Beltane and the Beltane Moon
Sunday gratefuls: Kya. Diaphanous gowns. Road trips. Aging. Rachelle. Mennonites. High Plains. Snow covered Mountains. Timidity. I’m in no rush; I have plenty of time. Travel. The Rockies. Their vastness. Mr. Burro Cafe. Hwy. 285, the road to Taos and Santa Fe. Taking no for an answer.
Sparks of Joy and Awe: Rachelle
Tarot: Nine of Stones, Tradition
Oh, the learning I had. Followed Ode’s blue SUV south on Hwy 285, stopping before Del Norte at Cty. road D. A right turn to littlebear Akitas. 3 hours plus from Conifer. Another hour or so and I’d I’ve been in Taos. This trip was for Kep though. Finding him a girlfriend, a companion. Kya.
Found myself along the way. I’m in no rush; I’ve got plenty of time. Usually when some driver rushed past me even though I was at the speed limit or 5 mph over. It hit me. That’s true. I’m in no rush. I do have plenty of time. I spent most of my adult life being in a rush. Hurrying. Making sure I was on time or early. No more.
The end is out there, sure. Even so. If it’s tomorrow, I still have plenty of time and am in no rush. In this moment I can find all the life I need. This ichi-go ichi-e moment. Not only is it unrepeatable and unique, it is eternity. And, since I’m experiencing it I’m in no rush and have plenty of time.
A profound learning for me.
Taking no for an answer. Rachelle is a 35 year old Mennonite woman, as strong and resolute as the High Plains on which she lives. Kya, the 9 year old Akita female she thought might be a good fit with Kepler was as sweet as she described. A real keeper. Except for Kepler.
Rachelle got her first Akita when she was 18 and has been raising them for 17 years. She knows the breed. I’ve had one Akita. Her judgment is better than mine. We spent an hour or so trying to get them to interact. Kep expressed interest. Kya kept wandering away, not to be bothered.
A few times Kep growled at her. She ignored it. According to Rachelle, Akita females are dominant. If she had rolled Kep over and he accepted it, we could have a different ending. But she didn’t. And he was ornery.
“Fear is the hardest to work with. An over confident dog, yes, a sensitive one like Kepler. Very hard.” In the end we both decided it was too risky. I did not want a Kepler-Murdoch moment on the way home. While I was driving.
After meeting Rachelle, I had an insight into why evangelicals look so hard for biblical warrant for wives submitting to husbands. Rachelle and her sisters are like Akitas.
No, I told Rachelle, is as important and significant an answer as yes. Realized I’ve learned that. Felt good. Not jamming experience into the shape you prefer. Seeing what you see. Acting on that.
The road trip. Hwy. 285 is a magical mystery tour. Leaving Conifer on it for points south with names like Fairplay, Saguache, Buena Vista, Del Norte, Taos, Santa Fe takes you first through the Platte River Valley, then up the 11,000 foot Kenosha Pass. While descending from that height, the High Plains of South Park spread out for miles ahead of you protected by ranges of Snow topped Mountains. South Park is at 9,000 feet or more.
Breckenridge lies about 20 miles north of Fairplay over Hoosier Pass. Leadville, a storied mining town is a little further north from Buena Vista where 285 turns due south toward New Mexico. Until Buena Vista 285 parallels I-70.
At Buena Vista the Collegiate Range towers in the near west. Part of the Sawatch Range the Collegiates are some of the highest Mountains in the Rockies. Mt. Harvard, at 14,427 feet is the tallest. Mt. Princeton. Mt. Yale. Mt. Oxford. Mt. Columbia. Grand and massive. Still with Snow.
From there 285 turns south and the Mountain Ranges are in the east and west. Tried to feel the spirits of the place. The strong Yang of the Mountains overlooks the strong Yin of Valleys and Plains. Snow and Ice transform the Yang of the Mountains into the Yin of Soil and Streams and Rivers. They look separate, but the Plains and the Mountains are a whole. Transforming one into the other. Protecting. Nourishing.
The Plains on which 285 runs toward Del Norte where Rachelle lives is still at 8,000 feet. Windy. Wind swept. Trees with bows and branches shaped as by a topiarists hand.
Practicing my acting class warmup on this portion of the drive I said: How do I feel? Awed. How do I feel? Achy and tired. How do I feel? Amazed. How do I feel? Blessed. How do I feel? Loved. How do I feel? Excited. How do I feel? Glad to be on the road.