“Paragraphs of Daily thoughts, a bit of mental therapy, this and that, published weekly or so…”
"The sense of wishing to be known only for what one really is, is like putting on an old easy comfortable garment. You are no longer afraid of anybody or anything. You say to yourself, ‘Here I am — just so ugly, dull, poor, beautiful, rich, interesting, amusing, ridiculous — take me or leave me.’ And how absolutely beautiful it is to be doing only what lies within your own capabilities and is part of your own nature. It is like a great burden rolled off a man’s [woman’s] back when he comes to want to appear nothing that he is not, to take out of life only what is truly his own."
~ David Grayson, journalist and author (1870-1946) ~
Avoiding the Holidays. That is honestly what my path is right now. No Art Walk in Alpine, Thanksgiving will be only Spirit and I within this again barren Desert that incessantly pulls me in. The temperatures have dropped a bit yet short sleeve T shirt it is, the skies are still of a gray and mysterious color barely allowing the sights of the hills and mountains around us. As always Peaceful and Silence is prevailing this time around off the southern part of "Old Ore Rd", another primitive campsite assigned (we got lucky) called “Camp de Leon”. I am calling it “Mount de Leon”. Why not? That is what I feel like.
Yes, I do have a smile on my face and the same goes with Spirit himself of course laying in the shade. He is "The Desert" Dog. Once in a while his head and ears go up probably hearing a distant car I do not. I wonder if he knows how safe I feel with him hoping he himself feels as such. Maybe we will indeed end up being myself the old Man with a long white beard and hair, draped in a white sheet branding his cane toward the menacing skies with his Dog howling. What an image. I must have seen as such maybe in a Movie or somewhere else.
I am up at first light. Silence welcomes me as also the Sun is trying to crawl up from behind this hill sheltering us. The only sound was my stove making my morning coffee and now ready, hand ground and filtered. It tastes good, it wakes me up further. A rock was awaiting. A few. One for me and one for my mug as I am facing the rays slowly surging up. Mr. Spirit is still asleep. Bum. He likes this ancient sleeping bag he uses now. It is down and it stinks like he does. The temperature again is perfect. A couple T shirts, light sweater and a wool hat this time around. I like it here. It feels so right. I always wonder why so much I like to live in our tent within such isolated spaces as if “The Oasis” was not enough. Must be the gypsy blood running through me. There is nothing but us. There are no connections to the World as much as like this World. Time falls behind it all, it is the raw stage which once was everywhere centuries ago.
I often write in the morning as I am doing now. Sometimes in the evening. This little screen with this little keyboard is my companion. My thoughts fly away, I could not live without these inscriptions toward myself as maybe when I hang it up and given the chance to get real old I will read them and who knows, maybe even produce a Book. I tried a few times realizing that once I start it I have to finish it meaning being holed up for a few months. I was disappointed finding that out yet realized it was and is not the right time for it. Maybe this coming summer, maybe next winter? Who knows. Time will tell, will talk to me and let me know. A Journal and a Book all at the same time cannot for me coincide.
It is dinner time again. My mat has become my Zen center for reading and cooking. Legs crossed with everything I need placed around me (and Spirit watching curiously) I can then stay for long times delicately chopping, stirring, the smells of basic cooking. The stage is set as once again the Moon is above me and clouds and sun are all playing. What a sight. What a feel with this incredible weather so cooperating. There is nowhere else I would rather be. Here it is. Now. An "It" moment, moments.
This is what I do best. “We all do our best” as I met a new Friend understanding that notion ensuing our conversation. She lost her Brother 10 years ago, her partner of 20 years left her for their best Friend taking on their well established business with them. I also met another new Friend. She has lost as myself her only Child, Son, less than 3 years ago. Hard and dark the cards dealt are. Yet we all go on never expecting anyone with different shoes to understand. We all do the best we can. This is my own best as there’s is. Sharing this endless Journey with the one’s that come across us.
We are alone as they are but I am not lonely. I wonder if they are. If any support comes their way. I see the truth behind their smile as they see mine behind my only present face. Of course it is sad and sadder. The scales are always tilting. The priorities are always changing. The well to do either financially and or of the aspect of a complete Family never knows the closeness of a tragedy. A new broken nail or a flat tire might be as close as they come. And it is a good thing Life does not draw on everyone. Only some of us maybe to wake us up trying to fill us with more awareness than ever.
Another little rock on the bigger rock as another silent morning has arrived while out of the tent at first daylight. I place little rocks on a bigger rock to remind me how many nights I have been here. It is a bit primitive yet a good way to have a reminder. This Park only allows 28 days per calendar year. I wonder how well they keep track of it. Hope not well. The coffee is stronger than ever and I also feel healthier than ever. Fortunate I am besides a tooth ache. It has been antibiotics for these past days and must take a decision when I return to the local Dentist on the 27ht. A pull or a root canal. A root canal means going to El Paso. 600 miles round trip. How much fun can that be? None. It is under control now, why think about it?
Spirit is waking up. I hear his bell. He is so not demanding. He will not move till I have my coffee. Nothing moves till then. He has the good Life, I wonder if he knows that. He gives me the Good Life. He likes it here, he is not an Urban Dog, not a four wall Dog and not a leash Dog when I need to use one. He is here, always content, always ready for a scratch and a hug with a wiry tail wagging that can hurt.
I think we will ride on to the end of "Old Ore Rd" today. I was told the hard part is the one we rode getting in here and I found it easy with “Crusty” engaged in two wheel drive. What a marvel of engineering that is while it sticks to the road like glue never missing a beat. It is a pretty incredible vehicle for what we like doing including having reverse which takes any turning around apprehension away. That is as long as we don’t stop on deep pea gravel. Lesson learned a couple weeks ago.
Tonight is an amazing evening sitting now again here at camp. The skies look menacing with their ribbons of dark clouds on the horizon, yet above us again the Moon stands vigil. It is a perfect half. The wind though is the amazing aspect. It is dead calm and suddenly like the sound of a waterfall I can hear it approaching slowly but surely and slaps us almost as I need to hang on to a rope tied around a big rock. There it comes, there it comes like a game played on us as I sit outside to feel and hear. And then on dead calm again.
The tent well anchored lifts a bit, Spirit inside must be wondering what is going on. And there it comes again. Are the Spirits talking tonight? Have they decided to make their presence felt? How can I reply as darkness is falling and only feeling it all as a one way conversation. I feel welcomed to my amazement sitting here all alone amongst these thousands of barren acres with this sound of an intermittent Mother Nature expressing herself. Nowhere else would I want to be. I am floating within this wilderness as at the same time my roots are deepening holding me back. Could all of this even be real? A Paradise found with no walls and no Souls only present for the seeker? I am so left speechless tonight, wishing to share this all with the World, my Friends and all the strangers that make part of it.
Get out of those four cement walls I want to scream. Come and experience your own backyard. It is here, it is free, there is no remote, there is only one channel. This is "IT" again. It is raw, it is honest, holds no side, no battles, no insults, it has no greed, it is as real as anything will ever be. It will open up your mind, take you away into a space unlike any, it will nurture you, teach you, make you think and forget all at the same time. It will make you understand who you are, who truly you are as you can only have one face as she does. You don’t need nothing but yourselves. The rest here has no value. None.
It is morning again. Another little rock on the bigger calendar rock. I am still in amazement of last night’s show of forces of the winds and the sounds and the feels. Throughout these past years it has not been unique and yet these memories of such times will more than pleasantly linger for more to come. What a great night of sleep it has been. I feel rejuvenating as if a cleansing of the Soul has taken place. It has, I have no doubt.
The birds are also waking up. Spirit not yet. The Chisos are in their own glory with layers of gold from a Sun peaking through the clouds. There is no such thing as the golden hour, only the golden moments which might last only a few seconds if one wants to capture such. I snapped a couple of those moments. Patience, wait and wait and suddenly as an invisible signal it is. It is time for breakfast, for Spirit, for a cool hike as afternoons are still warm. Amazing as December is right around the corner.
This morning was a short ride to Rio Grande Village where Wi-Fi is present and of course amongst the wave of tourists all with phones and laptops I became one of them. The Ural is a huge attraction. What am I saying? Spirit in a Ural is the main attraction. If only I had the temperament to attach a donation can at a Dollar a photo it would pay for our fuel. I can’t. We met a nice couple from Dallas, Anna-Maria and John, who belonging to a large group on an annual trek to Big Bend, invited us for a Thanksgiving Dinner. 5 deep fried Turkeys and all the trimmings sound wonderful, yet, we did not make it.
The skies darkened again and as generally is, my timing to be back here at camp was perfect. Drops of rain where starting while getting into our tent, nothing was left out, always expect the unexpected. It works. The Hilleberg tent as usual took it’s beating without any effort, this low chair makes reading in here comfortable, food, water and only hoping we can get out tomorrow.
Slowly the Stars are erasing themselves from a sky that was so black and spotted just seemingly a few minutes ago. The humidity is at it’s most this morning wetting my back while getting out of the tent. There is no trace left from last evening’s storm, the roads will dry out by the time we head out. Another little rock on the big rock. 5 little rocks as we are ready to head then back to "The Oasis" where also my heart lies. A few days and take off again exploring a few more acres of this gifted backyard. I feel as "where have I been these past years?". We just did not have the right vehicle to take us in down onto this depth of beauty. Off the paved roads is where it all lies and today it outstands me how can Urban beauty be ever compared with this stage. Preferences I assume. Social togetherness mixed with pollution and noise. To each it’s own.
I know this will be my last entry from what now I call Mount De Leon versus Camp as the sign says. The experience has overwhelmed me these past days as we have had it all. From cold to hot to dry and humid. From clear blue skies to armies of storms marching on and sunrises and sunsets that found me weightless floating on this soil toward which I can only wish others following us will feel the same. I am dry of words to now express more moments which I can only find absent from a previous Life.
What a Beautiful and Peaceful Country we live in. And don’t ever forget that if I like chocolate and you like vanilla, it is quite alright. We can always make a swirl and be kind and be respectful with much Respect and Love toward each other.
2 “2013” Calendars of the Best Photos taken these past 6 Years. One is of “Nature”, mostly “Sunrises” and Sunsets”, one is of course “Mr. Spirit and Old Faithful”. Below is a collage of some of the Calendars Photos
You be well…
Ara and Spirit