“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”
― Anatole France
We’ve been wandering a bit close to the proverbial bone in these parts of late.
We always think we have more time…..
Once upon a time, we went for one puppy, and came home with two.
We didn’t really intend to, it just happened. And it was perfect.
River was the unexpected one. And he lived a life of such heart….
“If you’ve been thinking you’re all that you’ve got,
Then don’t feel alone anymore.
When we’re together, then you’ve got alot,
‘Cause I am the river and you are the shore.”
“Winding and swirling and dancing along,
We pass by the old willow tree”
“And it goes on and on, watching the river run,
Further and further from things that we’ve done,
Leaving them one by one.
And we have just begun watching the river run.
Listening and learning and yearning.
Run, river, run.”
Iris and River have been together from the beginning. Though not litter mates, they came home to us as a pair and have been inseparable. We will have to keep an eye on our old girl now, and give her some extra love and attention and patience. Tonight, before River left us, she crawled into bed with him, as she’d done a thousand times before…..
Within an hour or so after that, he was gone. He had had a stroke in the afternoon, but seemed ok. Sure we are used to seizures in Iris and maybe with a little rest he’d be fine. But alas, he slipped away peacefully. For this peaceful passing we are deeply grateful, but it will be a long while yet until his presence has truly left our home.
For days, it seemed as if it would never stop raining.
We hunkered in our homes, all of us (including the Faeries, I do believe!) watching the gardens begin to awaken between raindrops and the rollercoaster weather patterns for which our region is known.
We tended our indoor plants as well, hungry to touch something green once again. We are all of us ready to go outside once more.
As the rain poured down, our normally babbling brooks not only rushed but eventually even did a fair amount of flooding. Up and over our little bridge and the drive. Thankfully, the flood waters only lapped up to the door, with nary a trickle actually making it indoors. We were lucky.
Eventually, the sun has shown here and there. And things are beginning to bud and bloom. Risky behavior for these intrepid plants, as warm days are still fleeting.
But bloom, they do.
While the streams rushed outside our doors, and the Ohio River and its tributaries raged closer to town, another far sweeter and gentler River has begun flowing…..
A new album of folk-styled music has been taking shape out in Seattle where my young friend Alex Sturbaum now lives. You may remember Alex from my post about his amazingly hand-crafted wedding a few months back. Recently Alex created a Kickstarter campaign for his River Run Wide project and it has been successfully funded (though there is always room for more)!! I was thrilled when he gave me a call and asked me if I might be able to produce some art work to contribute to the design of the CD and it’s wee booklet.
There are so many tales to be told and behold through Alex’s music -both via traditional songs he’s interpreted for this solo album as well as his charming original works. Narratives rich in visual detailing and a sense of nostalgia for something just out of reach. You can practically smell the salt air of a ship’s passage in his maritime songs….
You can feel the pull of a mighty river and maybe hear the voices of those working it just over the lapping of the river waves on shore…..
There is a longing for home that music such as this evokes. It may very well be a sense of home which can never be quenched.
Congratulations to Alex, and his talented band of merry, music-making friends, with whom I’ve shared a number of late night sing-alongs. May this album head into the world and encourage more singing, more gathering and telling of old tales, more joy in the making of music.