Tag Archives: Gorgeous Mother Nature

NaPoWriMo 2015 Day 12: Round Like Balance

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Today’s prompt over at NaPoWriMo.net is a lot easier for me to wrap my head around than yesterday’s:

Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.

Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.

Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!

Okay then!  My favorite place for some time now has been a perfectly round hill tucked in a valley between two mountains in the Briançonnais region of the department of the Hautes Alpes of France.  I lived in Briançon for a few years and came to know some of the mountains like the back of my hand, and there are pieces of my heart and soul that remained there after I left my beloved France to return home to the US.

Last June I wrote this post in response to a prompt from a WordPress Writing 101 course.  When I read today’s NaPoWriMo prompt I said to myself, “Ok, dear, let’s not reinvent the wheel.  You know what your favorite place is.  Find that post from last year and make a poem!” Ah, I love the internets.  I went to my list of the 504 posts I’ve published on Yoga Mom, searched for “mountain” and voilà! There was my favorite place described in detail…ahh, the nostalgia.  Here’s a blurb from that post followed by the poem I constructed from it for today’s NaPoWriMo offering:

If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briançon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briançon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day…

 

Drive up the winding mountain road,
park in the little village.
Now hike in.

Magical.  

Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers,
mountain breeze,
sunshine, heaven.
Mushrooms here and there–
Maybe a fairy or an elf
will saunter by.

Stop every now and again
along the winding mountain path
to 
sip some water,
breathe the most gorgeous perfume
of  fallen pine needles,
rich earth,
wildflowers, rock.
Round le Mélézin and
face the hot sun beating down.
Laying eyes the hill,
now climb it.

Sit and watch life unfold from this vantage point
cradled there between the two peaks–
a proper hill,
a BIG hill,
a hill that is steep and rocky on one side
gently sloping on the other.
Choose your steps
rock to rock,
across a rushing stream,
pick your way through mushy grass
wet with the spring thaw
melting into summer.
The greenest grass,
marmots scrambling,
sheep pastured for the summer,
their bells
peppering their bleats
with the monotone music
of intermittent clanging.

At the far end of the valley,
a shallow, ice cold torrent,
melt-off from the surrounding peaks
–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July,
icy refreshment
to soothe and invigorate
this body, so hot after a long hike. 

Be brave.
with nothing but the blue sky,
birds, marmots,
and some sheep to witness your courage–
strip down,
take a dip for a few AHA seconds,
hands cupping ice water
pouring over face and body,
shivering.

Get dressed now.
Tingling skin
warming in the sun,
walk back to the beautiful round hill,
round like the earth,
round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation,
round like wholeness,
like completeness,
round like balance.

 

 

At Home in the Mountains

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Earlier this week my family and I hiked a trail through Albion basin, up to Cecret Lake. This photo doesn’t nearly capture the amazing wildflowers that were in bloom everywhere.  I wish I could send you the smell of the Alpine forest and the feel of the wind.

Albion Wildflowers

Today we took a tram up from Snowbird to an altitude of 11,000 feet.  Not as many trees, but there were lots of wildflowers, beautiful clouds, open sky, incredible vistas.

Mountain Horses

Whenever I’m up in the mountains, a peace comes over me, and a joy.

Mountain Horses 2

Maybe the combination of the resins from the trees, the scent of the earth, and the wildflowers is aromatherapeutic.

Sky Mountains Flowers

Maybe the wind reminds me to breathe…and the cool air revitalizes my senses.

snowbird

But I don’t really need to understand why.  There are no words to describe this feeling of being at home when I’m so close to the sky and can see for many miles.  Every time I leave the majestic peaks, I count the seconds until I can get back again.  I hope the mountains will call me back home to them soon.

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A Recipe for Happiness

Start with sunshine
and vibrant wildflowers.
Pour in generous quantities of blue sky.
Add plenty of Earth.
Garnish with Rocks.
Serve on a bed of trees
and drizzle on top a touch of wind scented with nature’s finest perfume.
Season with your appreciation,
say a prayer of thanksgiving.

Sit down at Nature’s banquet table,
Sip delicately the broth of heaven.
It only takes a little sip.
Then–
Smile broadly, jump up, and dance for joy!

 

 

Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With a View

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Embed from Getty Images

Day 2 of Writing 101, here I come!  When I read today’s prompt, I had no trouble choosing the subject of my post, there wasn’t a shred of indecision in my mind.  Here’s what we were asked to do:

Today, choose a place to which you’d like to be transported if you could — and tell us the backstory. How does this specific location affect you? Is it somewhere you’ve been, luring you with the power of nostalgia, or a place you’re aching to explore for the first time?

Yes, definitely somewhere I’ve been, definitely luring me with the power of nostalgia. Here goes!

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If I could go anywhere right this second, it would have to be a little hill nestled in a high mountain valley close to Briancon, France, in the department of the High Alps (les Hautes-Alpes).  The first apartment I lived in during my time in Briancon boasted a lovely view of countless mountains including two which I came to know intimately– le Mélézin and la Roche Motte.  From my apartment window I could just make out the valley in between the two peaks.  I remember wanting to go there, curious about that valley for several months, and then one day, driving up the winding mountain road, parking in a little village, and hiking in.  Magical.  Pine forest, gorgeous wildflowers, mountain breeze, sunshine, heaven.  Mushrooms here and there–I expected a fairy or an elf would just saunter by at any moment. The path was winding and long and I stopped every now and again to sip some water and breathe in the most gorgeous perfume of  fallen pine needles, rich earth, wildflowers, and rock.  I rounded le Mélézin and faced the hot sun beating down upon me. When I came upon the hill, I just knew I had to climb it and sit and watch life happen from this vantage point.  I never knew the hill was there until I hiked in and saw it cradled there between the two peaks–a proper hill, a BIG hill, a hill that was steep and rocky on one side and gently sloping on the other.  I chose my steps carefully, from rock to rock, across a rushing stream, and then I picked my way through some mushy grass, wet with the spring thaw melting into summer. The greenest grass, marmots scrambling, sheep pastured for the summer, hearing the bells they wore clanging intermittently, peppering their bleats with monotone music…at the far end of the valley, a shallow, ice cold torrent of melt-off from the surrounding peaks–the wonder of seeing snow in the middle of July, and I was so hot after my long hike.  I was also completely alone, with nothing but the blue sky and the birds and the marmots and the sheep to witness me summoning my courage, stripping off my clothes, taking a dip for a few refreshing AHA seconds, water just up to my ankles, feet nearly numb, hands cupping icy water to pour over face and body…and then dressed again, tingling skin warming up in the sun, walking back to the beautiful round hill, round like the earth, round like a woman in her 40th week of gestation, round like wholeness, like completeness, round like balance.  And I was fulfilled, I was content, snacking on fruit, bread, cheese, nuts, dark chocolate, drinking water collected from the village fountain, water collected straight from the mountain spring, water of life.

I dream of this place, surrounded as I am today by the sprawl of urban progress.  I dream of going back to my mountain heaven, taking my little children with me.  Walking the path I walked, watching them sniff the scent of pine needles, of wind, of wildflowers, of perfection.  I want for them to hear the marmots’ whistles, and I want to hear them laugh at how they waddle quickly to return to their burrows when they get spooked.  My children were with me that first day on the hill, as they have been with me since before I was born.  The dream of them came to me when I was resting on the hill one melancholy day, looking up at the impossibly blue sky.  I was grieving and had gone back to the hill for her solace, her wisdom. I knew, in spite of my sadness, that one day my belly would be round like this hill.

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Do any of you read French? Are any of you French?  Here’s a little blurb for my francophones out there:

Je rêve à retourner en France.  Ce pays est dans mon cœur et il me manque terriblement, une manque qui me touche au plus profonde de mon être. Le jour òu j’ai quitté la Françe, j’ai laissé une partie de mon cœur, et il n’est plus entière depuis. Cette partie m’appelle de loin, et je l’entends, et quelque fois c’est la torture. Parfois je me souviens de mes experiences là-bas, et je me r’appelle de me sentir bien assimilée dans la culture–après 9 ans aux E.U., je continue à me sentir plus française qu’américaine.  J’imagine que ce sera mon état d’esprit pour toujours.

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Here’s my poem of the day:

The mountains are in my heart,
they’re in my soul
and for nine years I have wanted to return to them.

Why am I in the city when I feel most fulfilled walking in the forest,
hiking up a mountain, heart pounding, lungs full of fresh air?

Real life has taken over I suppose,
but perhaps one day this real life
will take me back to the place I miss so much
so that I can find the piece of my heart that stayed behind
when I left nine years ago.

Embed from Getty Images