October 6, 2019

Nogal House

Indian Divide, New Mexico


(In lieu of what has transpired in the past year I have to think I had COVID 19 when I wrote this! My fever returned several times and I was ill for 2 months before I ‘woke well’ one day in early January. I haven’t been sick since, and there is plenty of wood for the winter!)

I woke unwell yesterday, blaming the gray fog at first and then wondering if I was ill. Ill I was, or quite honestly, battling illness. I had a rare outbreak of a virus that lingers in my system from childhood round with chicken pox, the same one which gave me Bell’s palsy and well could have done the same yesterday. It came at the same time I got sick with whatever other scourge I contracted and my immune system went to war with it. If I woke feeling unwell it progressed through the day with fever and chills, leaving me hunkered by the woodstove all day long, weak and ill besides. I found a project and strung beads all day, the only thing I was capable of and grateful for the distraction. The sun broke through and the sky cleared, giving way to a beautiful day I could only admire but barely enjoy. By evening I was so weak and feverish that I was fearing for my life. I messaged my son and considered going to the hospital, but went to bed instead. Sometime in the middle of the night the fever broke and I awakened to a sudden sense of wellness.

It’s funny but when one gets so ill when they recover there is a sense of heightened awareness of every blessing of wellness. In a sense it is gratitude for even being alive, as the sickness was enough for me to consider the possibility of dying. I even gazed at the tawny beauty of the hillside, lit by the evening sun, and considered that is that was the last thing I saw in this life, it was good. I am so glad I survived! I now revel in the strength of my immune system and I am glad I allowed it to battle things out rather than resort to medication instead. I considered that last night and I hope that whatever antibodies rallied in my defense will remain vigilant going forward. I have also considered how vulnerable I, and all the rest of humanity, am to some simple viral attack. I pray I never have to face that again, and that if I do I can counter it so quickly.

Today I will take great care with myself and allow my body to heal. If I have made it through the worst it would be best to be sure. I have leather work to do as I will be traveling again come Thursday and have an order to fill. I will be content to do my work and gaze out on the beauty which surrounds my humble abode, though I wish to go walk also. My knee is keeping me still, but the hills beg for my company. I will admire them at a distance for now. I have a small fire going but will likely let it dwindle in time as the sun is already warm. All told I am still weak, but so much better than yesterday! I imagine I am still battling the virus, but at least I know I will survive.

It seems best not to delve too deep for now. I am looking at the woodpile and wishing it was bigger, but it will do for the moment. I am burning scraps and exercising a rare frugality, but that doesn’t hurt anything. Come the deep of winter I will keep the fire stoked but for now it is but a luxury to have one. The practice of living so close to the elements has served me well thus far, and I chose to continue that for so long as I can. Illness drove home the effort of it yesterday, but thankfully I am so rarely ill. That my son David is only ten miles up the road is a comfort also, and he would come to my aid immediately if I was to ask him to. I was ill enough last night to consider that, and texted him to be sure. It was a relief this morning to let him know I was okay.

So I begin a new day, grateful to be here to enjoy it. I will be pleased when my strength is restored but content to be healing for now. It is a good time to be still, complete projects and savor the fall season. I am here to stay and so looking forward to creating the means to do so. I pause to consider all of the years I have spent away from here, trying to return to the simple way of life that this place represents and offers each time I come home. Those were adventures I had to embark upon but I will be satisfied if there is never again the necessity to do so. Not that there isn’t still a sense of restlessness, as such is my nature, but at least for now there is no place I would rather be. Future adventure is certainly appealing, and I need to see and do different things, but there is so much I can do from here as well. Perhaps my investment in a gallery in Carrizozo will pay off and mine and everyone else’s desire to enrich the culture there will come to fruition. There are more and more people moving into the community, in part because of the Valle Del Sol, but also in town. They all want and need much of the same thing I do, intelligent conversation and creative activities. Just maybe we can team up and make that a reality. 

Time to get on with my day………

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