February 4, 2018
Caballo, New Mexico
This, then, is happiness, redefined. If I have rambled and traveled so much of my life, so at times I have settled. I feel settled here even before I have completely moved in, and I am pleased. My camper, designed for mobility and convenience has surpassed my expectations. If it is too confined for a long term residence it is comfortable enough and gave me a freedom I might have otherwise not entertained. I had envisioned the same and now that I have exercised it regret not having had it sooner! I might have left Mescalero years ago if I had the ability to camp as I have and for the same reasons was able to come here. That I am already transitioning to an even more comfortable arrangement speaks also to the opportunities I have created for myself.
If my view is blocked by a building it is the same which will soon house me. I walked into those rooms this morning and reminded myself of that as I accessed what it will take to move into them. I journey back to Nogal today for that reason, and will bring back all I need to get settled. Before I even considered my list I opened the doors towards the lake and stepped outside. I offered my morning prayer and as the words parted my lips so a flock of geese emerged in the sky. They broke from behind the mountains to the open space above the lake, flying swiftly in their usual V shaped formation, narrowing and then widening the form as they made a broad circle over the lake. Such an affirmation they offered as I marveled at the beauty which surrounds me here!
Even before that I had begun to redefine my happiness. I have measured that emotion from so many different perspectives, even as the requirements remain such a constant. If beauty and peacefulness are a part of that it is also a solitary pursuit, at least for me. I pondered that upon waking, comparing the moment to the times when it has been shared, and found it good. Certainly there have been times unequaled with a few select companions, but the serenity I find at this moment is almost as precious. There is a balance I have attained that I have never been able to establish in company, including my own, for an inordinate time in my life. I have so often ached for something more and been driven by the same. Instead, at least for now, I find that I have equalized that and am satisfied with the content of this very moment, this very day.
In the same instant I must question myself, as I am so apt to do. Has something broken inside me for this to occur or am I simply redefining happiness, as I set out to do upon waking? Is there anything else I require from this moment? The doves’ song, the lightening sky of dawn, the shadows on the mountains, the glimmer of the lake? I might have it that there be no highway to the west or road to the east but the glimmer of first light as it breaks over the mountaintops and touches the trees is fabulous no matter where it hits! It walks softly from the tops of the willows to the greasewood and mesquite even as its glimmer breaks over the mountaintops. As I bear witness to its beauty I am drawn out the door to capture its wonders. In answer, my landlord, a sweet woman akin to myself, watches me from her window. As I turned to cross back to my camper I saw her coming in my direction. She met me half way, explaining that she had watched me weaving back and forth and was concerned, only to realize I was taking pictures………..We had a good laugh and I thanked her for looking out for me, it is good to know there is someone here to do that! Such are the elements of my happiness, with an added flare of the shared moment.
I settle again to write and am again surrounded by a sense of serenity which too often evades me. Nogal provides the same but has also become that same high lonesome I feared I might find in Oscuro, a little too far removed from any human interaction. I had to but venture forth to find it but I feel I have all but exhausted the possibilities there. This place is new to me and I have hopes for something more, even as I become even more content with my solitude. In fact, the proximity of so much opportunity to mingle has given me a greater sense of balance in my own life. I need but go to town to find any number of outlets, and my landlord provides lively conversation also. My job provokes much thought as well, and my expertise is welcomed and appreciated. All told things look good from here!
I have learned to embrace such moments as this to their fullest, as they are too often fleeting! I have every belief and hope that I have found a good place for me to be and that it has much to offer going forward, but I am also cautious. Experience has taught me that when I reach these plateaus where everything is in balance to savor each and every moment as they arrive, so as to treasure them always. Life should be lived in that fashion and perhaps this is the next lesson, to maintain this balance as best that I can. I have shed so much baggage in this past year and a half and it serves me well now. I have every reason to keep it simple and to focus my energy on the things that bring me happiness. I have redefined the way I am going to approach that!
February 3, 2018
Caballo, New Mexico
Now I am settling in, with a week of work behind me. I was greeted graciously by my coworkers and had a sense of belonging from the start. The community is large enough to offer plenty of activity and the days go fast. The prospect of a long term commitment seems so possible, though only time will tell. In all honesty it will be my desires more than the environment which will decide that. I have so many other things I want to do with my life. If it be a stepping stone or a rock it works well for now!
I am settling in in Caballo also, and am grateful for the choice. My landlord reminds me much of an old friend and I feel I have brought some light to her also. The room I will live in is cleaned out and waiting for improvements and I am eager to inhabit it. The view of the lake and the mountains invites me to linger. It will be good to waken to that each morning. I am drawn there even when there is no reason to go, and step in for a moment each time I am in the building. Today I will bring it even closer to livable and a trip back to Nogal tomorrow will improve things even more. Once I have the wood stove going it will be close enough for me.
My greatest concern, as always, is time. If I manage it properly my life will be full. I like the work and the people well enough to exchange the hours of the day. We also go in at seven so at three thirty there is plenty of daylight for other things. I have been lingering in town, taking a nice shower at the bath house, which remains a luxury after so many years of roughing it. After that I meet a friend and we have been preparing glorious meals with our artistic talents overlapping the dinner table. We often comment on the same, amidst other lively discussion. It is a pleasure to have such a friendship to complete my transition here. I then return home, relax for a bit and am to sleep by nine, content to be where I am.
Come summer that might change. Although I enjoy the company the daylight hours will lengthen, I will have a garden to tend to and the lake to explore. I can see the water from my doorway and windows and think to have found a boat. My vision of quiet evenings on the water and sleeping on the lakeshore could well come to fruition. Once I am moved out of the camper it would be easy to drive to the lake of the afternoon, drop the boat for a sail and then cook dinner at sunset. Weekends I will seek the shelter of the coolness of my room and do artwork. I also want a horse, though in that case my time would be truly filled!
The reality of all this being possible is thrilling and the transition is amazing. Even my present circumstance is most comfortable. I have held my own financially in spite of the stretch of unemployment and am looking forward to some relief also. It was quite comforting to have had what I needed come to me in a timely fashion and my artwork held the torch. I sold a little more yesterday and am so looking forward to the addition of more. I also want, and need, to write! I see now how I have languished, in particular from watching my new friend practice his craft. He being a known and established artist, and possessing true and polished skills, has given me a new angle on my own work. If I lack his flourish in some ways it is more because I have not developed it as deliberately as he has. I see now where I can and should do the same, though I will approach it from my own personal perspective, as I should. If I have one goal right now, beyond the pursuit of financial freedom, it will be to prosper as a writer and artist going forward. I will thank my friend Carlis many times over for the awareness and inspiration he has provided me.
It is so good to be settled in! A year ago I was in Fort Sumner, and the one before that in Bent. If I have come so close to settling down so I was in motion yet again. For the moment I have neither the vision of being elsewhere or the desire to consider that. I have a good job, a comfortable roost well away from town but also a lively community nearby should I desire it, in either direction. There is T or C fifteen minutes to the north, and Hillsboro a thirty minute drive to the south and west. Further north and west is the wilderness I love and south there is Las Cruces. If the winters are mild the summers will be scorching but I have shelter from the heat and a lake to cool my body, and how I love to swim. I also have a cool breeze of the morning, laden with the welcome moisture from the water, and relief from the deserts dryness. I rejoice that every morning.
I have wandered enough in my life to have no great expectations, but I am still very hopeful. The passage of the years has altered my perspective and made each day increasingly precious. If it was challenging to return to work it was also a welcome opportunity. There are fewer and fewer places that I find to my taste and it was good to have one to my liking. If T or C has always appealed to me the more I explore it the more it has to offer. Old buildings abound, as do the nooks and crannies that house the people who mirror myself, seeking comfort and simplicity rather than chaos. They, as I , want only to live as they choose. There are many travelers also and as I discovered at Three Rivers the exchange of ideas and information with them is a genuine pleasure. I will have all of that I can ask for, coupled with solitude when I seek it.
I have arrived again at a stopping place. It seems to possess all the elements I require for the moment, and then some. There is work for me to do in both the physical and proverbial sense, and I am prepared to undertake it. That I have the means and the opportunity to do so says the path I have chosen is a good one. If I let go and let God in order to discover this I also took proper action, and was rewarded for it. There is no better way to begin a new year, and it has already affirmed that. I am settled in, content, and inspired! Life is good today. There is nothing more I could ask for and so much to be thankful for.