Lisa Bondurant

My photo
I spend my time raising kids, gathering eggs, cutting wood, scoping out trees for tapping, making syrup in the last days of winter, watching my garden NOT grow in the summer, writing, wishing that there were more hours on the clock for sleeping.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Of all these things you taught me...

 ...when it rains...
 a single drop of rain. A tiny drop hurdling down through the thickening layers of atmosphere. Speeding down, down to land on the sharp granite shoulders of the Great Divide. Half flows west, carving  free a small bit of ancient mountain. Sweeping down through chattering ice cold streams that brush across high deserts, beneath towering redwoods. Shaping canyons and fertile valleys, carrying small bits of it's journey in a swirling current,  as it heads ever towards the great blue Pacific Ocean.
 Half flows east towards the powerful Atlantic,  rolling out before it's power- prairies and massive rivers and fertile deltas that feed the cities and towns of a country full of dreamers. A single drop of water changing every thing it touches and passes as it heads towards the ocean of it's destiny.
  When it rains, I do not just hear the passing of that single drop of water or it's splatter upon dry earth. I can not because I had great teachers in my life. Wonderful teachers that gave me their love of learning. Great teachers whose voices dripped so with excitement and passion, that it excited me and made me desperate to learn more and more. Many of these teachers I was lucky enough to be related to. My Uncle who taught me how that single drop of water carved and shaped the lands of our planet. My mother, who taught me how settlements were made or broken by land formations made by those waters and fall lines. My father whose sweeping  arms and dramatic voice carried me across land and time, as he taught me the history of  this land we walk on.There were also the teachers that did not have a subject so powerful as land or water or history, but were such good teachers that they could make anything they taught exciting. The teachers, that could teach that a drop of rain was so much more than just a drop of  sterile water, that made no impact on this Earth.
 So, with the rain I hear the voices of my teachers, wonderful teachers that taught me to listen closer, to hear more and see bigger. The teachers that pulled flat, dry words from a text book page and built from them a world huge and vibrant, that their students could step into like an ocean. An ocean they would want to swim in forever. The teachers, that like a drop of rain, change everything in their paths, in small ways, that make huge differences in the end.
 So, it is raining today and I am thinking of my teachers. Many who no longer walk this Earth with me, but who's voices always will, because they were that good!
I am thinking of my children's teachers, who I have come to treasure, because they are that good!
I am thinking of how so many in this world do not value them as they should be and dismiss them, as if they are of little value.
I am concerned, that these teachers of my children, will not know that they are, and always will be the tiny drop of rain that shapes and changes the souls they teach and the path they travel.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Changing

A cabin on Gum Run
  The rains fell warm and steady, tapping like a dancer on the tin roof all through the night. The wind swirled through the oak trees above and rumbled the rafters. My five year old woke me in the night, his eyes big as he looked towards the ceiling.
"Why is it so noisy in this night," he asked?
"The seasons are changing," I told him. It was a comforting sound to me after the scorching forest fires and the long days of making syrup, but to him it was unsettling.
"Don't worry, you are a little chipmunk safe and snug in your log. Safe from cold rain and tugging winds."
He shook his head unsure.
"It is the night that is so scary though!," he whispered."The night is so dark and noisy and big.Why is the night so angry?"

Spring floods, Gum Run

"The night is not angry," I assure him. "It only seems like that.The mountains are happy tonight because they know spring is here. The only thing out there in the dark is your sugar trees that give us syrup, and the rivers that our sugar trees drink from, and the rains that feed the rivers, and the winds that our trees love to dance in.You will see in the light of day, now sleep little chipmunk. You are safe with your momma chipmunk, snug in your log, warm safe and dry."

  In the morning he asked to see the rivers that the sugar trees drink from. The rivers sweep past like excited chattering crowds, so fast as if they can not wait to see what lays around the next bend in the land and mountain.
"They are in a hurry," he tells me in amazement. "They must want to get to where they are going, because it must be a great place to get to."
He reached into the air as if trying to pull something unseen from it.
"But where is the snow? Will it come back soon? Will we make sugar today," he asked?
"No sugar today," I tell him. "No sugar making till next winter comes again. But now we will bottle the syrup."

      He shrugs as if this makes sense. "Bottling season," he announces. "First is the snow season. Then the sugar season. Now the bottling season. I think we have a lot of fun and yummy seasons in the mountains," he tells me. "I think the sugar trees love it here in the mountains, because they have lots of rivers to drink from and wind to dance in and because they think the night is not big and scary. Even if the chipmunk thinks it is."
Cooling bottles of syrup on the Home Comfort Range


Saturday, March 5, 2011

World as Told By Boy.

As you read this, remember one thing, all I did was follow behind, take pictures and listen.
 I Listened as boy explained the world to a new friend.

                                                                  World as told by Boy.
"I like you too, puppy."

"This is the biggest play set on the play ground, puppy. It is the dominate play set on the play ground," he told her. "Just like the dominate dog in a pack."

"Your licks are tickley."

"It tickles."

"This is grass, puppy. Grass is good. Grass has sun on it and is good for lazy," he said.

"Come on, puppy, we're going to the woods! The woods are full of wild things," he whispers.
"Wild, dangerous things like poison ivy and green briers. Watch out for green briers, puppy. Green briers are naughty, very naughty!"

"This is a log, puppy." 

"Logs are for walking on," said boy.

"No, walk this way, puppy!"

"This is a dirt pile, puppy. It is my favorite dirt pile."

"Dirt piles are best for digging."

"These are leaves, puppy. Leaves are for jumping- into -fun!"

"These are sisters, puppy. They talk too much about dolls, but they give good hugs."

"This is my puppy, puppy. She has been a puppy for a long time."

"You been a puppy long?"