Tuesday, January 24, 2017

A Winter Walk at Dry Creek: Reacquainting Myself with Myself and the Land

Headed home from work on a chilly winter's day, listening to NPR and feeling blue.  A fragment in my life I didn't like.  It was nothing big; I just realized that I'm just enough in touch with the world to be out of touch with myself.  Yesterday, I'd spent way too much time on Facebook reading and commenting on political links.  All the peaceful protests give me hope, but there is something about social media that is spiritually deadening.  I have no intention of giving it up.  I have a couple of good friends who I really never knew outside the cyber world.  Facebook has also reconnected me with my two best friends from high school, who I'd semi-lost contact with before Facebook entered my life.  So, it's not that I think it's evil; it just distracts from living in the moment.

Even when I was a fairly unhappy person as a teenager and college student, I was always good at living in the moment.  Cafes, restaurants and bars became almost sacred places.  I spent hours silently reading while listening to casual conversations, the hum of heaters or overhead fans, and the occasional drop of ice in the ice machine.  I might have been alone and without belief, but I was grounded deeply to the now, and that felt good, if only for the moment.

I've lost some of that, and I want it back again.  Right now I hear bacon sizzling in the pan and smell that rich, sweet meaty aroma as Marci cooks us breakfast for dinner.

Anyway, on the way home, I glanced out my window down a long, straight, snow-covered farm lane edged by a barbed wire fence and elms.  When I saw it, that old, familiar yearning came back, and I thought to myself I've lost track of why I'm here.   Politics do matter.  It's important to speak out against Trump, not because any single action is effective, but because numbers matter.  Apathy and silence is democracy's greatest enemy.  But that's not why I'm here.  I'm at this place and time because of Dry Creek, because of my land, because of my heritage, because I've been a part of this place for so long that it is part of me.

As I neared our property and saw Harold, our resident eagle in his tree, I decided that I needed to take a walk.

Harold, our resident eagle, photographed in 2016 by Rio Brown

Everest decided to come with me, and so we also took the dogs.  We didn't go far--just up to my mom's house--but it was enough to reacquaint myself with the land, something I needed badly.  At least this day I found connection to the moment again. 

Looking down into the canyon from the old gate
Mt. Catherine (left), over 10,000 feet above sea level

Buddha (left), Oreo (behind), Everest, and Camilla (on Everest's lap)
rest on the bridge to Lloyd and my mom's house.

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