Nogal House

The journey back is sometimes so challenging, when we have allowed ourselves to languish and made compromises we really shouldn’t make, but feel we must all the same. I am working my way back, spending weekends at ‘home’ after too long an absence. It is good!

October 4, 2015
Nogal House
Vera Cruz, New Mexico


I will have to be careful today, my emotions are raw and far too close to the surface. I sit in my old familiar chair, my bottom propped on a cushion as I have never been able to raise it quite high enough for my comfort. I nearly cried a moment ago, but I stifled it, I don’t want to be sad or depressed as my time here is far too precious and not to be wasted. I have done that before and let the emptiness pervade my happiness and lost the day because of it. Not today, not here, not ever again if I can keep from it!

Why should I have to be careful? What force is it that can threaten my happiness when I sit in my a favorite spot of all spots, here in my Nogal House on the Vera Cruz with the mountains looming outside of my window? I am warm and safe, happy to be alone and heartened and inspired by all which surrounds me. The woodstove crackles happily at my side and I marvel at the landscape outside my door. I can see the cloud shrouded mountain which I have already summited, the gold and green of her hillside and the bright greens and yellows of the lower elevation. The broomweed is still flowering and the cedars are bright green in the cold morning air. The wind howls out of the canyons as it always does and the freshness of its moisture laden bounty exhilarates me when I step out the door. Maybe that’s it, I am simply too warm and need to step outside for a moment? That will do the trick, but there is more to this than that.

I must move carefully today, lest I disturb my wounds and bring a new flash of pain. The physical ones are easy to avoid. I dare not twist my knees as they are a bit stiff from the cold and a touch of what I am loath to acknowledge as age or arthritis. It will suffice to say I have abused them in the past, riding and running, climbing mountains and most notably rolling logs, something I won’t likely do again, unless invited to. I would roll logs again, if he asked me to, because the thrill of working together is worth the risk, but I would be more ‘careful.’ No, it is the emotions I must be gentle with as I explore the nooks and crannies of my psyche. It is those shadowed places where I have tucked away the deeper feelings and desires which cannot always come into play, not comfortably anyway, though they certainly need some exercise! Let’s come out and play they scream like a troupe of wayward children who have been cooped up and confined for far too long! Thank God I can release them with but a play on words rather than in the physical sense, they would plow me down otherwise!!!

Ahh, may the words win and I rejoice as I watch them roll across the page, gallantly surging forth and freeing my spirit once again. Just as I replenished my stores when I stepped out into the wind and the rain, the absent hood on my jacket but a momentary regret as the cool drops of moisture touched my hair and my face, I am restored. The walk to the woodpile, so reminiscent of years past and the most treasured memories of my children’s youth, when the walk was further yet, was all I really needed. So the recording of it heartens me, this is my stock in trade and what I am and have always been meant to do. There are no regrets and even my current struggle is but my penance, the price I must pay that I may truly appreciate the past and present freedoms in my life. I am not lost, I am found, found here on this desolate hillside in this run down shack which I have for so long called my home, and is my home still, even in my absence. I need but to write about it all to find my happiness and my success, it is that simple.

Yes, I need to be careful today. I need to be careful not to forget everything which is most precious to me and the ability I have to share it. How blessed am I that my very words and thought should be enough for me to find the means to survive? There are other things also, my art and my crafts contribute to the diversity of my efforts, as does my simple life. If it were not raining there would be wood to cut and split but not today. I have been offered a reprieve and in the space it has provided I have rediscovered my blessings. I do need to be careful, careful to preserve and honor the true essence of a simple life which I have forged from the start. I don’t need to get there from here, I am here, I simply have to stay and write.

4 responses to “Careful”

  1. agapejacqui says :

    Hmmm…I hear the words behind the words perhaps. Or perhaps they are mine as I read yours. I cannot help but remember what I’ve said on days I’m feeling what I interpret you’re feeling this day…I’ve come to find the best words for me are: “Be gentle with me today, I’m feeling fragile” . Some days even the normal, the comfortable, the familiar….brings on this difficult to describe feeling within me. And so, I often do as you describe…I sit with it, and honor it. Sometimes I cry, other times, I simply let it be.

  2. cathieeisen says :


    We are all sisters in our joy and our suffering aren’t we? Fragile is such a good word but we are so fortunate to be able to speak to the same and learn to let it pass, the new day always brings a new happiness as well.

    As always, thank you!


  3. Jody says :

    I am always so happy for you Cathie when you make your way “home” where a large part of your heart seems to reside. I would so love a place as yours….in the expanses of a land beset with natural form and life. The outdoors huge…. enough for outward flowing thought and physical movement. Yes, you seem to belong there. I envy you. You are big enough for this place, and it is large, its demands not modern day ordinary-like you. I wish you peace, wisdom, insight and happiness. Always.

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