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running horses

2014 April 17
by Rachel Turiel

Spring is drawing itself out in that slow delicious way, giving, retreating, yielding, offering itself for the winter-chilled dog of you to roll around in. And just when you’re belly up in dandelions, imbibing sun like it’s a multivitamin in which you’ve been deficient, in blows the stinging wind, like a memo from the Don’t Get Too Comfortable Dep’t of Spring.


Inside, Col can be found at lego-headquarters, where all central operations take place. Snap snap snap. Rose is on the couch, strumming a guitar and exploring the art of believing in your own talent. I am in the kitchen (which, in an 800 sf house is 5 steps away – or in Rose’s case: one cartwheel), wrangling something out of the food processor and into a jar.


Rose: What should I sing now?

Col: Running horses.

Rose: That’s one of my worst.

Col: I know.

Rose: (singing, improvisationally) Horses running faster than the speed of sound. Horses runnnnnnnning.


Dan comes home from work and tells me, “I met the new guy downstairs, Doobie.” This makes me laugh inappropriately hard, because the new guy’s name is actually Dooley, and because Dan is unfazed to think our new downstairs tenant named himself after a joint.


He’s reading to her, not that I’m insanely excited and touched by it or anything.

Outside, everything is coming out, greening up, revealing itself. The house sparrows who’ve taken over the bluebird box are rearing yet another clutch of invasive young; the pine siskins have returned to our feeders, an exclusive, populous club of grey-suits flashed with yellow. We watch expectantly for the evening grosbeaks, who are somewhere in the Southwest, closer by the day.


I’m planting some things too late (carrots, radishes) and others too early (cauliflower, turnips). For the sixteenth year in a row, I stand in my spring-green yard with a shovel, pre-calloused hands, and a smidge of hope, knocked out by the realization that gardening is a metaphor for everything. Everything. Muddling through the soil, yanking weeds and adding compost is like tending my own overgrown, unruly mind.  The way the grass spears up everywhere I don’t want it, yet comes in sparse where I do is like the agricultural manifestation of my own aging body. In gardening, we plan, plant, water, tend, trust,  all the while getting schooled by the unknown, the uncontrollable, just like this beloved life.


Col’s homeschool co-op is learning about flight. Col’s knowledge of planes currently outstrips mine, which is a weird and exciting moment in parenting. But I still know more about birds, for now, so I taught the small people about the universe’s most efficient flying machines. I wonder how much longer I can get all bug-eyed and OMG-voiced without seeming cheesy to the kids when I explain about how birds’ reproductive organs shrink 1000x in size before they migrate, or how birds navigate by stars. I am truly humbled, pondering a bird’s birdness.


We did fly some paper airplanes on our “Flight” day.

Rose: Col, now do you want me to play, The Lion Streaks Tonight?

Col: Once.

I hope you’re feeling the coming outness of spring.



p.s. The workshop, Creating an Emotionally Safe Space, is this weekend. Yippee! It’s filling up. Please e-mail me if you’d like to come. Also, there are two spaces left for childcare. And, sliding scale available.

p.p.s Are you finding that new updates from the 6512 and gowing Facebook Page aren’t showing up in your feed? Try this: Go to the 6512 Facebook page, click “Like,” (thank you!), or if you already did, “Liked” (also, thank you!) and then check “Get Notifications” from the dropdown menu.

p.p.p.s Have you read, The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd? Beautiful historical fiction about a wealthy slave-owner turned abolitionist.

p.p.p.p.s Has anyone made the sunflower butter? I’ve now made, with the same general recipe, peanut butter and pumpkin seed butter. So good.


12 Responses leave one →
  1. mollie permalink
    April 17, 2014

    Kind of dying to hear The Lion Streaks Tonight performed by Rose.

  2. Andrea permalink
    April 17, 2014

    that col.
    what a gift to the world.

  3. lau permalink
    April 17, 2014

    “once” :D that is such a perfect older sibling response!

  4. dale in denver permalink
    April 17, 2014

    “the agricultural manifestation of my own aging body” – brilliant.

    why, oh why is scalp hair thinning and graying yet my face sprouts thick, coarse, black hairs that are 1/2″ long seemingly overnight?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 17, 2014

      Also fat deposits migrating from desirable to undesirable locations.

  5. April 17, 2014

    Namaste Precious Yogini Of The Written Word!
    Col today after my newly acquired Cartwheel Coach Rosie got fed up with my inability to control my dizziness after attempting to repeat her and Dewa’s easily strung together 13-cartwheels-in-a-row,
    “Let’s play Steal-The-Ring!”
    me and the gyrls: “Okay…how do you play?”

    after one quarter of an hour later of deeply articulated instruction (with several minutes devoted in awkward silence as Col recanted then re-iterated different instructions) later,
    we began to (blissfully) play Steal-The-Ring absolutely clueless as to the rules aforementioned…that’s when you strolled in…

    hilarious and precious; prelarious! (ilg LOVES making up new words!)

    your number one fan,
    feeble ilg

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 17, 2014

      Oh shit. I am seriously laughing out loud, recognizing so precisely my son’s protracted, tangential and round-about method of communication. Bless you for sticking with him a quarter of an hour later.

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  7. nan permalink
    April 19, 2014

    Hi. In Alberta we have three types of grosbeaks, the evening, rose breast and the pine. Ours stay all year, I had no idea that they migrated in some areas. Dale , I totally agree with you, It takes me longer to pluck the hairs on my face than it takes me to style the ones on my head.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      April 20, 2014

      Nan, here they (Evening grosbeaks) stick around all year, but we only get them at our feeders spring and fall. Miss them terribly the rest of the year. We once had a rose breasted grosbeak come by, out of its range. A very exciting sighting for us!

  8. April 20, 2014

    These whimsical, wholly ‘Rose/Col logical’ bits of dialogue are simply irresistible. They are somehow in perfect balance with your own subtle, big-smile-growing, intricate prose. (Intricate as in : many layers to be savoured in there)…

    Which brings me to this observation : Rose already has the perfect folk singer arm. I have a feeling that one day, Col won’t be the only one to ask for her Running Horses :o)

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