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Gratitude

The following song is an offering from Nick, who visits his uncle Mitcho from time to time in those far out hills of Yorkville.  Two years ago they performed a few songs at the Anderson Valley Variety Show.  They stood out to me, rocking' out with their wild selves.  The gratitude Nick has for the valley in this song is evident.

Oh my little darlin won't you come see me….

I've got a live mini-model micro-graft tree

like a parapet it has no front or back door

from it you can see from the forest to the shore 

windows all around and perched out on a limb 

it's a conical, barnacle, caterpillar den.

Usnea is the lichen and its growing from the tree

It's a fungus and an algae just as plain as you can see

Coyote bush howling from the midges makin' galls

it's an acorn granary hear the pileated calls

Manzanita berries and an orange bellied newt

California King snake in her black n' white suit

there's a wild boar family rooting grubs on the hill 

and we'll be hunting matzatakis just to put em' on the grill

When the sun comes up I'm going down to the creek

there's a hawk on the ridge and a beetle at my feet

the hawk wants a rat and he's looking for a treat 

but I haven't got a clue at what that little beetle eats

* * *

Here's an offering of my own about a book from my childhood.

When I turned four years old my mother gave me a book called Rain by Peter Spier.  I loved this book, it was one of my favorites. The story centered on two children, a brother and a sister and their rainy day explorations.  What made this book unique was that there was no words to it; just pictures.  It started out in the sandbox where the sister holds out her hand to feel the rain.  Next, the kids go inside, where their mom helps them get on rain coats, boots, and gives them umbrellas.  From there, they check out the world again now altered with the rain all around them. Several smaller pictures grace each page, illustrating their activities: jumping in puddles, checking out a huge spider web with pearls of rain adorning it, going in the river with the ducks, spying two squirrels under the shielding branch of a tree, walking down the sidewalk and getting splashed from a passing car.  Towards the end of the book the rain and wind picks up and they run home where the idealistic warm baths, hot cocoa and cookies await them.  The book illustrates the rest of the evening, and ends in the morning, bright, sunny and quenched, where the kids run out to the sand box again.  My mom recently sent me this book in the mail; torn covers, my mom's famous diagonal inscription from 1983 in the corner of the page.  The pages smelled the same, more like a whole library than just one book.  When I got it in the mail I got teary-eyed.   Nastalgia is such a fascinating feeling.  I wanted to be a little girl again, with my mother turning the pages for me, with the soft intonation of her voice explaining all the details of every picture.  It was also a book I could experience by myself, without needing to read.  I'm so grateful for this book.  I'm so grateful for my mother. Lastly even as a writer, I am utterly grateful for those poignant moments in life that need no words to define them.

Please send your own poem, story or song of gratitude to Bernadette at tobegratefulava@gmail.com.

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