April 21, 2018
Caballo, New Mexico
The Beauty Way
I woke to savor the stillness of the dawn. Laying still I witnessed that perfect moment of beauty as the sun crested the Caballo Mountains and lit the windows of my room. The transition was Zen-like, gradual yet instantaneous, subtle but brilliant, radiant in every sense. The temptation was to jump and get my camera and yet there was no way to capture it even then, and the light changed before I could even process the thought. I judged well, it was better to simply be in the moment than to try to hold the feeling for eternity. It was, in essence, too pure for such a desire. Blessings of that sort are to be but received and recalled, to be carried with us in their purest forms.
So I begin my day, walking in beauty in every sense. If I have come to raise such prayers each and every day, so they came to me this morning as I slept late beyond the dawn. So often I wake well before that and raise my arms to the sky before the dawn even gathers his gifts to be shared. I drive to work in the dusk and only if I am late will the sun break the horizon, blinding me with her brilliance. I rarely witness that since the time change…I will track the seasons accordingly. Today and tomorrow I instead chance to savor the luxury of rest, and then will repeat the pattern.
If there is such a strong desire for freedom I have no complaints either. I have, for the moment, preserved my position with the city, for which I am most grateful. I quit, then unquit, and had the affirmation of being allowed to stay, albeit with strong resistance from he who would have chosen differently. I hold no malice, he harbors the same. I might have left but it is this very place I am, the utter beauty and peacefulness it provides me, that begged me to stay. The richness of the community ran close second, and with equal appeal. There is a sense of happiness I have found here that has evaded me elsewhere and if it was overcome momentarily it has returned in full force. I may make some compromises in order to maintain that but even those are loaded with lessons. It is time for me to learn the things I have chosen to avoid until now. The knowledge will be the reward.
So it is I gaze on the twinkle of the lake, just beyond the trees, sparkling at the feet of the mountains. The Caballos, brown and red on their rocky ramparts, the foothills green with mesquite and greasewood, the lake bright silver and blue in the morning sun. The waters give way to the willows and salt cedar, bright green in their freshness, rising from the lakeshore with their feet in shallow waters. Rising further, returning to the desert sands, the greasewood and mesquite front the road to my doorway. The sky is clear blue and cloudless, tinged brown with dust and smoke from distant fires, lest we forget there is drought and wind to contend with. If the morning is still cool the heat is at her back and will settle in for the duration of the summer. It may threaten my serenity but as with all else it will be a small sacrifice in comparison to other challenges. It will be hot everywhere this year, but the winters here are warm………..
I am no longer weighing my options but rather shaking off the worry of the week just past, and all of the uncertainty! If for a moment I saw no recourse I quickly regrouped also. What I felt to be intolerable gave way to a recognition of opportunity, to lesser demands on my mind and a fitness of body I have struggled with. Take away my pen and paper and give me a shovel! If that had been my choice for so many years I traded the same for more opportunity, and frustration. What that I can work as I once did, albeit with more effort and a little pain, but my arms are still strong and my mind so wonderfully precious. Better to write poetry than reports, and remove myself from the line of fire. They may not ever win that back! I will labor as I once did, offer expertise where needed and appreciated, and take my turn with the rest instead of running to the front. A lesson indeed, and a reward of serenity, coupled with fitness. I have already shed fourteen pounds in the process, with ten more to go. That tells the story in itself.
The beauty way. What that I so often walked in beauty when I first came to this territory. It is the same which has drawn me back. With a barrage of things I can do today the allure of the hills comes first! The weather is still cool and begs for me to explore those places I have returned to, or find new territory otherwise. If I am drawn back to the same canyons today I may seek open ground, and save the sheltered coolness for the hotter days. I can walk by the water come summer, it is still spring here on the flats. I will admire the tender leaves of the mesquite and the brilliant cactus flowers and seek the cottonwoods later, they can wait. Even as I peruse the windows of my room and envision the blue trim they are begging for I am drawn to walk instead. I will be here for longer than I thought, and they will wait also………The summer will keep me inside and then I can busy my hands. Now is the time to replenish my spirit. I will walk in beauty today, in all things and all ways. There is beauty all around me, I must step forward to meet her.