How Shall I Call My Spirit In ? (OS Archives 2012)

How shall I call my spirit back in...

...when she has been dancing among the forest trees?



                                                                      How shall I persuade her to come                                                                                    home...

                                                                       when her perspective has changed? 


 How shall I ask her to squeeze back into the boxes, fences, boundaries of space that surround family life, or ask her to thrive in choppy allotments of time, or to soar in low-ceilinged compartments...

...when she's been one with the forest, it's timeless richness soaking into her very cells?


When her skin has been tickled by clean breezes all day and all night, her lungs have been cleansed by fresh oxygen just exhaled by her daily companions, the redwoods, hemlock and fir?

She and they, who together have grinned and swayed when soaked in the daily rolling in, rolling out, of the sea's veil of fog? Who together have grinned and swayed when rocked by the sea's blustery breeze?


For the past two weeks, I have been playing in the deep woods, the woods on the edge, the ones that grow right to the sea, where for me, there is no loneliness, where for me, anxiety has no wide ledges to land. Usually.


I have been floating on smiles of old friends, laughter among kindred spirits. I have been relishing in the damp sea air, ferns, shamrocks named oxalis, and fabulously singular creations of art made abundantly by this seaside community's citizens.















My heart has been beating to redwood rainforest rhythms, almost forgotten rhythms, a melody sung deep in my bones long ago when I first came to this part of the world, when my love and I first lived together and sang our hearts' songs, raised our two boys for awhile and brought to earth our third.


When here, I drink in the silence.





And now, now that we must leave this ever green world, how shall I persuade her to come? How shall I coax, cajole, call in my forest-drunk Petra Pan spirit?

Coax her home, home to the town life, to our family life...

to tame life?


I summon one thought, one strong and purely grateful promise, one that brings a smile to my lips and beckons my recalcitrant spirit right back from the wild.


Just two words.



 Indoor plumbing.

RATE: 38

JANUARY 19, 2012 10:42PM

delightful escape! I think you should NOT call your spirit in, but rather she should keep luring you out and away...all the way home to yourself. R
Great punch line. Sounds like such a wonderful trip in a magical place. Beautiful photos - may that peace stay with you for a long, long, time.
This was lovely, your words painted images in my mind. I can feel the redwoods calling me to walk on sponge-like ground. Looking at your photos I could smell the rich earth. Home will always be in that place for me. Thank you for bringing this beauty to us.
Oooooh, lovely. I like the ethereal quality of this post. Where were you?

Yay! This is wonderful. I agree...the sublime exposure of spirit to earth can be tempered by the love of modern comforts. A little of this, and a little of that; always.
Safe journeys my friend into the beauty of the world.
You didn't have to call! Mother Nature did! Beautiful photos!
Wonderful narrative and photos. The humor at the end caught me off guard! Good job.

Reminds me of those formative years when I could sit on fallen pines, wedged between their kin, sitting high above the forest floor, listening to the birds and other animal sounds.


Jt everytime you let out more of yourself I realize: We have to meet.
Cool and beautiful post.
Hoping for you to come East.
♥╚═══╝╚╝╚╝╚═══╩═══╝─╚For calling your spirit with fine images and words..
It is hard for me to comment here Just.
I know this call too well. But I also know the call of a hot water heater and indoor plumbing.
When you return, try to keep that peaceful feeling close to heart and remember it well. And know you can return again to drink deep yet once again.
Great punch line! It is truly an up-scale outhouse that has a wood stove.
I was so caught up in the poetry and what turned into a beautiful, sensual narrative. . . Then I was knocked out -- by the punch line. Very clever!
Indoor plumbing is certainly a strong argument for any spirit. I find myself, as I grow older, yearning for the deep pine forests of my youth.....different from yours, but the same in so many ways.
I love this! Beautifully written. More please ;)
Coax her! Marvelous!!!
This post is full of such beauty - and ends with a very big truth!
This was an adventure after my own heart. You invited us into a place that was completely wonderful and inspiring.
nature is an intoxicating, hardcore drug for me...and you are a kindred spirit I see...this was lovely and the way your writing moved me was special...thank-you
Beautiful post, with cute kicker at the end.

I'm lucky to live in the woods. Not a lush and deep and removed from civilization as in your pictures, but still soul-soothing. Can venture out, and then return to indoor plumbing, etc.

I guess I'm plonking and Gerald was making a joke, but that's a vent. pipe, not a chimney... Still, as outhouses go, that's a snazzy one.
Oh, my, oh my own spirit -- left! You showed her the pictures, and dang! if she didn't just hop right outta me and jump into them! Lass ~ I know every word, and every leaf in the lovely travelogue. You have made sacred my once-home, and I will cherish these. You have captured the Redwood Forest perfectly, deep from within, and from below to the skies. Majestic. I lived there, inside the forest, in big tent encampments when I was a hippie Mama at the end of the 60's. Carlotta. I got married there too, along the VanDuzen, and had my girl, so we are kindred. Gorgeous work, and aaah...! Thank you! ~ Big R.
Ha! Oh to combine the two somehow...
Thanks for taking me along...and bringing me back. An appreciation for plumbing brings us all back to the boxes eventually. No harm letting your spirit wander awhile longer, tho.
This is a deep and lovely post. I have never seen redwoods, but now want to more than ever. "My heart has been beating to redwood rainforest rhythms," Oh my. ~r
Persistent: As long as I keep heading back out to the woods here and there, we co-exist pretty was harder this time to choose I noticed. : )
I appreciate your cheerleading for being lured out! Thanks for coming by.

trilogy: Thanks, it's always wonderful and a bit bittersweet to re-visit an old hometown and old friends. Thanks for that, may peace stay with you too. two. four. 
may you get some sleep. : )

L'heure, I didn't know you were from the redwoods! Sponge-like ground. Yes, that's it. It is true for me as well, that these woods are my home woods even if I wasn't born here. These are the woods I learned the most about, the most in. : )
Nice to see you, how was your trip??

Thanks, Helvetica, I couldn't resist.

Lezlie, we were in N. Ca. back in the college town we lived in during the 90s. Thanks for that 'lovely' comment. 'Ethereal quality' is nice to read too : ) Glad you liked ! Nice to see you, as always, Lezlie.

You get it, Maureen. I didn't even mind that outhouse, mostly. Just got to the twelve day mark and thought, "I'm ready to go home now." : ) Nice to have you come by.

Thanks, Linda! Beauties of the urban world? 
You show those well : )

mhold: *snort* Ha! You are so clever. I can so picture you and my husband out witting each other around the table...I've said this before, haven't I? : )
Thanks, I Love Life, I wasn't quite expecting this post to go that way, so I was surprised too. : ) But it is true that I was so ready for a mirror, to not have to look out for wildlife at night on the way to and fro...

dunneiteowl: There were pines ringing the lake in my childhood-- I'll bet you had some lovely reveries up on those logs, funny how easy it all seemed then to scamper up and down : )

Rita: I think that's a fine idea : ) and thanks for that! 

Thanks, Algis : ) 

I appreciate that, Mission, and I'm not surprised you have some connection here...nice to see you : )
O !!
You posted, & I missed it ? !! ;-)
This is wonderful, Just Thinking, like a draught of forest air, 
a cupped palmful of cold creekwater.
I love the way you cropped the photos, to accentuate
the soaring highness of the trees,
down to the detail on the forest floor.
The pictures of the details in the local town, too :-)
What we call a 'holiday' ~ what an understatement !
The wild re-charges us, gives us strength.
Old connections re-newed, memories re-assured.
Fitting back into town ... insidious business,
watching our freedoms ( but not our souls, no ) trickle away again ...
you caught them here
so well.
This is a beautiful page. Thank you. Enjoy the plumbing ;-)
Mission, I keep re-reading your comment...I know you relate to this well. I still miss those Smokies/near-the-Smokies, there's nothing like them anywhere else. These redwoods have found their way in to my heart though : )

Thanks, daisy jane : ) You describe the tree grove so well, there's one near us I love to climb into the middle for stumps, aren't they wonderful ghosts? I saved some photos of those for a different day, but hope to find time to write about them as well...
Nice to see you!

Gerald: A woodstove....fueled by dung? Ha! Oh, I couldn't resist.
No, that is a vent. The hippies have kept alive and improved on this method of sanitation since the 70s here in the Pac NW....and Vermont.... Most outhouses have vents, often opening windows, insulation, with a bucket of wood-ash and a bucket of sawdust side by side, a scoop each when needed, for fly-free and odor-free comfort. 
Now, back to that woodstove, we could solve the freezing seat issue...
I appreciate you coming by! I hope this reply didn't scare you away forever : )

Thanks, Fusun, nice to see you, I kind of surprised myself with the end there. : )

David, I also understand the pull for those piney woods...I grew up in N. Georgia's white pines. Something about those needles, that scent...I've eyed them for planting here at our house, but if I planted all the trees I long to, they'd be a foot apart here on our .29 acres...
Thanks for coming by : )

Thanks, TaosGirl, I plan to -- and I'm glad you came by, I'm reminded that I want to get back over to you! You have some great 'wild' tales : )

tr ig: I swear, I am always having to coax that spirit of mine out of the woods : ) But it's so much nicer there! Stress disappears...and there's been plenty of that to go around this year. Ick.
Ooops, meant to add, nice to have you come by, tr ig : )
Dearest Alysa, 
Thank you for your kind and discreet comment, and for not shrieking, 
"Agggghhhhh!! How can you go off into that horrible forest without one speck of cement anywhere, no historical landmarks, no jostling of humanity, no screech of the subway, no boulangeries, no patisseries (did I spell those correctly?)!!!???"
Fondly, JT
How did I miss this ... and how I do love it ...
I will have to come back in the morning for more replies...zzzzzzzzzz.
Thanks so much for coming by : )
Thanks, Jon : )

Thanks, Sheila, I appreciate your stopping in. An adventure after your own heart, eh? Even with the outhouse? : ) The forest was worth it I thought, hanging around husband while he's looking for work far from home was worth it too.

Well, hi Heidi : ) Nice to see you! I like your choice of descriptors for how you feel about nature...I am realizing more and more how I just do not thrive in town. Such balances to readjust here and there.
Myriad, I'd love to visit the woods near you again soon. It's beautiful where you are and so much of my family lives near you, I'm a hankerin' for a road trip. You do have the best of both worlds, indoor plumbing and the forest. Hopefully, if I ever get to live back in the forest proper, I'll get that plumbing going too. : ) And yes, that is a proper hippie outhouse, with vent and sawdust and wood-ash....although it did have a slightly disturbing downhill lean. The view down into the canyon behind there was lovely...
This is too odd to go on and on about the facilities, but I did bring this on myself, didn't I? : ) Thanks for coming by!

Songbird! Humboldt is so lovely an area, isn't it? We lived there for years, my husband longer than I, but we still have very dear friends there and it seems to stay on the top of our 'visit' list. The irony of it all is that we left there due to the economy never getting flush there in the 90s and now my husband is back there on the ever enlarging job search while our own biz gets going. Tough for even the most skilled carpenters, the best carpenter! right now...
I did make this seem like a long vacation I guess, and it was, for me at least. It has been awhile since I've been off in a cabin in the woods...all I want to do is go back. 
So nice to have you come by : )
Songbird, by the way, was that you skinny-dipping with me in the Eel that one weekend ?? : )
I have been to this place. I love it there, or here or wherever our minds allow it to be. Really, really lovely.
what a beautiful retreat!!!! Thanks for this beautiful get-away...I needed this today!!
I was carried away and soaked in this magical place! Thank you!

I promise I will get to you, these last few comments....
....not that anyone is actually looking at this point, all these days later....
but I will! 
New Year's resolution. 
Answer back to comments from you lovely folks who bother to come over.
(Snickers heard from long-time friends still waiting for all those thank-you notes...) : )
Linnnn, this was a friend's rustic spot, but if/when I go live in the forest again, there will be indoor plumbing...most folks living in the woods have gotten there already : ) Nice to see you!

Thanks, maan. For some reason getting used to town again is taking longer this time, maybe I didn't really call her in as well as I thought I did : )

Joan: Never seen redwoods? Oh, I so hope you get a chance to. The trees in my photos are truly toddler redwoods, mere slivers of a full grown redwood. They brought out the same awed hush in me that the loveliest renaissance architecture would...

Thanks, clayball : ) Glad you came by.

Hi, Kim. So glad you just happened to find my post : )
It has taken forever to get to this reply, but I've been smiling at your comment, and thank you. Although careful of bacteria with the cupped palm of creek water...
The first soaring tree photo was taken while standing at the base of the tree, having fought several ferns taller than I to get to the base. I then just pointed up to frame it that way, no crop other than sizing for OS. 
The second was taken from inside the cabin, the first sight upon waking in the morning, so I lay down again to take the shot. I wanted to remember the soaring trees view even when I was back to town, waking up again to lacy birch tree branches with sparrows and juncos flitting in and out (yes, I will put a bed in any old angle just to wake up looking outside. If that's weird, well, okay). 
The redwood forest floor is wonderful, all spongy and damp, not very poisonous at all an environment, esp. compared to Georgia's poisonous creatures, or Australia's for god's sake. Those shamrocks are edible, high in Vitamin C, but also in tannic acid. Many medicinal plants grow in the redwoods, this is the area I know best that way. 
As I said to Joan, these are just so young, these trees I show here. The biggest trees can be 10 feet in diameter and 2000 years old -- the old growth forest exudes the most peaceful calm, like nowhere else I've ever been.
That area is stuffed with visual artists too, we had fun on Arts Alive! night wandering around, galleries, old friends, Vietnamese food, street music all around...
I cannot say this was a true holiday, although it was for Youngest and I, and I see I present it that way. He and I spent most days wandering along creek beds while my husband worked each day. He's having to go so far from home even to look for work now, we just wanted to live in the same place for a couple weeks.
2011 was a tough year that way, but we're lucky. Only the past year has been this way for us...and we're healthy... 
Nice to have you come by : )
anna1liese: Thanks so much for that, you're welcome anytime : )
I love it too...and now husband must go without me...*sigh*

Seer: Nice to see you! ...and yes, "home" indeed. In all of the places we've lived, I've tried to find at least one spot to ground in the area. It really helps when you move a lot, and now I have special spots to visit again all around the country. : )

john walker, I thank you for that comment, it made me smile. 

Thanks, Michelle, so glad you came by : ) Those redwoods can soothe even by photo! When our oldest was younger and labelled with ADHD, that forest and others, the beach, were often the one place I could relax with him. I've been grateful ever since, especially as that hyper energy of a boy has become a lovely young man.
Golden Phoenix, I love to see your avatar pop up on my page : )
It IS a magical place there. I feel humbled by my infinitesimal self when I enter those forests, especially the areas of old growth that's left. They ought to be treasured as much as certain ancient cathedrals and temples are, I believe...
Poetry, pictures, and a punchline!
Who could ask for anything more?
Ron, nice to have you come by : )
What a lovely meditation of being out of doors, outhouse included. I love those last tow words, but must also admit to being a little upset at its almost vulgarity compared to the sensitive beauty of the rest of the piece. Probably just me and the mood I'm in.
Best of both worlds, build a cabin in the middle of the forests. Oh, what a dream. Many blessings unto you.
"How shall I call my spirit back when she has been out dancing among the forest trees."

What a beautiful poem you have gifted us with. So much is being said and, just as importantly, being left unsaid. Thank you.
Nice piece, pics, and a great punch line. I'm lucky to be down the coast from you this month, in the land of redwoods, rather in freezing New England
Have come back once more ... 
thinking of you ... and of your spirit ...
still ...
anna, I am caught between worlds right now...cannot seem to place my feet on the ground. This is a good place I realize, I've been here before. My spirit is insisting on a new way, refuses to let my feet tread on the same path as before...
I cannot tell you how glad I am you came back : )
Thank you.
Looking at your words to Kim. I, too, would move my bed ... to any angle ... even standing on its head ... if ... by moving it ... and me ... I could look out ... and see ... the sea ...

Thinking of you ... and all your spirit moving ... still ...
Oh, I smiled at that, anna1liese, if I could move your bed for you and place the sea in your sight, the first sight each morning, and then mine could sit near the lake shore where the glassy surface soothes, the rippled surface excites....ahhh.
Just the imagining is somewhat blissful.
For now, I awake to the whites of birch bark trunks, usually greys at the time I awake, but on the weekends I will indulge and wait. The grey trunks turn pale pink as the light rises and then the sudden flash of morning's rays hit those trunks and it is as if those trunks gleam with the brilliance of the sun itself. 
They glow !
My weekend morning show. 
One thing I am grateful for.
...and if my bed were properly placed against the wall, I would miss it...miss Nature's morning show, staged just for my eyes and heart it feels...
This is Beautiful....Truly enjoyed this!
Missing that forest canopy.....

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