Cort Cottage Bed and Breakfast a private guest cottage near Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park


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Almanac Archive 2004


Dateline: Wednesday, October 20, 2004,
Elsah reporting in for this week

The ground is soaking up the first significant rain since last April, like a parched tongue teetered at the edge of water amnesia. I am watching it from the window, resting to cure a sore throat I gathered during a long airplane ride from the East Coast. I went across the country to listen to poets read from lovingly worn manilla file folders, unpublished poems, and from the volumes of their more famous books of word trails (Robert Bly and Coleman Barks). Now the poetry of water generously sent from cloud and sky is speaking with a rhythm no human can actually replicate.

I know it is just barely Autumn but this first rain is always Spring to me.

The softening earth is relinquishing its dried up hold on wildflower seed and sprouting tendrils and we will see the green newness of future blossoming begin. We each have our seasons of place and was gold and red brilliance I saw in Massachusetts last week, while the locals there nonchalantly said the peak was over. The peak is definitely in the eye of the beholder. I brought back one large, blood-red, pressed maple leaf in a new book of translated old poems from poets whose footsteps have long been gone from woodsy paths. Words amazingly remain. Are words more alive than we are?

I am shifting the focus of the cottage experience, and I invite those who long for individual retreat space and time for writing, thinking, dreaming, quieting and awakening the seasons of the heart, to come for a 7-day retreat. Seasons of the heart come and go too much unnoticed by us. And the world suffers for this each and every day.

All for now....................................................

Dateline: Thursday, June 24, 2004,
Elsah reporting in for this week

Summer is officially here, I can tell by the scent of the river wafting up the hills through the summer warm grasses. This is a childhood memory for my nose, the mixing of water and grass and warm sun. It still surprises me that I can smell the river from my back yard, since the river is a mile away. It feels like the warm hug of an old, old friend.

I went for my first river dip the other day, and it was a bit cold, but felt so good. You know this river really does wash your sins away, I tell people, so the first dip each season is always the hardest but the most important. The snow melted water is a wonderful cleanser for body and soul.

I know of some good swimming holes for the public that I share with my guests when they come, so you can feel the cool river cleansing too. Just be sure to ask me about the swimmin' holes when you come.

So far it is not too hot, the evaporative coolers are working well, and after a long morning's work or walk, a nap feels so nice. I find that summer is a kind of indoor hibernating for me and I read, read, read. I get outside early in the morning or head up to the mountains for the cooler breezes.

All for now........................................

Dateline: Friday, March 25, 2004,
Elsah reporting in for this week

Spring is here, why aren't you? This is the time that I have the fewest guests but it is really the best time of the year to be here. I write this not to increase business, but because I feel it is a powerful experience to witness what the earth brings forth again and again each Spring. It is the best part of living in Three Rivers for me. And it also brings me sadness at times, when the guests are not here to see it or smell it, or when new home owners in Three Rivers don't recognize it and are weedwacking it down or poisoning it with herbicides or cutting down beautiful old manzanita trees. Living here is living on the edge and it requires a fine balancing act and sensitivity to not try to tame nature too much. For me I am just trying to keep the path to the cottage weeded enough so that guests can traverse it. So far, so good.

And today rain has shown up to loosen the earth for easier weeding, to feed the wildflowers blooming almost a month early this year and to clean the air. I had better get outside and forget this computer screen. It is too beautiful here to be inside for any reason.

(On a mundane note, please make sure you put Cort Cottage or reservations in the subject line if you try to email. Too many garbage emails are arriving these days and I cannot use filters due to the fact that my future guests are obviously not in my address book yet.)

All for now........................................................................

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