Imbolc and the Leap Year Moon
Sunday gratefuls: An extra day in my birthday month. DogsonDeployment and the three folks who responded right away. Seoah’s careful scrutiny of the profiles. Kate’s help with Corrine, who called from DoD. Blue skies and warm temps. Atlas Obscura. The Rocky Mountain Land Library. Jon’s offer to stay with Kate while I take the kids on a road trip.
Just signed up for a Food and Land Bookclub. My real interest in it is its association with the Rocky Mountain Land Library in next county over Park County. When I bought the books for the book club, four in all, I found my powers returning. Oh, this is what I’ve got energy for my body said. Book titles: Mayordomo: chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico, Braiding Sweetgrass: indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge and the teachings of plants, One Size Fits None: a farm girls search for the promise of regenerative agriculture, and, The Seed Underground: a growing revolution to save food.
When we first moved here, over five years ago now, I wanted to garden, to learn the native plants, to hike the mountains, learn the land and streams and wildlife. Prostate cancer, bum knee then knee replacement, COPD. Kate’s various medical dilemmas later. Distracted. Accomplished little of these. Some hiking, not much thanks to the COPD and the bad knee. Gardening here required more physical energy than I have available. My first native plants class got interrupted by my prostatectomy. Life. Stuff.
I first discovered the Rocky Mountain Land Library in 2015, our first year here. It was only a dream then, an idea concocted by the former owners of Denver’s most loved book store, Tattered Covers. It now has a ranch in Park County, south of Fairplay, a bit over an hour from here. Buildings and projects have begun to come together. It wasn’t ready when I found it and, as it turned out, neither was I.
During Gertie’s last days I reflected again on my instinctual opposition to euthanasia for dogs. It’s no longer absolute because I saw its necessity as Gertie suffered, but it’s still strong. Were there any other instances in my life where I made choices from an instinctual level?
Instinct? Intuition? Deep inner guidance? Link to a source of knowledge I can’t access consciously? Instinct in any formal sense is probably wrong, but the feeling involved, a strong compulsion, a certainty that this path was mine, had that flavor anyhow.
Turns out there were other such choices. When I turned 32, I knew I had to be a parent. Got a vasectomy reversal. Didn’t work. OK. Adopt. First child, a girl, died in a salmonella outbreak at the orphanage. Raeone didn’t want to go forward. She’d just gotten a new job. My deep push made me agree to take care of the new baby myself, no matter what it took. I took him to work with me until he was 18 months old.
After an Ira Progoff workshop in Tuscon, an intentional stirring of my inner life, I stopped by Denver to see Ruth and Gabe. By the time I left I knew Kate and I needed to move to Colorado. She agreed and so we did. We wanted to live in the mountains and to be in our kids and grandkids lives.
Other less dramatic instances. Saw a movie while in college that featured Manhattan. Put my thumb out and spent the summer of 1968, the summer of love, not in San Francisco, but in Manhattan. Curator of Asian art at the Minneapolis Institute of Art, Bob Jacobson, gave a lecture on Angkor. Specifically he showed the amazing stone bas relief sculpture that runs for a quarter mile around Angkor Wat’s great Hindu temple. And in particular the churning of the sea of milk where gods and demons struggle for a magical elixir. Had to see it. When my dad died and left me enough money to do some travel, I went.
A related but less pressured decision came when I realized I was no longer Christian, that I had to leave the ministry. Had I not met Kate, this feeling would have been tested, but I met her and she allowed me a graceful exit.
Right now I’m feeling a similar push, perhaps not only to the Rocky Mountain Land Library, but to reawaken the me who woke up for twenty springs, twenty summers, and twenty falls glad for the chance to plant lilies, weed onions, harvest garlic, trim the raspberry canes. The me who woke up for several years and knew tending the bees was in the day’s labor. The me who came here excited about the West, about the mountains, about being in a brand new place. We’ll see where this goes.