eagle solstice

there have been bald eagles this winter
four so far, 
two last trip into the forest preserve.
there were many years without eagles altogether,
so this is good.

 there was some snow left on the setback near newton falls last weekend.
 a real wilderness sense
despite being near old industrial sites
(newton falls paper mill, benson mines)
 and someone left an apple.
 now it's warm and the snow is gone and they're predicting rain and floods and wind
but it's
 i began the day early
finishing up the leftover pulp from the semester.
indigo pigmented abaca
may this solstice sustain your heart.


yesterday i taught a group
of adult hospice workers
how to make star books and an origami book.
they were a lovely bunch.
i came home so happy to have been asked to help non-art folks
make something with their hands
that maybe they can pass along.
one tiny book,
that becomes an ornament.
nancy moraines taught me this structure a long time ago.
and claire van vliet taught me the origami book
that i passed on.
(no photos, 
somehow it seemed to be a photo-free day.)
it creates a book that has change integral to the structure.
someone i know called this kind of thing a trick with a hole in it.
transformation is a peculiar thing.
these flip flops
 have been on the roadside for months
i don't know the story
but the snow increases intrigue.
the barn continues its disappearing act

 exposing the spot where the kids played and played
 i loaded the mow with hundreds of bales of hay
that i hauled off the meadow after baling
years ago.
 what memories this building has
30 years of our memories, 
and many more before
because many of the framing timbers were recycled.
 it's locking into cold now.
ice forming its own contour map.
 such a huge crop 
of wild grapes here this year.
 and i've been gathering milkweed bast
 gin sent me some milkweed bast, too,
a bit different than mine
 and this was another batch, 
field retted until there is quite a bit of gray.
cooked and ready for beating.
 these days walking has been rather gloomy
 which is what happens.
a ring around the sun
 as it sets
very subtle
but there.
i saw it.
two days ago.
 the cows, as ever, watch
and eat,
their sweet muck scent startling,
rich in the coldness.
 they watch me 
 i speak to them
sometimes the calves are skittish.
sometimes there is little
interest in me.
our concerns are perhaps not so different
 food, shelter, joy, daylight.
 december moves into solstice.