March 28, 2017
Vera Cruz, New Mexico
Day Eighty Seven 2017 Blessings
To what do I owe these blessings? I wake in the darkness to a light wind and a warm house, the fire still smoldering in the woodstove. If it was too warm for a moment in the night it is still most pleasant this morning, and left me with no willingness to hurry. I should be on my way to work soon enough, and I will be ……….I am only three hours away. Circumstance bade me to stay last night and I offer no complaint, though I rarely call in as I had to. Something made me stay and for that I feel quite blessed.
If I complained of the droughts which have led me to leave here so I woke to rain this morning! The ground was damp and there was a light sprinkle in the air, which is fragrant with the moisture. This is a rare event and to have stayed to witness it warms my heart, and makes me just a little homesick. I reflect on how I left here five and a half years ago knowing I might never live here again. I haven’t since, but briefly, but I am so fortunate to get to visit! I may yet return again to stay, but it will be a while for certain.
So it is that I take a moment to record my thoughts and to count my blessings. No time lost in the end, I had to drink a cup of tea before I left and I will be ready in a moment. The first light, so precious to me, has yet to touch the Carrizo but the dance of the clouds and contrast of the colors makes up for it all. There is green, gold and dark grey beneath a sky of altered colors. The air is sweet and I will leave with the best of memories this time, to be held close and treasured until I return. There is an added blessing as well. The peach trees will soak up every precious drop of moisture and if by chance there is a little more rain, perhaps there might be fruit. That is all I need to know.
March 27, 2017
Vera Cruz, New Mexico
Day Eighty Six 2017 Simple Ritual
It is the simple rituals which are the most precious factor of my life. It is waking to the silence, broken only by the trill of the meadow lark. Even the chill of stepping from my warm bed into the cold air of the morning is a welcome event, as it means I am home. I might have built a fire last night but it was late and I would have had to babysit it. The stove warms me now though the sun hit the front porch first and it was warmer there when I opened the door than it was in my house. Go figure, one more thing to be grateful for. I stood in the doorway for a long moment to soak up the warmth before I went back inside..
If this is a familiar theme so there is much justification for the same. May it be that we were all reminded each day of the simple rituals of our lives, and the joys they bring to us when recognized. I have recorded them in a very deliberate fashion as it is these which carry me through every day of my life, no matter the challenges I might be facing. If not for this practice, and the very existence of this house which I have returned to for so many years, I may have followed a much different path. Or not. I have chosen to ‘keep it simple’ and even when it is less than that this place radiates with purpose. This is my ultimate goal, even if it may not be here where I finally realize it so I have already attained the practice.
One might ask, as I am asking myself at this moment, why I would leave here if I am so close to the ideal. That is an excellent question when spring is at my door, the fruit is holding on the peach trees and their leaves have already greened. The iris is coming up and if I am mindful I will have some asparagus someday soon. I am already feeling guilty about the peaches, I didn’t prune the trees this year, or the last, and the windmill won’t pump water. This means there will be a bumper crop which never succeeds as the trees will prune back and drop them if they don’t have water. There will be no water if I don’t make the repairs and come home to run the hose.
Why? Why? There are so many reasons, none which seem justifiable with the stove crackling beside me and a cottontail dashing across the yard after something warned him off. Perhaps it was the smell of my footprints, as he was sniffing around the shed. Why, when the trill of the meadowlark warms my heart and I am watching the trees for the Scotts Oriole, another of my favorites who will return soon enough. It is because I have gone again to seek my fortune elsewhere so I may reduce my necessities to where I can return, or find a like place to stay, and never leave.
The bigger reason is this, though at the moment it seems hard to justify. I grew restless here and felt that it was time to move on. I went far to the west, only to return. I then went south, though close by, and for the past several years made my life elsewhere, though I came here also. Still yet, I have been here more in the past few months than I have been in years, and I miss it. But I also love the river. The Pecos is almost out my door and I could walk to it in a short hike, and the drive is even faster. There is no water here, not even from the windmill for the moment. If that leads one to glory in the rains, when they come, the drought takes its toll also, and I have lived here through years of drought. I think I need more water, if only a narrow stream such as there was in Bent and Mescalero. I saw water every day and in the summers we flooded the fields as they do in Fort Sumner. I love that!
So it is for the moment that I have come to a compromise. I have been reminded of a life lesson which I should never forget. One needs to weave the ritual of happiness into their life in such a manner that it is practiced daily. I have continued to do so as it is an essential for me. I carry wood and water, I write, I walk and run (though not enough!) and for the moment, every chance I have, I go to the river. There is a lake also, not too far but far enough. If I can find a quiet place there it might be worth the drive. The point is this; we all know what it is that brings us the most happiness, at least I certainly do, and we must be mindful to provide that. I forget myself sometimes but it always comes back to the simple rituals and practices which define my very existence. Nothing else really matters, except for what we do to assure we meet our needs. I keep trying to narrow that down and I am getting closer every day. That too, is a ritual, of necessity.