Tunes for a Monday Morning
Cycles, seasons, and daffodils

The Gift of Wild Time

Howard with accordion and dog

My disappearance from Myth & Moor yesterday was entirely unintended. I got up early, walked with Tilly, then came back to the studio and wrote a post about thoughts I'd had out in the woods. But as I finished, everything stopped. The lights and the internet went out. The cabin's heater made a popping sound. The stereo switched abruptly off, and I sat in the sudden silence, perplexed. Had I blown a fuse? And if so, how? Then Howard appeared at the door with news: The electric company was working on the wires; our road would have no power all day. They'd sent us a notice last week, remember? We'd pinned it to the kitchen bulletin board, then promptly forgotten all about it....

Howard on the accordion

So there we were on a Tuesday morning, each with a long, long list of things we'd planned to do. Urgent things. Important things. Dependent-on-computers kinds of things and they'll-be-mad-at-me-if-I-don't-finish kind of things and the-world-will-stop-if-I-can't kind of things. (None of which, of course, is strictly true.)

At first I was alarmed (deadlines! schedules!) ... and then I was worried (how will anyone reach us?) ... and then I was crabby (this has screwed up all my plans!). But the sky was a shimmering robin's-egg blue. The air smelled sweetly of primroses. Tilly was lounging in a patch of sun watching birds, and bees, and the neighbor's cats, and the wild ponies in the valley below. I finally recognized the day for what it was: a gift of Wild Time.

Wild music

In modern life, unstructured time is increasingly rare and exceedingly precious -- as precious as the wild lands which we are also losing at fearsome rate. How often do we have unstructured time that is not intended for one thing or another; owed to a job, a task, a goal; promised or obligated to someone else? Time that meanders through the day, time that goes wherever it will, the seemingly endless hills of time we rambled in childhood.

Artists and makers especially need periods of Wild Time -- thinking time, daydreaming time, noodling-around-and-free-associating time -- for it fills the well, feeds the muse, and allows new ideas to rise from the inner depths to conscious thought. But how do we schedule Wild Time when by its very nature it opposes all schedules, plans, and rules? Wild Time is Trickster's time, and Trickster doesn't come at call; Trickster comes when he damn well will. He kicks all your careful plans to hell, but Wild Time is the gift he gives. There's no point in railing against his timing; there's no point going against him either. Just take his hand, let him lead the dance.

And remember to tell him thank you.

Wild companions

So thank you, Trickster, for the exasperatingly inconvenient but welcome gift of these slow, sweet things:

- Time to sit out in the sun on the porch of my husband's studio  -- good coffee at hand, good company close by, good Gypsy and Celtic music on his trusty red accordion.

- Time to see the progress he has made building his "Punch & Judy" puppet booth.

I went inside the booth for the first time, and discovered the mysteries of the craft: the precise arrangement of puppets and tools required for running a single-handed show, with characters, costumes, and props all rooted in the old folklore tradition.

Dame Judy...puppeteered by me

Wild dog

There was also:

- Time to roll in the garden with the hound.

- Time to pick flowers for the kitchen window.

Wildflowers & Coyote

- Time to spend an afternoon with our daughter, lingering over cups of tea and walking the green slope of O'er Hill, hours made especially precious by the fact that she's leaving us soon.

Oe'r Hill on a wild day

Thank you, Trickster, for disconnection from the world (abrupt and unplanned as it was), and re-connection with the here and now.

Thank you for Wild Dreams. For Wild Love. For Wild Time.

Wild love


Thank you for this wonderful gift, Terri. As a biologist I've been fortunate to have had my share of 'wild time' over the years, but your experience reminded me of one from a couple of years ago...

I've been a photographer for a very long time, and on this particular day I walked down to the shore on a sunny afternoon. I'd made a conscious decision to leave the camera at home.

So it was I was standing on a rock at the shore with nothing in front of me but ocean and the mountains across the strait when a group of Oystercatchers landed almost literally at my feet. I immediately went into photographer mode, cursing myself for leaving the camera behind, wondering if I could capture anything good enough with my cell phone... when that little voice that lives in the back of my head (the one I can't always successfully ignore) whacked me hard enough that I realized I was so focused (pun intended) on capturing the moment I was forgetting to experience the moment.

With that realization I was able to move back into the incredible gift I was given and enjoy the company of my compatriots.

Marcia and I both have smartphones (and computers) and while on days off we may be sitting beside each other staring at separate screens, our connection to each other supercedes everything else and we'll often share something either of us has discovered. I will occasionally open my phone if I'm out with others, but only if I believe there's something that will be of interest to them.


P.S. A number of years ago there was a big ice storm in eastern Canada that left large areas w/o power for extended periods of time. I remember one story about an Army jeep making forays into the countryside to check on residents, and the lieutenant knocked on this one old farmhouse door and asked the woman who answered how long she'd been without power. "Eighty years..." was the answer.

Thank you so much for the perfectly timed writing of this. Something I really needed to read and remind myself and appreciate the broken down car that has given me trickster time this week.

This is beautiful. I'm so glad you received such a wonderful gift. Lately I have found myself with some hours of unexpectedly free time and it's been interesting how I try to fill it ... and how that is different from years gone by. It has been a powerful lesson to me.

Lol, I love your postscript! :-) I once lived for months without electricity and it's surprisingly easy and comfortable.

Thank you. It's all too easy to forget this kind of gift when you're sitting in front of a working computer (or even an open note book!) It also helps to remind me that sometimes, if the trickster's not around, you just have to don the mask and stripy jersey and 'take' time ..........

This is so charming! "Eighty years." I too live without electricity when I lived with a family who had quit a boring job and decided to go to Central Oregon and raise chickens. It was a place my dad found, when his marriage was necessary. It was a beautiful home, with lots of books, their daughter who went to another school in Bend as I was finishing the Country School. Oh, and a middle aged small spaniel to pet. Lanterns and fireplace. And then I went to Lewiston Idaho for 8th grade, with Grandma & Grandfather, who had a coal heated oven.


Oh to go where the trees talk
And I walk and walk, the birds sing,
The animals are quiet, but there.

Child I was and have never changed
For this sense of never be alone,
They watched me and I knew.

They let me alone, and often,
Came out to dance, the little ones.
Jackrabbits. And more watching.

I listened and heard the music
Of wind and pine tree waves'
Of music I can still hear, & love.

Not far away from me in another
City, by the sea, redwood trees,
And a thousand songs and poetry.

Yesterday, because the world is horrible & both I & my roommate are dealing with depression, I hauled us both (& the leashcat) out into the woods for the afternoon. It was the best idea ever. We returned tired, achy, somewhat pine-resin'd, & entirely refreshed. yeah, that.

Such an uplifting day after you got over the shock.

Ah - Wild Time! Meandering, dreamy, and all floaty and loosey and drifty! I love it! And I loved reading all the comments on this post. Glad you got to enjoy some wild time.


So funny, half way across the world, in the Mojave Desert of California, I got a notice from the electric company yesterday that they will be working on the lines next week and the power will be out for part, if not all, of a day.

I've made plans to drive to the beach, a place I rarely get to go because it's so far away from the desert.

Can't wait for that wild time & quite enjoyed yours!

I love this. By coincidence I left my phone at home today which of course is a world-stopping-disaster. So inconvenient. Or maybe it's Trickster's gift; I may engage more with the world around me without it.

Wonderful gift... snowstorms can do that here, we had a couple this winter that stopped me from traveling to teach. Outside shoveling with Rhu watching from high in a tree, a free day to work with my body instead of my head, I love those.

Hi Phyllis

Beautiful poem! Hopefully we never forget or lose this kind of wildness. Its an essential thing, I believe to really appreciate life with its fullest potential. Love the language and sentiment in this piece, especially these --

Child I was and have never changed
For this sense of never be alone,
They watched me and I knew.

They let me alone, and often,
Came out to dance, the little ones.
Jackrabbits. And more watching.

Again so much enjoyed this,
Take care

You make me long for a day where the power goes out and I'm forced to stop... I haven't had one of those in a long time. Thank you for reminding me to, perhaps, find one.

Whenever a storm knocks out our power I find myself meeting people who are never out when I walk on "normal" days. They come out to say hello and ask if I've heard any news about when the power will be restored, whether we suffered any damage, and we share our storm experiences, bonding. Once a neighbor stopped his car in the middle of the street--traffic was mostly blocked because of downed trees--and he showed me the journals his wife had left for him, he'd had them with him in the car. She'd died of cancer a few months earlier. And right there, as I leaned in the open window, he read to me her accounts of their first dates, their first kiss. Would he have shared this on an ordinary day?

So glad you quickly realized it wasn't an inconvenience, but a gift!

Thank you so much. I feel so wonderful for being able to share and let my feelings unfold from long ago. So glad you enjoyed this one.

GREAT pics of Howard! So glad the two of you are getting to have the sort of day I come to Devon to have with you.... It's always so hard to take that time when you're at home.

Last night I experienced a time of deep thought, prayer and renewal. I have been experiencing poor health and being shoved from pillar to post, doctor to doctor, test to test. Then a sinus infection, I couldn't talk. St. Ann's has a Tiffany window of the risen Christ, He is holding out His hands. This is right over the altar. The Church was designed by an architect buried in the cemetery next to the church, and I am considered the authority on his career, so the church is special. I so was able to put my life into perspective, pray for guidance, (I'm 80) and a lot of the confusion and resentment dropped off my shoulders. When my husband was alive (21 years gone now) we often took walks in the woods. Or sat by the ocean at night. I still can relax with the tide. Connie

I think that sense of the child still inside us, never changing, that sense of wonder which you have designed into your poem, is what makes us writers. Poets. We linger in the once-was, pass it on.


Trickster energy ... I only just made the connection with the shadow side of the archetype - the man with the orange skin and yellow hair wielding power with such wild lies and exaggerations, alternative truths & fake news abound, this realization helps me see the chaos that has been unleashed as an agent for change... shining a light on the dark side of the collective subconscious brings clarity

Why thank you, Jane. Some things in childhood are frightening and terrible. It was my fortune to go to where the beauty and wise was open for me. They never ever leave.

Yes. Well said. It took a while reading poem and listening to beautiful music to come to what is, that shining light. Now we who believe this.....the collective subconscious clarity In the first poem I could write, I described us as legion.

Lovely. Thanks for another fun and inspiring gift. Think I'll dodge my to-do list and write a poem instead! =)

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