"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

"Take chances! Make mistakes! Get messy!" --Ms. Frizzle

Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh, Boy

I realize that babies and even young children are pretty androgynous. I also realize that my child does not have a lot in the way of hair-- that classic indicator of femininity. So, I can't really take it personally that most strangers immediately assume that Geneva is a boy. Still, sometimes I look at my beautiful little daughter, and then at the doofus who is referring to her as "a handsome little dude" and wonder exactly how unobservant the average person is. Based on this unscientific study, my results indicate: very.

Here's a peek at some of the recently-worn outfits in which Geneva has been called a boy.

Perhaps the average stranger's reasoning goes something like this:
1) If you are wearing anything with pant legs, you are a boy.
2) If your clothing contains any "male" colors, like blue or tan, you are a boy.
3) If you are wearing a collar, you are a boy.
4) If you are not entirely saturated in pink, you are a boy.
5) If you are a girl, you are a boy.

More likely, the average stranger isn't wasting a lot of brainpower on the subject, which is fine. It's good for a laugh anyway.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

You Are Here

The woods are calling me back. I think it's safe to say that our camping season is coming to an end, with the nights cooling off and the yardwork piling up, but I don't feel done. I love sleeping and waking with the light, hearing the tiny sounds that are usually drowned out by the buzzing of lights and appliances, and knowing which way is north not by the directionality of the streets but by which side of me feels warm. I know that many people are put off by the discomforts that accompany outdoor living, but somehow that just adds to the allure for me. Feeling the cold and the wind, climbing up slopes and wading through rivers... these things are a constant reminder of where I am and what I'm doing. Every so often when I'm inside a building somewhere it hits me that I could be anywhere in the world and would have no way of knowing by looking at my surroundings; malls are especially creepy that way. In the woods you know exactly where you are. You know the season by the weather, the flowers and berries, the angle of the sun, the constellations. You know your elevation by the temperature and the texture of the air. You know what is growing around you by sight and smell.

More than just where you are, though, I think you see who you are. You learn which things are the things that matter when you're carrying them on your back. After all, if it's not important you won't bother to haul it up a mountain. Sometimes I surprise myself with what I deem worthwhile to carry. Obviously food and shelter make the list, but I routinely pack things like books, musical instruments, sketch pads, even a kite. Once I packed out a very large rock just for the sheer beauty of it. As for Geneva, bringing toys is a complete waste of energy, which warms my hear to its core. The girl loves sticks, stones, flowers and water. I would love to think that I'm teaching her something important by bringing her with me into my beloved woods, but I think all I'm really doing is not un-teaching her what she already knows: she is a part of this world on a fundamental level. She belongs. She is here.

Mt. Rainier, June 2010
The Zoglmans and the Ledesmas

Spider Meadows, July 2010
The Zoglmans and Nita Morris

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Coast

I feel like there should be a lot to tell about the trip we took to the Olympic Peninsula this year... and really, there is. Allison, Pablo and Maya joined Avery, Geneva and me for four days of camping on the very edge of the continent, and it was spectacular. So spectacular, in fact, that I don't really know what to say. Describing the crumbling sea stacks, the bright mist, the living greens of the forest and water would not do them any kind of justice. Likewise, the time spent among truly good people loses something in the retelling. There were hikes and naps and chats around the campfire, but mostly there was a sense-- at least, for me-- that it didn't really matter what we were doing. It was enough just to be in the beauty of the world with friends who know who you are and like you that way.

 The pictures we brought back with us can give you an idea of where we went and what we saw. As for the peace and camaraderie... well, come with us next time!

Pablo, Allison, Maya, and Avery descending a headland

Driftwood see-saw

Pablo and Maya, teetering and tottering

One beach south of our campsite


The locals

A patch of blue sky

Sandy Geneva

Maya and Geneva share a kiss

Maya practicing her steps

Roughhousing with Daddy

Avery and his girl

Geneva, amidst the rocks and driftwood



Raccoon tracks

Maya sleeping while Pablo navigates a tricky climb

A quiet cove

Pablo washing dishes in the surf

Allison and Maya running to help

A bucket full of treasures

A bucket full of Geneva

Hiking out

Geneva and me on the ferry home