December 31, 2016
Fort Sumner, New Mexico
The Luxury Is Mine
Today is a good day to reflect and I am grateful to be so content at this moment. A year ago my father was in the final throws of his passage, and not doing it very well either. The previous year I was nearly free of debt and rented a store for my next move, an effort which had great intentions but failed. I was to blame, my priorities were not quite in order! In 2013 I was seeking a reprieve but stayed, unhappy as I was with where my life was headed. In 2012 I was reasonably content and on the verge of a relationship which would present many challenges thereafter, though it had its many adventures also. In 2011 I was reflecting on the simplicity of my life and how good it was to be satisfied with that. It’s been quite the ride since then…………
Today I return to that simplicity in so many ways and have already avowed to preserve this going forward. Having once again stripped away the complications I have no desire to repeat the mistakes which created them. I have never been so content to be alone and as I watch the clouds build to the west I am glad I decided to stay here. The prospect of ending and starting these two years alone does not concern me, I have much work to do on myself and in all reality I have always made the most progress by myself. I am ok with that for now. I can always change that if I decide I really want to.
Instead I am focused on the present and it is good. The storms which are roiling on the horizon do not concern me. I have ample wood and sturdy shelter, food and the many projects I can put my hands to. I could busy myself from here with what lies within my reach and would not run out of things to do for months! If I enjoy my work I also savor the time allowed for my own interests, many that they are. This all bodes well for the future and I haven’t even begun to explore the opportunities surrounding me, though I have promised myself I will. There is plenty of time for that, first I need to put my life in order and the stillness of the moment lends itself to the same.
The present. If winter is the time to rest and go inward I am making good use of it. I have a good fire going and I am gathering my thoughts, a practice which befits the end of any year. There will be no resolutions but rather a continued effort towards my ultimate goals which are more in reach now than they have been in years. The fault is mine and even if I have persevered I have languished also, now I am moving forward as I should. The sky darkens as I write and I ask myself what needs to be done outside before it storms. I will be shut in for the duration of it.
I will begin this near year at peace with myself and my surroundings. My life is as simple as I could ask for and my goals are all in reach. There is a stillness inside of me which has been long absent and it opens the doors for all the endless possibilities. There is not a void but rather a space to be filled in any manner I desire and I am being very cautious in my choices! Much in the manner I sorted through my possessions to decide which items were essential and which I could live without for now, or longer, I am deciding on my needs in the same manner. Just what do we really need to be comfortable and happy? My list is short and I have already surrounded myself with the same. If I had to go forward from here with only what I have brought along I should only really miss my horse, and I have lived a long time without him! This is my lesson for the year when I have let go of so many things, my father and a partner amongst them. In the end they were the two people I was closest to and with whom I shared the bulk of my time and thoughts, and I don’t much miss either of them. The man my father was in the past I will always miss, but he departed long before the other did. As for my partner, he lingers nearby and even reaches back towards me now, but that too is past.
Now is the time for me to go forward unhindered and unafraid. I am less focused on the concerns of solitude or any sort of failure other than the one priority which I cannot ignore. Now is my time, when there isn’t anyone else who I need be concerned about with any immediacy, other than myself. I have already lived half of my life, or perhaps three quarters by any fair measure and I know what I require for the rest of it if I am to be happy with the outcome. I have lived by the premise of being able to look back on my life with no regrets if this was my last day to live and I intend to honor that to the fullest going forward.
I have done good things and I wish to improve further on that if for no other reason than to set a good example for my children. I want to leave them with a legacy my parents have failed to offer me. I have already created a good foundation for that but I want to build on it also and it is as good a goal as any. If I could have anything it would be to have created a safe haven in a peaceful place I could call my own and to leave the same for my children to enjoy, that it could be theirs. I can envision a small cabin or adobe in a quiet spot, either out on the plain or in a small sheltered valley. There would be a few acres, a barn, a fence and a garden, a windmill and solar panels, a good wood pile and a few trees. It might have to sit empty at times as they all have their own lives to live and build but it could be there for them to retreat to just as I have done with Nogal, and my spirit would be there to greet them.
I would have it that I had lived a quiet life there and ended my days with much happiness to reflect on. There would be books and journals for them to read when they were there, and no TV. They would go there as I had to find the peace and the solitude this life so rarely affords unless we ourselves choose to cultivate it. There would be no echoes of drama or unhappiness there, only the quiet stillness of a life well lived and the garden would flourish even in their absence. The overflow from the well would keep the earth moist and the garlic protect it from harm. They would have to go visit every spring to harvest the asparagus before it got too big, and would then spend a week enjoying the same before they had to leave. They would drink their tea with fresh mint as it would flourish through the winter as it always has. When they prepared to leave they would break a few sprigs off the rosemary bush and leave it in their truck as a reminder. Every time the sun warmed the dashboard its fragrance would return.
I have so little to ask for and from my present perch it is all again in reach. I have escaped the confines of the canyon and my workplace and arrived upon a small plateau which sits above a river valley huddled deep in the heart of the arid plains. I can see for miles from here and I am watching the storms build to the west even as the winds are yet a whisper. I am a little too warm but as I am unwilling to let the fire go out I have opened the half door to the outside to let some cool air in instead. It smells a little bit of rain and I hope we see some of the storm, it will quell any sense of restlessness that might touch me. I bought some stew meat and thought to make a good soup for myself but I could still go west, but I likely won’t. There is nothing there I need at this moment and I am better off here. I have tempted fate too often these past few years and now is the time to settle in and focus on those dreams which have so patiently waited for me. The luxury is mine!
The rain is already splattering my windows, assuring me of the soundness of my decisions!