Last night it snowed–somewhere around 7 inches. When I fell asleep the ground was bare. This morning tall walls of snow balanced on narrow branches, and our tiny patio table was piled into a white dome.
Jeffrey Davis, creator of Tracking Wonder and leader of our Quest, just challenged us to look back on our week. To find the common themes between our future selves’ advice, our daydreams, and our review of who would miss us.
Looking just at words, I came up with three themes:
- Make art
- Connect–or more aptly, reconnect
- Heal myself–in part by letting go and in part by reclaiming parts of me that I’ve misplaced
Travel and Home came up again and this time there was also a heavy dose of Play (Experiment’s more lighthearted little sister). And yes, we are beginning to see a pretty clear pattern here.
And then Jeffrey asked us to find a horizon and to sit in front of it for five minutes and let our discoveries steep for a bit.
Now it’s still pretty cold out and I had already had a good bracing walk earlier today to capture an image for my 365 photo project. During that walk I did what I always do when I head toward the river. I stood at the center of the footbridge and let my eyes rest in a south-westerly direction. I even snapped a picture.
So instead of heading back out into the cold, I looked at this. Really looked at it. And here’s what I saw:
- A river that rarely sees or holds any water, except during heavy rains when it transforms into a torrent
- Growing things that struggle to stay alive during times of drought and times of flood
- A sky so wide and so blue that it is sometimes hard to notice anything else
- And yet… I glimpsed tracks in the snow–two people walking next to each other, one person walking alone
Despite the walls of the river bank and the houses that line them just out of view, this vista feels, at least to me, hollow and alone. Sure there is water just below the surface, otherwise there would be no trees–especially not cottonwood and willow. But that water is hidden, protected, squirreled away for emergencies. There is life, and there is LIFE.
And I see myself as that river, as that empty basin that longs to be filled, to nourish, to be reborn. And I see in the brittle winter bones of trees a deep rootedness and will to survive, just waiting for abundance to be reborn.
And then I turned around and looked north…
And saw the Sangre de Cristo Mountains rising from the clouds, guarding the back of Santa Fe–the city of the Holy Spirit. And there, in the distance, the white crown of Mount Baldy, covered in snow. Snow that come spring might just help our river run again. And I remembered that the river may not always be able to feed herself, but, whether behind or besides her, there is that strong presence watching over her. Taking care of her. And beneath us is a vast aquifer–one we can tap into if we just send our roots deep enough.
Those who will miss us are the mountains. We are the river. And whether we see them or not, we are never alone. And knowing that, we are free to keep our eyes on that transfixing blue sky, as long as we keep our roots in the ground.