Think…of the world you carry within you.
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
Lists, by Sarah Elizabeth Burns
Green, Green, How I Crave You, Green
Green, green, how I crave you, green
new Sword Fern green
first press olive oil in Umbria green
Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass green
Chinese jade bracelet green
Allium Gigante’s strong stem green
vert-gris park chairs in Jardin du Luxumbourg green
blackberry bud green
my husband’s green eyes green
watercress salad green
lichen dripping from the trees green
green-and-pink-striped tulip green
matcha tea whisked in Uji green
giant sea kelp undulating green
antique soda bottles lined up in San Telmo green
Coqui frog green
Ivy-covered house in St.Jacut-de-la-Mer green
Brittany’s Emerald Coast green
forest bathing green
Roman fried carcioffi green
swimming in Vieques phosphorescence green
green peppercorn in Hanoi markets green
chrysalis of Monarch Butterfly green
vinho verde with lunch in Ereceira green
British racing green
snorkeling with Green Sea Turtles in Akumal green
grasshopper eating cake in Mary Oliver’s hand green
salsa verde green
northern Lights glowing over Denali green
bamboo forest clacking in Maui breeze green
emeralds blazing next to diamonds green
Oympic Forest in rain green
stepping inside the Volunteer Park Conservatory in winter green
me green oh-so green just ripening green
Earth Day, A list of Praise
Walking barefoot in the garden in early morning dew
Quietly stepping into a grove of migrating monarch butterflies resting near Santa Barbara, California
Hiking in the Badlands, South Dakota
Peak fall colors near Quebec
Nesting Black-Browed Albatross in the Falkland Islands
Northern Lights over Denali, Alaska
Diving into a perfectly still Lake Okoboji in Iowa
Trekking Fitzroy, Argentina
Listening to Humpback whales breath as I kayak alongside
Assisting a hatchling sea turtle and its siblings in their first run into the ocean in Oaxaca, Mexico
Swimming in Fjords in Greenland
Eating fresh rhubarb pie, picked from my grandmother's garden
First backpacking trip up to Garibaldi Lake in British Columbia with the man who is now my husband
Snorkeling in the Great Barrior Reef
A week-long river rafting trip down the Rogue River in Oregon
Watching the Porcupine Caribou herd migration in the Yukon
Camping in Yellowstone, Glacier, Yosemite National Parks
Swimming in phosphorescence of Vieques, Puerto Rico
Staring up, up, up at the Sequoias in Muir Woods, California
Watching a lineup of Muskoxen break into a run in Nunavut, Canada
Soaking in Jerry Johnson Hotsprings, Montana in a snowfall with my entire family
Listening to the Loons on a lake in Minnesota
Eating oysters fresh out of the sea in Brittany, France
Eating oysters fresh out of the sea near my home in Washington State
Walking among 50,000 King Penguins on Salisbury Plain on South Georgia Island
Tramping around ferns in Olympic National Park
Taking in the vast sky over the Mongolian Steppe
Listening to Elks bugling in Jasper National Park
Walking at night through a snow-globe snowfall in Big Sky, Montana
Locking eyes with a lynx
Seeing the first magnolia blossom open in my garden.
Five Senses Travelogue of England
Colors of England
Suffolk’s pink cottages with thatched roofs
Bright yellow fields of rape seed
Honey-colored stone houses in the Cotswolds
Lavender and dark purple lilacs
White horse in a green, green field
Red-brown pointer dogs and spaniels
Ivory-colored sheep and the occasional black lamb
Painted pub signs
Green room in Chatsworth House with the hand-painted Chinese wall-paper of birds and vines
Plentiful and vibrantly-colored pheasants in the fields
Warm glow of lights from Dunsley Hall as we walked back in the dusk from Sandsend Beach
Red sky and full moon rising walking back to Easterside Farm from the Hawnby Inn Pub
Sounds of England
Tolling church bells
Boys choir at Evensong at King’s College in Cambridge
Lambs bleating in the pastures
Streams rushing through the countryside
Birdsong – so much more than at home
The absence of traffic noise
Steam train whistle and train wheels on the track
Seagulls in Whitby and Robin Hood’s Bay on the North Yorkshire coast
Smells of England
Dung in the pastures
Sea air on the coast
Fish and Chips in Whitby
Bacon and eggs and full English Breakfast
Earl Grey or Yorkshire Tea steeping
Textures of England
Wind the Willows
Xavier blowing dandelions and tickling his face
Laying in the grass in the meadow by the River Cam after a Sunday lunch at the pub
Walking through the steam from the engine on the train station platform
Sunlight through the ruins of Rieveleaux Abbey
Fine misty rain interspersed with slants of late afternoon sunlight, mud, dripping grand old trees,
Lambs among the sculptures at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Running through a hedge maze at Chatsworth House
Dogs lying at their masters’ feet next to the fire in the pubs
Tweed-clad men of all ages walking with walking sticks and hunting dogs
Flavors of England
Welsh Rarebit (glorified cheese on toast)
Scottish Smoked Salmon with scrambled eggs
Oatcakes and shortbread cookies
Stinking Bishop cheese
Scones with clotted cream and raspberry jam
Local crisp asparagus
Hooky Ale (A “real” ale)
Wild garlic soup and Lamb shops at the Hawnby Inn
Kippers for breakfast
Toast soldiers with Dippy eggs
Black Sheep Yorkshire Cask Ale
Sautéed samphire (known in America as sea beans)
Brown crab salad and England’s “best fish and chips” at the Magpie in Whitby
Steak and Ale Pie
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Steak and Yorkshire Pudding
~ With a nod to Lisel Mueller
1) I was born on the plains. A city girl from Dakota, I say, laughing.
2) Second of four children, I had a noisy childhood building forts, swinging from trees, sleeping in a yellow canopy bed and reading stacks of books.
3) We spent honey-colored summers at a lake cabin, swimming off the dock and having boat picnics.
4) At Catholic school I was earnest and liked tests. I played well with others. There weren't enough hours in the day to read.
5) Ballet, tennis, soccer, cheerleading, skiing, French class, editing the newspaper kept me busy sampling personas. I didn't rebel too much, but I dreamt of being reckless.
6) First love, or what I thought was love.
7) At eighteen, I went abroad to live in Istanbul. Just as I was gaining confidence I was treated as a fragile princess.
8) At university, I become more me. Loved and was loved by a good man, but I left him to go love the world.
9) My education continued on the Grand Tour. I then worked at a London off-license learning the wine trade. I lived on smoked salmon sandwiches, champagne, tea. My friends hung in the Royal Portrait Museum.
10) Wound up in San Francisco. Heady, serious love affair. Three years of gleeful, careless melee during the internet boom. Rode the wave and, all too predictably, crashed on the shore.
11) After reading about heartbreak in novels, I suddenly understood personally, physically, to be torn asunder.
12) Napa Valley interlude.
13) Ten nomadic years, stepping up for adventures of any kind. Peered around many corners to find me again.
14) Love walks in the door. A new chapter began involving a lot of time in Canada, a surprisingly beautiful place. O Canada, I was happy to be embraced.
15) More travels, more poetry, love grows.
16) South American explorations. Sailed to Antarctica to reinvent myself yet again. Oh Walt Whitman you were right, I do contain multitudes.
17) Elopement and then proper wedding to a man worth the wait. Life continues to live up to my optimism.
18) Nine months to experience the wonder of pregnancy and then the awe of birth. A perfect tiny person, a little boy, grew inexplicably underneath my heart. Said heart expands a hundredfold.
19) Crystallized moments of daily family life, a new home, the joys of writing.
20) The wide world beckons, Come, come, you have seen nothing yet.
Inventory of Candy, our VW Sportwagon (named for her official manufacturer color "candy white") on a Summer Roadtrip through Washington, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota:
1. Camping tent, sleeping bags, pillows, chairs, cook set and my beloved enamel camping mugs.
2. Cold and dry foods including wine, beer and leftover bison from the wedding.
3. Clothes for a variety of occasions: Wedding parties, hiking, camping, hot days and cool nights. Bathing suits and towels at the ready so we can jump in any swimming hole we pass. Best so far include Sylvan Lake in Custer State Park and Cascade Falls outside Hot Springs.
4. Cheerios, magnetic blocks and books for Xavier's enjoyment, including our favorite "Let's Go For a Drive" by the brilliant Mo Williams. We often sing one of the lines as we go: "Drivey-drive, drivey-drive-drive-drive!"
5. Farm Animal Sound Puzzle which goes off randomly by itself. Xavi says "mmmmm" when we ask him what a cow says. When we ask him what any other farm animal says, be it duck, rooster, pig or horse, he roars like a lion.
6. Radio tuned to country music stations. Best line we've heard so far is "There ain't enough bourbon in Kentucky for me to forget you."
7. Snacks at hand: dried tart cherries, almonds, Theo dark chocolate, apples, bell peppers. We fill up our thermos and brew jasmine tea at gas stations.
8. Assorted maps, iPad, National Parks guidebook, passport, and brochures I've gathered along the way. Pile of novels and books on cd have not been touched and are taking up valuable space. Two issues of American Cowboy Magazine, which are quite interesting.
9. Instead of two cell phones, now only one - I think I left mine on the top of the car in Deadwood a week ago. Haven't missed it.
10. Three bundles of firewood.
13. Journal with running lists of a. wildlife seen so far (Black bear, pronghorns, bison, prairie dogs, Big horn sheep) and b. characters to wikipedia when we have cell service (Buffalo Bill Cody, Wild Bill Hickock, Sitting Bull, Black Elk, Crazy Horse, John Bozeman) and details of trip.
14. Cribbage board and deck of cards.
15. Two cowboy hats, a Junior Ranger hat and three pairs of cowboy boots.
16. Flask, at the moment filled with Knob Creek.
17. Wildflower bouquet picked in the Badlands drying on the dash.
18. Souvenirs collected so far: Lakota Sioux Parfleche box from Crazy Horse Memorial made of bison hide (we are celebrating our third anniversary during this trip and the traditional gift is fittingly leather), Patchwork quilt from the Buffalo Gap Trading Post, Marshall South Dakota badge and derringer cap gun, beaded earrings and three porcupine quills. It was a struggle to resist, but in the end I did not buy the stuffed porcupine as he was a bit mangy and Christian was a wee bit skeptical about taxidermy fitting in with our decor. I also declined the cowhide rug when I realized it was shipped in from Brazil.
19. A thin layer of dust from all the dirt roads.
20. Three very happy people.
Be Here Now
A Dakota Epithalamion for Matthew & Rebecca
White rocking chairs
Rebecca, wearing a white cotton nightgown with lace and blue ribbon, reads “I Marry Adventure” in a zebra-bound cover
Matthew, sporting a beard, sips coffee
Wild horses, running
Wild horses, stopping to turn their faces as one
Pine Ridge, where grandmother worked
Horses descended from Crazy Horse’s very own mount
Buffalo Gap Trading Post
Shep’s Canyon Cabin
Prayer for health, vitality, fertility
“Be here now,” said the girl at the co-op, looking directly into your eyes
Wild horses, waiting
Tree of Life
Veil, blowing in the Wind
Old beaded rose garter belt
New Calfskin Boots
Blue Sapphire earrings
Call to prayer
Bison hide blanket
Slender gold mobius strip rings
"I marry you for the good of my soul"
Crescent table for 140 guests
"I Want to Be With You Always"
Salsa called Wild Mustang