Thirty-Seven Gone By

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December 6, 2017, Prescott- 

Each day brings choices.

That cold, wet night in Zuni,

thirty-seven years ago,

I chose to meet your eyes,

share your chair,

embrace your being.

We knew, pretty much

from that point on,

that this was a defining moment.

The charades of other people,

taking my place with you,

or your place with me,

never panned out.

Our time,

briefer than either of us expected,

was still a time of tight fit,

unbreakable solidity,

sweet and sour unity.

Family knew we would never break,

our child was glad that we,

never,

went to bed angry,

and so were you and I.

The neighbour across Solar Drive,

seeing me go out the door,

and come back,

less than five minutes later,

was never quite so sure.

The Dineh could have told her,

we never raised unkind hands

at one another.

Peace was always our only solution,

to all the storms that raged

in our hearts.

Thirty-seven years later,

nearly seven years after

you flew homeward,

I recall that peace.

It sustains me, yet.

 

Thoughts on A Thanksgiving Just Past, and On Black Friday

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November 24, 2017, Prescott-

Why do I wake in a state of love?

Perhaps it’s because the alternative

is nothing but a debilitating illusion.

I was treated to a fabulous Thanksgiving Dinner,

courtesy of my hard-working,

always conscientious

best friend,

and her younger daughter,

this daughter’s boyfriend

and BF’s middle sister.

I had the pleasure of

helping out,

before and after the meal.

Helping always makes

me feel a part of the lives

of those around me.

Thanksgiving has its

roots in our primal need,

as creatures,

to praise our Creator.

The Konda Reddy people,

of southern India,

praise their Lord,

when the wild mango ripens.

The Zuni, of western New Mexico,

offer thanks, each December,

by blessing the houses that

have been built or renovated,

during the course of the year.

The wise among us,

do similar things,

once a year.

They also offer thanks,

first thing in the morning

and last thing at night.

Thanksgiving is not

imposed by conquerors.

It is a gift of the heart.

The sweep of commerce,

leaving little sacred,

in its wake,

screams “DEALS!”,

even before one’s

heavenly meal,

is a thing of the past.

Again, today,

I think I’ll pass.

Besh Ba Gowah

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October 11, 2017, Globe, AZ-

The Southwest is as abundant with remembrances of the past, as anywhere on Earth, and perhaps more than many places.  The various cultures and civilizations that came here, long before the Athapascans, the Comanches, the Utes, to say nothing of the Spanish and other Caucasians, will perhaps never be well understood.  I see, however, that in many ways, these distant ancestors of the Hopi, Zuni, Havasupai, Hualapai, Yavapai and Rio Grande Puebloans are mirrors of ourselves.  Visiting the Salado ruins at Besh Ba Gowah (Apache, for “Metal Camp”), I saw a carefully planned, apartment-based community, which relied on knowledge and cultivation of high desert plants, having drawn on the practices of the Huhugam and others who came here, well before the 11th and 12th Century heydays of the Salado people.

Here are a series of photos of the excavated and unexcavated ruins, the upper and lower gardens, of Besh Ba Gowah, lovingly restored and maintained by an appreciative City of Globe and its citizens.  I am not commenting on all of the individual photos, hoping that you may draw a sense of the vastness of this complex.

Entry to Excavated Ruins:

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The Excavated Ruins:


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Unexcavated Ruins:

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Arizona Gray Squirrel, a bit mottled by the dryness.

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Upper Ethnbotanical Garden:

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Lower Ethnobotanical Garden:

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Look closely, and spot a smiley face:

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Besh Ba Gowah, and Globe as a whole, are nicely placed between Flagstaff, Phoenix and Tucson, making this stunning area a natural place, in which to enjoy a Fall day or three.

NEXT:  The Further Glories of the Gila Wilderness

 

Contributing

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December 6, 2016,Prescott-

Thirty-six years ago, today,

on a cold and rainy night,

in Zuni,

she entered my life.

It was the night of house blessings,

yet only the keenest of shamans

would have any inkling,

of what a blessing was bestowed

that very night,

upon each of the homes

we would come

to occupy together,

beginning some eighteen months,

to the day, later.

She was always contributing:

to my well-being,

to the future success of our only child,

to the growth and stamina

of every community she entered.

I recall, on our first wedding anniversary,

a wayward child in a little mining town,

dutifully handing her, a stranger,

the needle he was using to jab

people around him.

She was always contributing,

to the collective life around her.

She contributes, still,

to my well-being,

from the Placeless,

from the Timeless.

 

 

 

 

The Road to 65, Mile 20: Now, Then

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December 18, 2014, Prescott-   I found out, early this morning, that someone had pushed the wrong button, in the course of my last financial transaction.  The deposit which should have been posted yesterday, never made it.  This will slightly alter my spiritual journey to western New Mexico, which I had planned on starting Friday night.  No matter, I will get a good night’s sleep here, and most likely be able to set out on Saturday morning.

Zuni, where Penny and I first met, in December, 1980, is first on my itinerary. El Morro National Monument, near there, is next, and I will head, in succession, to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, where we went crane watching, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument and Silver City, which we wanted to visit, but never did, Cochise Stronghold (one of my favourite meditation spots), and Tucson, where a few friends await.

Christmas weekend will find me at the Grand Canyon Baha’i Conference, where I have spent each of the past twenty-two years, save 1997.  It is a good place for spiritual regeneration, and coming on the heals of my time in the forests of western New Mexico and the serene desert near Vail and Avra Valley, it represents a double dose.  Of course, the crowds at GCBC are large, but I draw energy from the youth, and regard many of them as friends.  I have watched so many grow up from infancy, in the time I’ve been back in Arizona.  Now, they are taking on the world, on their own terms.

I sat down this morning with several of the Red Cross Disaster Response Team members, with whom I would be working, if chosen for the position mentioned earlier.  There is a plethora of detail to be worked out, each time a disaster happens.  Good thing there is no ‘I’ in team.  I have had a lot of practice, these past two years, both here and in Europe, in being an effective member of a team handling somewhat chaotic emergencies.  There is a reason for everything.

This evening gave me an hour’s worth of study on Essential Oils, vis-a-vis women’s health issues.  It is also going to come in handy, and this area was not something with which I had much familiarity, until now. That goes to show, in this day and age, an old dog had best learn new tricks, and skills, without hesitation.