Tag Archives: The River of Stones 2012

Small Stone: Day 31

Small Stone(s): Morning Walk

Walking in the dark before dawn, my headlamp reflects off ice crystals in the dry grass, making them sparkle. Stars shine overhead. Each out-breath fogs in the cold, momentarily blurring my vision. None of this could be captured with my camera, only with my eyes, my attention, my heart-mind.

Later, by the back pond, a beaver. In an attempt to adjust my hold, because I know Sam will rear up, lunge at the beaver as soon as he sees it, the leash drops from my hand. Sam sees the beaver and runs towards the edge of the pond, jumping and barking. I yell for him to stop, imagine him jumping in. He stops about a foot away from the edge, sits and barks, but I feel no relief. I am still not close enough to grab him, and the beaver is about to smack its tail. A smack and a splash as it dives under the surface. Sam edges closer, him barking and me screaming his name, telling him to stop. Sam lies down at the edge and whines. I grab his collar, take a deep breath. Dexter looks at me like I’ve lost my mind, and nudges my hand with his nose.

Photo by easyrab
This is the last official day of January Small Stones. There were days I thought I wouldn’t be able to come up with one, but I always did, and these posts have ended up being some of Eric‘s favorites, so while I won’t continue doing them daily, I plan to do a few, from time to time.

Small Stone: Day 30

Small Stone: Cloud

Walking in City Park, after lunch at Chili House, a Winter Sunday that feels as warm as Spring. For a few minutes, the sun is buried in a huge cloud, edged by a rainbow.

Small Stone: Day 29

Small Stone: Dog Park

Big V and little v, two formations of Canadian Geese fly over our heads. When they come close, the vibration of their wings sounds like giant bumblebees.

Eric is on my left, pointing out a hawk sitting high in a tree, and Sam stays close on my right, running away and right back, over and over in circles, getting close enough on each return to bump his head into my leg.

Dexter searches in random patterns, nose to the ground and ears back, across the entire width and length of the dog park, looking for an abandoned tennis ball.

It already feels like Spring.

Small Stone: Day 28

Small Stone: Ceilings

studio ceiling

When we were looking for a house 11 years ago, what we really wanted was a yard for dogs. When we found the right yard, luckily there were other things we liked about the house that came with it.

bedroom ceiling

It was built in 1963. The layout reminded me of the house I grew up in. There was a 40+ year old Cottonwood tree in the front yard. We didn’t realize it at the time, but there were oak hardwood floors. It was close to Lee Martinez park, hiking, the edge of town, Old Town, and CSU. It was affordable and just big enough for two teachers to live in, for a philosopher and a writer and two dogs.

meditation room ceiling

It also has these amazing patterned plaster ceilings. Last night, I looked up and remembered them. A few are now cracked in places, probably from the Cottonwood roots shifting the house and the natural settling that happens over time (to all of us).

living room ceiling

As the sun moves throughout the day, the patterns change, deepening and shifting with shadow and light. Sometimes, I sit and stare at it, settling in to the infinite stillness and movement of the pattern–each ceiling was composed by hand and each room has a different design.

What do you see when you look up?

Small Stone: Day 27

Small Stone: the sky, in me

The sky this morning is heavy, gray, foggy, and cold, with just the slightest hint of light. I close my eyes and look inside, realize that it’s a mirror of my internal landscape in this moment. The snow falls slowly, and I make a silent wish that it keeps up, blankets us in quiet and white.

Small Stone: Day 26

Small Stone: Morning Walk


On our morning walk, my intention is to find a small stone. Instead, I return home with a pocket full of pebbles.

Walking before dawn, we are alone, together.

The boys smell something, track it in the dark with their sensitive noses. I see a blur, and catch a single reflecting eye with my headlamp, but it’s gone before I can turn my head all the way to meet it. It was probably a fox, usually is.

Along the river, it’s colder. It makes sense, because the water was snow not that many miles ago. I’m glad for the extra layer, the warmer gloves, and the thicker hat.

I smell a skunk, and am glad for the headlamp. I scan the path, its edges too.

Just before we reach the Soft Gold Little Dog Park, Dexter stops, looks at me happily, tail wagging–a tennis ball!

On the wooden bridge over the creek between Wood Duck Pond and the McMurry Ponds, fresh raccoon tracks. I wonder, as I always do: is it the same one that leaves footprints most mornings?

I scan the trees for owls, even though mating season is long over and the babies have most likely left the nest. The branches are empty, the sky quiet.

The back pond is thawing, but the beavers don’t come out of their den. Sam is ready anyway, hopping on his back legs, yodeling and whining, straining against the leash.

The dawn turns the clouds pink and the sky light blue.

Even though the water is clear, when we color the river, we see silver, gray, and mostly blue, with a touch of green. Walking this early, the river is also black and gold.

Towards the end of the trail and our walk, through the trees, the sun looks like a fire–which, I suppose, it is.

Photo by Mara

Small Stone: Day 25

Small Stone: Late Bloomer

You’ve never bloomed this late. It’s just one blossom, but still. Your hot pink pistil shoots straight out like a rocket, petals bent back from the sheer force of it. You remind me that it’s never too late, and that a single, focused act, small but true, can cut through the dullness of a moment, wake you up and make you notice.