“The first sparrow of Spring! The year beginning with younger hope than ever.” Henry David Thoreau
Amanda Gorman our National Youth Poet Laureate is a fine young sparrow whose poem, The Hill We Climb, delivered at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden, deeply moved a nation and offered renewed hope on January 20th, 2021.
Though this was our Nation’s Inaugural Day, I can’t help but include a little history of my own because this, too, provides a confirmation of hope. Martha Tabor showed her first of five Prophet’s Wheels on our property in Highland, Maryland. We used to host Open Studio every summer where artists from the Baltimore and Washington, DC area would hang, set, install or perform their art outside among the trees in the forest that was our property. The entire neighborhood was invited in to see and to buy if they chose.
When I saw her magical piece my heart cried out to have it for my own home, but the musician and I could not afford the asking price. I didn’t know Martha at the time, but we became fast friends, and like Michael Gessner (who was our original connection), she would come out to our property to gather wood for her sculptures and to let her two dogs run free.
Sadly, Martha passed away far before she should have. All of her unsold art she willed to The Friends (Quakers) community to which she belonged. This piece, however, had been damaged, one ray of hope had broken off and therefore deemed somehow of little value. Michael was offered the piece but he declined, suggesting instead it go to us, knowing how much I loved Martha’s work. A gift, from a friend, from The Friends.
The lesson: cast your dreams, like rays of light, into the future…name them…call to them singing, “I will see you soon. I know what you look like. I feel your essence. ” Name your dreams. Call to them from mountains and mesas, from valleys and streams.
All photos by me unless otherwise noted.
Featured Sculpture: Prophet’s Wheel by Martha Tabor (made with curly willow, hickory and poplar)