Friday, March 26, 2010

Babies, Adult Kids and Wolves - Oh My, Politics Too

Just added a couple of notches to my G'Ma badge by way of spending time with the two youngest grandchildren ( 2 months and 2 years) at the cabin. It was Maxine's introduction to snow. There is still magic in a world that allows a young child to be absolutely delighted by the natural world and take joy in so much that we adults take for granted. I think all adults could benefit from slipping into that world of make-believe that is so much part of a child's life.

Spending time in close proximity with one's adult children is a an interesting lens through which to see the world anew too. Your parenting comes back full circle as you watch them interact with their own children. I marvel at this six foot tall son of mine and his patience and gentleness with his lively daughter and two month old son. His unabashed devotion and love for the family he and Annie have created is heartwarming and I like to think stems from the love I hold for him.

We watched one morning from the snugness of the cabin as a Mexican Grey Wolf crossed the big meadow - picking his way through the snow, alertness in every movement, silent. Later the same day a massive Bald Eagle played on the thermals, soaring back and forth across the ponds - what a gift from nature.

Meanwhile back in the real world, a persistant President and courageous elected representatives have passed a major health care reform bill - OK, so it's not perfect but what it does afford millions is hope! My twentynine year-old son is one of those with a "pre-existing" condition and unable to get medical insurance these past four years. One of my closest friends died of ovarian cancer two years ago - her health insurance running out before her will to live did the same. I wince with embarrassment and dismay to hear John McCain, Arizona's senior Senator announce, "there will be no more cooperation this year" as he churlishly stomps on his own once fine record of bipartisanship. I want to shout "oh grow up" to all the posturing, foul-mouthed, hate-mongering men and women populating the airwaves and internet. And here in my own adopted state of Arizona (been here since 1981) the Governor is about to sign into law a bill allowing any adult to carry a concealed weapon anywhere without the benefit of first securing a permit.

Snow on the ground still up north and my somewhat wimpy car looks a bit like that old ad for Range Rover - coated with mud and the skid plate torn off after I tussled with a snowbank after sliding off the mud-slicked lane. The transition from high country to desert at any season never ceases to delight and this ride back down was so giving in beauty. From creeks breaking through ice-crusts to the slow transfer to high grassland, still brown and winter jaded, and then the lower desert just bursting into wild flower glory. Purple lupins, orange poppies, bright pink penstemons dotting the hillsides and verges with bursts of color - nature does color combinations better than any designer I know.

Back here in the desert my hillside is a riot of yellows and purples as brittlebush and verbena compete for attention. In the side courtyard friesias, tangerine-cross vine and jasmine crowd out the little space. Lettuce seeds I sowed just last week have already germinated and the 'ever-giving' strawberry plant is covered in tiny white blossom. My citrus trees, still bearing fruit have put out the first sweet-scented blossoms, the fig tree - so gangly and unimpressive during the winter has new leaves - proof it survived, and on the back terrace the wisteria is tentatively leafing - hurrah, spring has arrived!

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