Added Instruments in the Canyon’s Symphony

On my first lap up the canyon this morning I had to stop momentarily to soak in the view. It was barely light enough to see where I was running, but the clear, dawning sky allowed the mountain ridges to stand in stark relief against it. Every tree, rock or indentation was intensely vivid without the sunshine to diffuse the light and spread a wash of brightness over everything. Pre-dawn feels magical to me. It’s my favorite time of day. The owls are still hooting to each other across the valley and I’m ever so fortunate to be here, right now, with them.

Today, I’m substitute teaching at MVA, the local, part-time public school for the home-schoolers. It’s one of my favorite places to work as these kids are, for the most part, allowed the freedom and the time to explore things more at their own pace. Today is a half day, and when I get back home I will tutor another home-schooler in reading, writing, and arithmetic. Last year, we covered all the multiplication tables through the twelves and he now knows them by heart. He writes wonderful, imaginative stories, practices the vanishing art of cursive writing. and we work on fun science together.

Last week we picked up five new chickens from one of my Dance Centre students. My son Chance and my five-year-old grandson Ian came with me to help capture our new feathered friends. Once we got home, it was quite dark, which made it much easier to treat the chickens for potential mites or other nuisances. We each had a job. Ian held the door of the pet carrier closed. Chance held each bird while I smeared Vaseline and tea tree oil on their legs. Then my husband Kent dusted them with diatomaceous earth. The sleepy heads barely knew what was being done to them. Now, at last, we’re getting plenty of eggs to feed our family.

Construction has officially begun on my grandmother’s Cedar Fire rebuild. A week ago Monday, we had the big cement pour. I had tried to convince my daughter Kali to let Ian skip school to watch this exciting event. He’s one of those little boys who could watch big trucks and tractors all day long. What’s he going to remember from whatever he did at school on that Monday anyway? The images of big cement trucks finagling their way in the dirt road and up to the construction site, along with the pumper engine pushing the gushing gray sludge out the huge snake-like hose, requiring massive strength from the guy holding the end of the serpent, is probably more likely to stick with him.