One Year Ago!


November 3, 2015

Bohemian Grace

185 Nogal Canyon Road

Bent, New Mexico




If I am to share my sorrows

So I must share my joys

If I am to venture into darkness

So I should bring the light

My life has revolved

Around adventure

Yet I huddle in the shelter

Of necessity

Providing for the needs

And the wants

That I must have

While my spirit languishes

Before them

I have lived better

And the memories

Are but a page away

As I have recorded

All of them

And stashed them

Like some treasure

To be admired and coveted

At my leisure

Except that they

Are not material

But tangible instead

Giving them a far greater value

And potential

Than any gem or stone

That could be sold

For some other possession


They are the greatest

Treasure of all

And instead unlock

The beauty of all things

And the freedom

And admiration

Of the wonders

Of the earth

And the most remote reaches

Of her wilderness

Where time stands still

And some things

Never change

But remain almost static

Except for the touches

Of the wind and the rain

Flood and fire

But even then


Over time

To their present state

Because they are

That sacred

And that sheltered

From the touch

Of mankind

And his society

For they are comprised

Of sand

And stone

River and tree

Bird and elk

Nature’s creations

Sheltered by roads

Washed by the water

And towering ramparts

That hide them away

From only the few

Who might venture

That far

I would go there now

For the freedom

And the solitude

They will always


If only

I could




If I cannot escape to the Plains or the remote reaches of the Alamosa Canyon so I can still summon their memory with but a slight effort of doing so. I have recalled them now and they surround me but for the bark of the neighbor’s dogs and the hum of my phone. Oddly, everything was silent when I sat down to write but I have been reminded of the close proximity of my neighbors and friends, and my need to escape them also. I would kill those dogs right now if I could, or at least silence them, but then the spell would be totally broken. Instead I will do my best to block them out, if such is possible either!


So it is that some realities are impossible to escape! I need to escape right now, I need the solace of silence and solitude and I am writing before I even brush my teeth because my thoughts are that urgent. And yet my phone vibrates with a message and already the tendrils of the life from which I was partly removed for three days reach to grasp me! How easily we become prisoners of our own device and how challenging it is to escape that when it come looking for us.


Then there are the Plains, and all of the memories I have of their magic and grace. What great fortune I had to have spent a year and a half of my life venturing frequently to a place where the silence was complete but for the wind and the rain. I can still recall waking in that silence and having to take pause to recall where I was. Or the same feeling of wonder when I heard the tap of rainfall on the metal roof of the Bunkhouse at the Wahoo Ranch after nearly a year of drought. Fog was an illusion then and when the clouds settled into the canyon and crept up to the corrals and the barn the dawn was incredible, surreal even. How I wish for the same now and wonder when I can escape again. I have a trip to California planned soon and my time off is so precious. I am using some today and there are no regrets as work is the furthest thing from my mind.


During those years when I traveled for work there were so many things restored to me. Not that I didn’t live well before, because I did, but I was struggling to do the same. Having ventured forth in search of fortune and freedom I stumbled home with neither one. State jobs don’t always pay the most and the economy crumbled in 2008, leaving me landless and with fewer options. The employment which took me to the Plains put me back on track and opened the doors to an adventure I had only dreamed of before then. It also restored my poetry which had languished for years except for an occasional outburst. As with this morning such is only a breath away, given the time to record it, and I need to do more of that.


My point is this; whatever we chose to envision can promptly become a reality if we give it the opportunity to do so. I woke with a determination to do the same this morning and I have already succeeded, even as my tea cools on the stove. Some things are more important than others and our mindset can determine, and capture that. I am not going to lose the wonder of the dawn today but instead hold it close to my breast as a reminder of the same. I am not going to record my sorrows but rather hone in on the joys I have experienced and convince myself that I need to stay focused on just that. I want to write about the wonder of my life and to live the same so I can do so and it is, as was years ago, but a pen stroke away!


When I worked out on the Plains I came to carry a notebook aside from my field journal so I could record my thoughts. Given the constraints of time and my commitment to my work I often just scribbled brief entries, insights and poetry to capture the moment. What came of those were wonderful mental photographs of the most precious moments of that adventure. There were even days when I made ten or fifteen such notes, such were the experiences I had and the joy of the travels, driving across the waving grasses or climbing some narrow two track to another high mesa overlooking the world. I was in a constant state of wonder and there was nothing to keep me from it, my work was a pleasure in itself and there was no radio or telephone to distract or concern me. I realize now how rarely any of us ever experience that and if I took it for granted at that time so I savored every moment because I knew it was temporary. I always had to go home and the job wasn’t going to last forever. When it did end I sought another just the same but never found it…..


I ask myself now how to replicate that. The dogs have silenced themselves and I have captured the thought I did not want to escape me. My book lies in the background of my computer and I am assured that I haven’t lost my grasp on those memories. In a moments time I can summon the wonder of the silence and the whisper of the ravens’ wing as he breaks the emptiness of the clear blue sky. I could walk into the wilderness today if I pleased, I can see it out my window, though I would also have to return. I will still consider doing that, the trees are truly changing and the aspens will be a wonder in the cool of higher climbs. I need to feel my legs ache and the pain in my chest as I struggle to breath and know that when I summit the mountaintop I will be restored. Even if I don’t get there I can still envision it, and work towards the same. For now that will have to be enough.


One response to “One Year Ago!”

  1. Jody says :

    Dearest Cathie,

    Such a treasure to read your thoughts once again on that life affirming time you spent working on the San Augustin Plains! Beautiful memories to have and savor. You take me back with you, and refill me with the sense and presence of it! Thank you for your writing, your chronicling! My thoughts want to commune with the cosmos; your thoughts bring me home to wondrous Earth. I treasure you, and admire your commitment to thought, to being and to your personal truth.

    Valuing you always.

    Your friend,


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