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  • first do no harm…

    2010 - 03.03

    The air is so clean and clear here you can feel it nourishing you as you breathe. I may become a breathairian… Sometime when I am walking it is so silent I wonder if I have stopped hearing, and then my stomach gurgles, or I hear myself swallow.

    Jack, Yoda and I go for two walks a day and spend about three hours roaming and exploring the countryside. Well, Jack and I walk. Yoda rides in a sling on my chest.

    When I first arrived here, in Youngsville, New Mexico,  I only had hats made out of fabric and felt; you know hats that made me look good, not hats that were designed for warmth. I called my Mom and asked her to make me some hats out of polar fleece. My Mom can make anything. So a few days later I received a package that had two Heidi Hats complete with braids, a cap, and two ear bands; all made out of warm fleece. My ears are toasty and I no longer lose my body heat from the top of my head.

    Today while we were walking we saw a neighbor about 1/8 of a mile away from us walking with her dog. Jack immediately snapped to attention and started to haul me towards the dog and the woman. She saw us and I waved. She didn’t wave back and she started walking away from us instead of towards us to. “Hmmm”, I thought…I must look a little stranger than I believed myself to look; in my bright yellow, knee high, Earth Boots, thermal Fleece Heidi hat, thermal fleece gloves, Bomber Jacket, Black thermal cashmere tights and stylish Sun glasses. Could be she thought I was from another planet. Or maybe, what I think of as “Jack’s regal stance” might be considered frightening to someone who has never seen a wooly bear, masquerading as a dog. Jack was disappointed and we had a small battle of wills as he tried to haul me in one direction towards them and I tried to haul him in another, away from them. I had to explain to him about stalking. We had a New Mexican standoff.

    Jack is very patient. He can out wait just about anything and anyone. His attention span is remarkable and he never, ever forgets, so we often have these tug of war moments until I march up to him, grab his halter and yank. And then he smiles with crazy eyes and says “oh, you want to go that way? Why didn’t you say so!” Jack is very congenial. It is good to be congenial when you are ginormous. Yoda on the other hand is 3 1/2 lbs of doggy attitude and fury. When other dogs come our way she starts screaming at them, “we are going to kick your asses!” and then she looks at Jack and says “Right?”… Jack is a lover not a fighter, unless he feels that I am threatened and then I think he would take on a Mountain Lion. I am not planning on putting that to the test though, so we make sure we are inside the house by the time total darkness falls. Yesterday I saw two sets of Mountain Lion tracks walking side by side; paw prints larger than Jacks…

    There are thousands and thousands of acres of national forest lands that butt up against hundreds and hundreds of other acres. You can wander for days and never come across a paved road. I follow my feet because that is where the rocks are. I know I cannot bring them all into the house, but some just call to me! I also trust that Jack knows where he is going or at least where he has been. Yet, sometimes I look up and have that thrill of not knowing where I am. However, you know that I must find my way home because I am writing this.

    I have been finding a lot of spiders in the house, under things, hanging from things, scurrying across the floor. I don’t mind that they are sharing my space as long as they are not spiders with an attitude. I usually capture them and put them outdoors, but sometimes I just let them stay where they are. If I feel one is questionable I ask them if they are, you know, deadly, but they always assure me that they are amiable and non-threatening.

    This is the land of enchantment… if you don’t pay attention to the old cars and trailers heaped up outside other trailers. Also, recycling is a tad bit behind the times and litter is thrown out car windows so prisoners have something to pick up…

    No… I am not being politically incorrect!  Read one of my earlier blogs. You will see that I was born politically correct. This stuff just is; the litter, the New Mexican road art, the non-recycling plan… but the beauty of the land and sky is so amazing that the other stuff fades into the background. I have been painting, writing new music, planting a garden, writing grants, and listening to the silence. Being here is like taking a step into a different dimension; I can still see reality, but whose reality is it?

    And this is what I know… as I walk into “some-other-ness”, I must be cautious of not being arrogant, knowing-it-all, sure of the outcomes and being judgmental. I must honor what is, before I try to change it. I must breathe in this air; cleaner than anything I have ever breathed before, and let my body adjust to the strength of it. I must not see the spiders as enemies and I must pay attention to the messages of my strange dreams. I must only pick up the rocks that sing to me, otherwise I won’t be able to vacuum, and above all else I must do no harm to this fragile eco-system of plants, and rock, animals, and people. I must listen with my heart, and feel with my intuition. Maybe I should have been doing this all along? Since the first breath I ever took? I am glad I realized it before the last breath! Breathe in…Breathe out…Know that you are worthy. Know that you are love!

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