Walk In Beauty


April 21, 2020
Nogal House
Indian Divide, New Mexico

Walk In Beauty

I choose to walk in beauty today
To negate the voices of worry and crisis
And instead embrace the earth
And all the wonders she has to offer
I will be still today and listen closely
To the song of the lark
And the whisper of the wind
As it makes its ways through the canyons
And I will be sure to go walking
So that it can greet me.
I will walk in beauty in all of my actions
Starting with my morning prayers
My arms upraised to the rising sun
And embracing all the glory
Of the new and waking day
For this is as it is meant to be
This is all that is offered to us
And this is the way I choose
To live this blessed life.

I slept late his morning, unwilling to break the stillness. I lay still in that half waking state and all the peacefulness and beauty of the new day surrounded me. I focused my thoughts and took in the beauty before I even opened my eyes and then, fully awake, was able to take that with me. I am good at such things, if I allow them their chance, but can just as easily forget them. Today I succeeded in all I aspired to, allowing my thoughts to focus on all of the blessings I am surrounded with and letting everything else fall in its own place. I have no control over what goes on outside my door, only over what I choose to allow to fill my mind, and sometimes not even that. I will take today for its full value, and do my best to affirm it. There have been too many difficult days of late and I am ready to move forward again.

There is some irony here. All of this clarity came to me before I even fully wakened, and yet it was already predestined to do so. I wrote of this very same thing two years ago, but I didn’t know that until I sat to write. For me this is both an affirmation and a message. I have been on this path before and it always parallels my travels when I am not. I drift into other things, other thought patterns, different priorities. I also always find my way back to where I was before because it has always been the path I have sought. I have found it once again after far too many days and weeks of struggle. I have perceived this forced confinement in so many ways and have again returned to the conclusion that this time is mine to fill in any way that I choose, and that I should choose for it to be productive.

I have tried to be productive from the start and began on the right foot. I cleaned my living room completely in anticipation of a lengthy stay at home. I was rewarded fully for that effort as my space is more open and useful than it has ever been. Where there were old couches I now have a day bed/couch and an art table for my work. I then cleaned the sheds and organized the yard which have also brought me good returns, and then turned to the porch. The porch, as with the house, yard and sheds, has been a catch all of sorts over these last many years. I have come and gone but rarely stayed for more than a few months at a time before I traveled on to elsewhere. I have added more to my stores than I have taken away and I am now ready for the final purge. The porch was probably the worst of it but now it is cleared also, and I have a work place there as well. In the weeks to come I hope to even build a new roof and a cold frame for some plants. I have already set a garden but the rats and mice are enjoying it far more than I have been able to. Better to have a greenhouse in this arid clime.

So it is that I have added to the beauty of my surroundings. I have garlic growing well as nothing wants to eat that, and there are seeds sprouting each day. I now have some raised containers and the garden effort will prosper. My purple iris are in full bloom and the white ones will soon follow. The peach trees survived the last freeze and there is plenty of fruit on their limbs. Even the golden hillside is trying to green and I will pray for more rain. It would be so wonderful to have a good summer this year. My wood pile is even growing, though it will be through my efforts only that that effort will prosper. It is always best to prepare for winter well ahead of its onslaught and if I did well enough last year it is time to go after it again. The comfort of a good supply warms me year round and the time I spend running the saw and gathering wood is always a pleasure. Driving back home at sunset with a load of wood is a good ending for the day. Stacking the wood is an affirmation of wellness in every sense of the word.

I will go walk again today, and every day going forward that I have the chance to. I don’t wander as far as I used to as my knee won’t allow that, but I walk until I am satisfied with the distance I have covered. I have my familiar trails but there is so much country I have yet to explore, and I am seeking it out now. I keep reminding myself in the process of how fortunate I am to have this alternative. The need for social distancing has been difficult for me, in spite of my chosen solitude. I need some interaction and have always been able to go find it when I chose to. Now, not so much, but I still have the broad expanses of country to explore and the beauty therein embraces me in the same manner a friend would hold and hug me. It is all I really need for the moment and it has always been a good substitute in the past. Rather than focusing on the limitations of the moment it is so better to embrace the opportunities instead. Without the usual demands of a daily routine there is so much time for other things. Why not use it well.

As if the freedom of my solitude were not enough I can reflect on the alternatives. What if I were confined to an apartment in the city where even the public parks are closed? What if there were no mountain trail to explore and not even a walking path to wander? What if this pressing concern was at my doorstep rather than one hundred miles away as we have been spared from the worst of this by leaps and bounds? If I am still struggling with the limitations and implications of this entire pandemic event I am by no means confined to those, or anything else in my immediate environment. I need but to look out the window or walk out the door and I am surrounded by endless beauty such as some people never experience in their lifetime. Who am I to complain? If others are limited in so many ways to a narrow window of freedom and opportunity I am only bound by my own imagination. Today, and every day going forward I will instead choose to walk in beauty. Everything else will simply have to wait.

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