“If one’s eyes are always on tomorrows, today’s slip by unperceived. To a West which in it’s concern to refashion heaven and earth is in danger of letting the presentness of Life – the only Life we really have – slip through it’s finger, Zen comes as a reminder that if we do not learn to perceive the mystery and beauty of our present Life, our present hour, we shall not perceive the worth of any Life, any hour”
~ Philip Kapleau ~
The gifts around these “Thanksgiving” times have been of many. Mother Nature has been generous with such incredible guest appearances from the many clouds introduced when the curtain dropped by the end of each day. I feel so much appropriate listening to Jesse Cook’s Guitar throughout such moments.
Late it is. I know it has to be another day. The skies from above in their darkest black canvas are dotted with their blinking stars projecting their deepest hours of the night. Wandering in such vastness within such obscurity I can only step through with the use of my senses. I start thinking if anyone else lives such as me, such as us, an inseparable pair tied so closely and yet so freely each living our lives. Of course there has to be this other Soul, maybe in a far land, maybe just near by at this very moment with his/her dog fumbling with ease through the brushes, stepping on some rocks, feeling them, looking up waiting for a signal which so often takes place striking the skies with a lighted tail.
I am still surfing the crest of this wave which has no shore yet in sight. The horizon has become infinite. The ride with a "hiss" no louder than yesterday and no quieter has been music to my ears, has been the smile of my Soul, tremendously fast with a quality letting me savor every moment past which incessantly nurtures me now and always again "now". This morning the Sun is hidden by the low clouds, almost fog, it is humid as my face feels wet and my clothes are clinging. There is a chill in the air, warmth has not yet come through. I forget the weather here can also go astray and a look at the weather forecast reassures me this is only temporary.
Yesterday’s skies again were a gift from Mother Nature longing to slowly unwrap her offerings. It was also as such when we returned early from the Art Walk in Alpine. Everything stops. Give me a few clouds, a Sun dropping into the horizon, a chair, no chair, and the show unravels with "ahs!" and "ohs!". Cooking stops, thinking does too as even Spirit tranquil and composed often sits by me and watches intimately his own World moving on at his own pace as he always does undisturbed from it all. I never felt such Peace within me, I have to stay calm, I know it is not a mirage of this Life, I don’t want to spoil the moment, I only want to remain within this chamber bright and lit moving me incessantly forward.
And forward we have gone today. Another day. Transported through the beautiful River Road once again to Presidio first for more fuel and some last minute provisions, finally taking on the easy 27 mile dirt road to Sauceda, the center of this incredible far away and isolated Big Bend Ranch State Park. The Sun is already setting behind the hill here at Tapesco 2. I am already in the shadows, it must be late afternoon, and this site, well, it is leaving me speechless. It is a Star, it is one that has descended on Earth and here we are, borrowing it’s welcoming space. The road, 4 miles from the Welcome Center is marginally bad but doable. Not for a passenger car or a street oriented motorcycle.
The space is of a different dimension, once again another step, up. I always thought "The Oasis" was filled with silence, this site here must be the true definition of such silence. Our own little piece of land in the middle of another million acres as primitive as it can get. As alone one can be but not lonely. I think often as I also have been asked " why do I not get lonely?". I am not, as for one Spirit and I keep each other company in such incredible ways. I also do love the company of others but the lifestyle is not so conducive toward a constant as such entourage. My thoughts, my own mind on this path of constant growth, my books, my camera, "Old Faithful" and Mother Nature, all keep me away from any loneliness.
Freedom is the major player amongst it all. The lack of compromise and no needed decisions for most of the time is the luxury, is the essence of it all. Everything is a trade of and of course so is this stage but such freedom has taken over and won’t let go. Who would ever want to live this Life as such anyhow? I even find it selfish on my part to maintain such luxury only having myself to consider toward any steps taken. Could be breakfast for dinner, could be riding south and suddenly going north, could be thinking staying here for a couple days and yet still be planted a week later. Who in their right mind would care to follow such I would even call eccentricities as with another Soul to share they would not exist out of respect and compromise. And yet again, who knows?
Cold night it was, mid thirties I was told it would be, and yet now the sun only being out shortly is already baking my back while drinking my coffee and writing this on my phone. The skies are blue without a cloud in sight which would have made for some nice photos. The coyotes woke me up a couple times, I know a few were very close, they sounded at first like sirens till I totally woke up and realized were I was and who they were. A bird or two passing by singing their morning songs makes me think about "Bird" back at The Oasis. I left him lots of crumbs, I know he will be there when we return. He has been demanding lately getting as close as a few feet with it’s loud voice suddenly trying to get my attention. I like that. I am however wondering what he is going to do when we leave. Probably what he was doing before we arrived! Wish he could come with us, but it just does not work out that way.
And another day. So thankful. Such a radiant space. Quiet day. The Welcome Center was a stop. Seems we are not as far from civilization as I thought. Only the hard road often demanding some crawling is keeping others away from where we are. This name “Tascate 2” amongst others such as “La Mota”, “La Posta” and so many more. There is a bunkhouse for men and one for women. A full kitchen as to my surprise they are serving Thanksgiving dinner for 120 people. There is no one here right now, only saw a couple cars which catching us by surprise knew of us. Small world. I will be cooking again tomorrow as I did tonight. I think it will be some chicken with dried cranberries and a balsamic vinegar mustard sauce with pasta. Sounds decadent as the peppered steak with rice I made tonight. I feel so lucky I know how to cook with so little. There is always such a pleasure and satisfaction creating a dish and savoring it as here away from it all. I better feed Spirit now. He is waiting.
Thanksgiving has come and gone. Not without a show I must say I might have never seen before. A Sunset I cannot describe as by the minute standing on a peak of this Mountain it was as I suddenly was detached from this Earth and floating in space in the midst of colors and shapes and hues and shadows without exaggeration never felt before. The space had much to do with it all. No one around for miles, I did scream, I let it all out, I send out my "thank you (s)", my "gratitude" and with Lance’s presence so much felt I still managed to be and remain on this path of acceptance. Took some photos, they do not make justice toward those present moments even with those incredible colors right out of the camera. They are just photos! There is so much more. I put the camera away and went in to be part of this scene so powerful and so gracious on this special day.
There is nothing else more uplifting for us as being "out there", way out there! Up and down the unpaved roads lacking any traffic, a bit of wildlife, when skies all blue a sharpness of the Earth, when filled with clouds a show of shadows and colors which cannot compare with any play or Art humanly created. We are now back at "The Oasis" going through those photos, writing down the recipes cooked (two more have been added), just "being" as again last night another show stopper took place. So many gifts coming our way. It is overwhelming at times.
Till next time…
Take a look at my Photo Galleries. “Smugmug” stands for quality. Thank you.
Be well, always.
Ara and Spirit