it amazing how a few perfectly chosen details can take you right into a time or memory? Your selections above did just that for me: THE BLUE SKY OF OCTOBER! Yes, yes, and yes. And soup! And a warm blanket! And books... (the ones that open, not turn on...)

      Thank you, also, for your support here, Audrey. So glad our blogs have connected us in this way!

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  8. my gosh, your life's so filled with excitement right now. and how great to get a poetry workshop underway! i am so happy to be working with poetry again. i started my poetry workshop last week and i just feel so at home amidst all those other aspiring poets. i as well have spent some time with Montana's own poet laureate, Sheryl Noethe. she really is something. so happy to hear all the great news on your blog :)

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    1. Hi Kelton,

      How great that you're in a poetry workshop! When I was in grad school, I focused almost exclusively on fiction, but I did take one cross-genre class with Vermont's Mary Reufle. I loved every moment of it, and I know exactly what you mean about feeling at home among "your people." There is something special about being in a room with others who understand why words are important. I haven't heard of Noethe before, so I'm off to go do a little web search. :) Be well!

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  9. We (and by we, I mean the entire state of Texas) are all a-twitter with excitement tonight. A "cold" front is coming! Here on the coast that will mean lows of 68 or 70 and highs of 90, but it's so, so much better than the 75/95 combo we've been having.

    I heard my first osprey today. That's always the true sign of approaching autumn. They fly high and fast ahead of the first real front, and hearing their song means open-window season is coming, with the sounds of the night heron and the splashing fish. My kitty knows - she keeps walking to the window and looking.

    I think autumn is my favorite season. I'll be traveling north sometime in October to visit my aunt in Kansas City. I'm going to try and time it to the turning of the leaves, since I don't have to go at any set time. And yes - I'll be driving, so I can take any back road that appeals!

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    1. Oh, you southerners and your "cold fronts." :) Glad you are getting some reprieve, Linda. And isn't it almost ritual-like, the migration of the birds, the way they signal things in us: both memories and movement and a sudden desire to pull out long sleeves. For us in Minnesota, it is the geese. Just yesterday I saw my first "V" floating and dipping across the sky, heading toward you, I'd imagine. I suppose they can serve as my arms and hands, offering a wave as they pass.

      Enjoy that drive north! For me, the changing leaves are always a complete enchantment.

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  10. i actually like the idea of the running/biking combination. since i'm not a lover of running, i think that me biking next to the boyfriend running would be a great idea. the summer here in florida has not been the prettiest, so i'm really looking forward to the fall and the cooler temperatures it will bring. i prefer the sunshine without the humidity.

    thank you so much for the visit. my skill level is still miniscule, so words of encouragement are appreciated.

    enjoy the weekend!
    leyla.

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    1. Yes, give that bike/run combo a try! I've tried to like running, I really have, but I've accepted the fact that this good-for-me activity simply does not bring me pleasure. Biking on the other hand: a little workout, the natural world zipping by, the breeze on my skin... good things. Just let me know if you also get a few funny looks. :)

      Thanks for popping over here, Layla. Happy to have you!

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  11. What is it about the natural world I enjoy? My goodness, I've spent 30 years trying to put that into words!! A feeling of contentment and belonging; a sense of wonder and awe; an everchanging beauty; a new discovery every time; a place that brings my family connectivity; being part of the bigger picture.

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    1. All such great answers, Kate. "A new discovery every time." Isn't that the absolute truth. There are many things that we do on a day to day basis that aren't about discovery, but are instead about paying bills checking things off lists or routine. I always find it necessary and important to get out and really open my eyes.

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  12. I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one keeping my husband company on his runs with my bike! I sometimes feel a little lazy, but there's no other way I can keep up with him, and it's better than sitting at home eating M&Ms!
    I love how being in nature makes me feel completely in the moment.

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    1. Yay! A fellow bike-and-run couple! I don't think we're lazy at all... just SMART! And probably even more in the moment since we're not constantly trying to catch our breath. :)

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  13. Huge congratulations on your big news! Can't tell you how thrilled I was to read it. My very best wishes to you and yours, Emily!!

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    1. Thank you, Julian! Can't wait to take this little one to poetry readings and literary conferences and ice cream shops and on many, many bike rides.

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  14. Emily - I'm just catching up with reading favourite blogs, after such a busy period of time... and it's so wonderful to hear your news! Parenthood is such a deep-learning adventure... So much to look forward to. Congratulations and very best wishes to you and your growing family!

    Melanie

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    1. Thank you, Melanie. I have to say, as each day slips forward, and as this wee child becomes ever-more a tangible presence in my life, I'm often deeply moved by LIFE, you know? So much to be thankful for.

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  15. I think that's an appropriate photo to use for "time flies." Things are so fleeting now, now that we're getting older. It's so strange. I guess things seem to go faster and faster when you age. You have this span of years before you, and you keep looking back. I think it seems that years go by more quickly just because you're full of memories and are reminiscent. When you're a child, or when you're young, time stretches itself. It stretches and reaches beyond your sight, and you always manage to think, "There's still time, there's still time."

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    1. This is beautifully and wisely said, Dawn. I'm a big one for memories and nostalgia, so I'm sure that's part of the reason why days and months and moments weigh so heavy and light on my scales. Even my pregnancy has gone so quickly... Must do my best to be present always.

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