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June 18, 2015
Note: Three and a half years ago I sat and pondered my future prospects, knowing what I needed and wanted as opposed to what I ‘had’ to do. Now, looking back, I am drawn to return to where I was and may well choose the same. I have prospered and yet I have suffered and the desire to return to the freedom and the simplicity I spoke of is stronger than any other! I would like to go home…..

January 6, 2012
Nogal House
Indian Divide, New Mexico

Home

There are times that I must question my own logic and yet can as quickly affirm my choices. My room was chilly this morning, as was my house, and I had to urge myself to rise in spite of being well rested. It took me a few minutes during which I savored the warmth of the blankets and those peaceful morning thoughts that accompany them, my life is sweet. I pondered the things that I have at the moment which bring me such happiness, the comforts of my home, the lack of stress and struggle that I left behind me so recently, the new horse I have acquired and the close proximity of the friends and family which I so treasure. I also chided myself for being so willing to settle for all of that, I am making far less money than I should and my hands hurt from the labor but I am so unwilling to do anything else. This should be worrisome!

Finally overcoming the thought of that first chill touch of morning I arose quickly and as I donned my robe headed for the woodstove and its usual warmth but I found it cold as well. I had expected it to keep the cold at bay and had even thrown a few extra sticks into it late in the night but rather than burn they had smoldered leaving but a few hot coals amongst the ashes. In spite of the brief inconvenience I quickly had a crackling fire started and after I put on my tea stepped outside to pee and to start the generator. It is always laughable to consider the effort of getting out of bed only to quickly step outside, clad only in my robe and with my legs still bare, into the cold darkness of the mountain morning. Perhaps it is the twinkle of the stars, or simply the sweet freshness of the morning air which offsets the cold? It is that and more for even as I laughed at myself the absolute joy of the new day embraced me as well and the rare ache rose from my heart. The first touch of the day is the equal of that I once sought from a lover and it has in fact replaced it and welcomes me in the same manner as a partner once did. It is what holds me here as well.

It is easy for me to think myself a fool at this moment! If all that keeps me here is the joy of the early morn, the flash of first light on the mountain peaks and the peaceful stillness of my solitary perch then it should be just as easy to leave! Only three short months ago I packed my bags and headed west, only to return to this. I made more money in three months than I have made in half of the last year and yet I hated every minute of it. I have another such opportunity right now and yet I can barely consider it! How reckless and foolish I am to be this way and yet I cannot make myself leave, even with so little to keep me. So well have I convinced myself of the value of the simple things that I have come to believe in them as well, the transition is complete! It leaves me flat footed, it is the money that I need though everything I want surrounds me here.

I will have to make a choice soon. Even as my inspiration returns to me I am faced with the brutal realities as well and I would be a fool to stay here. My dream and my desire is to write, and write I will but if I continue as I am at this moment I cannot even afford to do that, let alone to publish anything.

I watch as the morning light takes her daily journey across the peaks of the Carrizo, gently falling across its slopes and illuminating the ramparts as she always does, and I am content. I recall the glory of the cliffs in the Monticello Box which were lit in the same way and my heart aches for them also, along with the windswept plains. I could go there again, if I had a reason to, but otherwise I’ll stay. This is another turning point in my life and I am just a little afraid but yet I see no other way, the feelings is too strong to do otherwise. I can leave again, as I should, and the opportunity awaits me, but this place would pull me back. Instead I will draw on my resources and try this again already knowing that I will always find my way. For the moment, I am home.

My measure of wealth is to have the ability and the freedom to make such choices as I have just spoken of. The choice between my own personal happiness and material gain is clear and I have made the agreement with myself that as long as I can honor my responsibilities the amount of time it takes to do so is almost irrelevant. I choose my happiness first! It may sound crazy but it works for me and I am so grateful to be home.

Living Alone

Entrance to alamosa canyon

July 23, 2014
Bohemian Grace
Nogal Canyon Road
Bent, New Mexico

Living Alone

Sadly, it is the men I have loved the most who have taught me the value of my solitude. Not that I haven’t always been a solitary person, because I have, but it took sharing my space to confirm the value of the same. I have loved, fast and furious, deep and longing, wild and joyfully. I have loved once, twice, three times, sometimes with the same man, one in particular but also with others. I have not been promiscuous but I have had my share of men, most handsome, wild, untamed, and reckless, wild stallions all. I have no regrets and the reward of the challenge is solitude, pure and precious, unshared by choice rather than circumstance. I still have a man in my life and others who would share it; I simply prefer to be alone as much as they do. The kindest of them I keep at bay, their gentleness threatens the core of my freedoms.

A woman friend once told me, “Nice is good,” in response to my rejection of a kinder man than I was inclined to entertain. I acknowledged that and even acquiesced to his advances, my worries were later confirmed. He was ‘nice’ but he was also needy and far too dependent on me for his happiness, my independence was threatened and I soon departed. There are other reasons for that also, I have no desire to relinquish my freedom and so much of that depends on my strengths, if I were to allow someone to cater to me I might weaken. For me weakness is not an option, I have spent my lifetime developing my independence. Perhaps there will come a day I may have reason for regret but I will take my chances, so far there is no remorse.

The morning finds me at peace with myself and a great appreciation for my solitude. I woke to the quiet of the dawn and wandered outside to inspect my small garden. I pulled a few weeds, savored the aroma of the mint and the native tea and admired my squash plants. In years past the garden was larger and I would have grazed a while, the scarcity of water has contained my efforts for the moment. I prepared my tea and oatmeal in the absence of the gentle taunting of my sometimes companion, and laughed all the same when I thought of him. I then sat to write as I have rarely done of the last few weeks as I seem to have lacked either the time or the solitude to do so. It is only in the absence of distraction that I return to my full self and the longer the interim between those visits the more I appreciate the value of that.

I have always dreamt of finding a true life partner, and I still do. There is a treasure that I have tasted but never fully shared and I know enough about it to see what I have missed. I have had such loves as that and savored the sweetness but never saw them to fruition, my lovers have always been immeasurably flawed and I am sure they said the same of me. I could easily blame it on my mothers’ failings or my fathers’ selfishness but there is more to it than that. Even when I was a girl I chose my own path and soon came to glory in the wonders of my solitude, the richness of my own thoughts and the multiple paths I had to choose from. Free from the constraints of society and partnership I embarked on an adventure such as few people chance to take. I went places I might have never gone and met people I never would have spoken to and it shaped me into the woman I am today. I also had the luxury of the time to contemplate and record those ventures, such as I never would have if that time had been shared. There is little to regret in that.

There was a man I met many years ago who I might have married. We fell in love the moment we met, or perhaps even before. It was fate itself which led us to meet and the same which kept us apart. We did a year long dance from a distance but let it go too long, we fell apart before we truly began. All the same we remained friends and when we reunited years later my heart broke in two to think of what I’d lost, on the way home I thought of what I had gained. If we had wed I would have worshipped the path he walked on and relied on him for my happiness, as I had tried to do with others. I also would have failed. We are our own keepers and must find our own joy, it is a lesson I might have never learned and as precious as any other. We are still friends and he has a lovely wife and I am glad they are together.

I gave a friend a ride home last night as I saw him walking when I drove past. I turned back and offered him a ride and asked that he not take it the ‘wrong way’ as he had approached me once before, and the hour was late. He assured me it was fine and when we arrived at his house we paused to talk. The conversation was rich and I eventually turned off my car, and then the lights, comfortable enough with the company. The conversation had a rare richness and it was with regret I departed, my plans for the morrow demanded I get my rest. He leaned in and asked for a kiss, I replied with a gentle hug and I left, pondering his kindness. I could love a man such as him, in so many ways, but his gentleness frightens me. My outlaw friend called me this morning but I turned him away also, I need some me time to write and I am learning the true value of living alone…………