a braid, of sorts

i live about an hour's drive from tupper lake.
to visit the park (adirondack forest preserve)
i drive through vast stretches of forest,
known as the five ponds wilderness area
when i moved to the north country
35 years ago, i landed in star lake
down the road from tupper lake.
where, yesterday, i journeyed
to wind up at the WILD CENTER.
the meander path 
is human made and 
tinted with the iron of our geology
(there were iron ore mines closeby)
and textured with the trees.

  i left the camera in the car
so when i returned later to photograph, the bright light had 
turned to 
rain, so photos were challenging.
 the attention to detail everywhere
shake you up.
 these hold my hand nicely,
which surprised me.

 it's simple really
 but so beautiful
this architecture...
 so like outside
 in the small theater 
i sat in a fine seat
ready for a talk
given by robin wall kimmerer.
she spoke in story and science words
and read from braiding sweetgrass.
she held a braid of sweetgrass as she spoke to us, 
showed us pictures, 
asked us for our questions,
prompted some answers...
i introduced myself after
 (i'd brought my book)
but i'm afraid my copy is full of book marks and notes 
and from her talk i made more notes
 i did ask her to sign it for me
 she graciously did. 
i thought about her words
all the way home
through cranberry lake
and to my new home near the blue line.
when you get to meet someone you 
respect so much,
well it can be a watershed moment: 
it was.
it became evident to me that this woman 
is a teacher, and it would be such a fine thing
to be her student
at ESF in syracuse.
but for me, i will read her words
try to
remember her words, 
and talk to the plants with the respect that they,
our first teachers
must have.


 thursday there was so much good news:
my sister claudia macdonald, 
got her masters in school administration degree.
she did it just days before she turns 71! 
my hero.
and my friend wendy
wrote about textiles and healing
in the on-line hand eye
with lots of captioned photos 
crediting the textile makers, too,
of her healing work with and children.
my first botanical paper and shifu book is there.
there was other book news in north russell:
housed in this birch box
is a letterpress book set
and the words
are excerpts from
who just graduated from esf
(another masters degree!)
was interning at the center and helped with
making the cover papers...
she sent me this.
she took it to dr kimmerer's office 
also at esf,
and had her sign it for me.
such a treasure,
words, well, they fail me...
the illustrations:
one in each booklet,
are lovely, too.
fiber raining down
pink maple seeds, too.
circlet of sweetgrass.