BARE GRACE

My intention when I began this blog was to create a place to share reflections, essays, prose, poems and photos of the creatures that I have met or may yet encounter in the forest here in the western mountains of Maine or elsewhere.

As an cognitive ethologist and psychologist (Jungian therapist) when I observe animal behavior in the wild I am always asking myself what the animal might be thinking. I pay particular attention to the relationship that develops between an animal and myself over time. I also question the role of projection on my part when I am pulled into an animal’s field of influence without understanding why. Most important I follow gut feelings and any nudges when observing any animal. I am a woman with Native American roots – is that why I make the assumption that every creature has something to teach me? I think of the natural world as being a place of deep learning and wonder.

It is my experience that intention and attention on the part of the observer opens a magic door, and once over the threshold inter-species communication becomes possible. I would like to invite others to cross that threshold with me.

As a feminist, ritual artist, and a writer I am Her advocate, that is, Nature’s advocate. I believe that when I write about the animals and plants I am giving voice to their truths as well as my own.

I developed an intimate relationship with the black bear in the above photo for a number of years while I was engaged in an independent, trust based study of his kinship group (15 years). Little Bee interacted with me on a regular basis but always preferred to “hide” behind a screen of leaves and saplings while doing so. Whenever I was around him I felt touched by “Bare Grace”.

Please feel free to comment. I would love to communicate with anyone who wants to share experiences they have had in Nature or simply make observations about what I have written.

If you would like more information about me, please read the essay on how I became a Naturalist…

Unfortunately, I am dyslexic with numbers and directions and have a difficult time with the computer in general and with WordPress in particular so I ask the reader to forgive me for the errors I will surely continue to make.

Sara Wright

12/29/16

I am spending the winter in Abiquiu New Mexico and am currently using my blog as a journal of my experiences in this mysteriously beautiful place. I ask that the reader bear with me as I continue this process… some entries will, of course, be about my relationship with animals, but others will not.

As it turns out I am presently a “snowbird” having returned to Abiquiu for the winter and spring of 2017 and 2018.

With deep appreciation,

Sara

 

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Dr. Gary Stuer

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Yesterday morning I discovered the Facebook Post that appears below this commentary. Typically, it would never have occurred to Gary to email me about his appointment  as President of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association because he possesses a rare gift: deep humility.

I first met Gary when I took a dying rabbit to be euthanized just after he began practicing in Maine. When he injected her he explained to me that it would be 15 minutes before my beloved Midnight actually died,  What struck me forcibly was the way this stranger put his hands over her body. His loving gesture helped calm the rabbit and I felt his deep compassion flowing through my body too, easing my sorrow. I no longer recall our words but I remember leaving his office experiencing both grief and wonder over what I had just witnessed and participated in on a visceral level.

Gary was an Animal Healer.

A life long relationship was born and began to flourish.

Our friendship deepened over many years. I learned to trust Gary’s impeccable diagnostic skill, his willingness to work with me to identify problems, always listening so carefully to what I thought. He respected my judgment. When I dreamed that one of my animals was dying he understood immediately that this was one way I received information and took immediate action on the animal’s behalf.  When any of my dogs were operated on I was welcome in the operating room. I learned to trust Gary on a level that I had only previously experienced with my animals.

When my dog Star was dying Gary had just had open heart surgery and was unable to be present with us. She cried out when a colleague injected her and my last moments with this dog were spent in agony.  I had never felt so abandoned. But then Gary called me. He listened in silence as I wept uncontrollably and then he apologized for putting himself first, healing me with his words.

I can’t express how much these years of deep friendship have meant to me. But I know how much I miss him here in New Mexico… Last summer one of my dogs suddenly became desperately ill and ended up staying in a terrible clinic that I later made a formal complaint to the state about. Terrified and confused by the diagnosis I called Gary and he walked me through the indecipherable notes, told me what tests to request, checked blood work, and helped ease my panic. All this occurred long distance.

Gary heals both animals and their people. He saves lives and is capable of being emotionally present for both living and dying. Anyone who has been fortunate enough to have worked with this man of great integrity, honesty, deep compassion, and humility has been given a great gift.

It is often said that we cannot choose our parents. The same holds true for our children. Although there is but 16 years difference in ages between Gary and me, I have watched this man develop into a remarkable healer and a man I deeply respect. I am as PROUD of his accomplishments, as a mother would be for her son.

Gary is the son I never had.

That the animals I have had love him is no great surprise. I love him too.

 

Portland Veterinary Specialists (Portland, Maine) ·

PVS congratulates staff veterinarian, Dr. Gary Stuer, on his recent appointment as President of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association! This is an honor, but no surprise to anyone who knows him!

Dr. Gary Stuer graduated from Tufts Veterinary School in 1987, but feels that was just the beginning of his veterinary education. He has studied and integrated into his practice several complementary methods of treating patients. In 2004, he was certified in Veterinary Acupuncture by the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) and completed Reiki Master Training. In 2014, he also completed IVAS certification in Chinese Herbal Medicine. He is also on the staff of Portland Veterinary Specialists, where he practices Integrative Medicine with a team of Board Certified Specialists.
Dr. Stuer knew from a very early age—around 9 years old—that he wanted to become a veterinarian. He was influenced early on in his life by a family cat that was hit by a car who completely recovered with extensive medical care. He also spent a lot of time around horses when he was growing up.
Dr. Stuer is originally from Lowell, MA and moved to Maine in 1994. He and his wife enjoy being part of their community, and they also enjoy hiking and snowshoeing with their Labrador Retriever. In warmer weather, they enjoy kayaking and paddle boarding. He also has two cats, neither of whom has expressed an interest in hiking or snowshoeing.
Dr. Stuer is inspired to offer patients and their people integrative care, combining Western medicine with Eastern influences, where each animal is treated as an individual. His medicine constantly evolves as he learns more from his patients every day. He loves what he does and he is honored to be a caregiver for his clients’ treasured animals.

Crow and the Pornographic Gaze

 

 

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The Old Art Masters indulging in their pornographic gaze….

 

Once she believed that

it was her fault

they came on to her,

that she owed them

something

They owned her?

Secretly the

girl was pleased

because any kind of attention

was better than none,

or being so “different” –

stitched into an Indian skin.

 

She was a pretty shell,

an abandoned spiral

worn down by waves –

assaulted from within

by the pornographic gaze.

How she hated being young.

 

Walking down the streets

of New York

They leered at her from rooftops –

Whistling and yelling,

“Here comes the Madonna…”

She tried to make herself invisible.

How she hated being young.

 

When she sewed on her woman coat

she discarded tight jeens,

began to weave her hair in braids,

became a scholar and writer,

turned to the animals

and plants that loved her

to find acceptance and trust.

 

Unconditional love

assuaged the isolation

the void in psyche and body

where once no one breathed.

How could she have known

that Nature would save her?

 

Learning self respect

is a life-time process.

As an elder,

she has broken

the spell –

toppled the edifice of

the

pornographic gaze.

 

She knows its

an ‘old boy’ problem –

a result of male privilege

bullying, a need to objectify,

chop women

into parts

behind closed doors.

 

Dirty old men

who stare at standing nipples,

hidden beneath a feathery cloak

leave only night chills

and a hoarse croak.

 

Revolted, she discards them,

and picks the bones clean.

She has the power

to render her tormentors

Invisible,

Inadequate, and knows it.

 

She leans

towards males

who are emotional adults,

men who are accountable,

men capable of honest relationship,

men whose deep humility

has rendered them human.

 

Their friendship,

respect for her integrity,

ideas, honesty, and empathy,

are the lenses through

which she has learned to see herself.

 

She is healing from sexual assault.

 

She is a tree with a star at her center.

 

By living a self directed life,

She has become the partner

she once longed for –

a birdwoman with tree roots

sunk deep in sweet Earth.

This Is What Rape Culture Looks Like in “Great” Art by Carol P. Christ

Warning: contains images of rape portrayed through the lens of the objectifying pornographic male gaze

When I reflected on the discovery of a rape fresco from ancient Pompeii that depicted Leda and the swan, I did not mention that the image of the rape of Leda by Zeus along with related images of Zeus raping Europa as a bull and raping Danae as a shower of gold are favorite themes in the history of western art up to the present day. Myths of rape not only give artists permission to paint or sculpt naked women but also to normalize rape as an aspect of culture. In the imagination of western artists, noble or immortal women are portrayed as passively accepting and even enjoying being raped. The fact that these women are understood to be icons of female beauty delivers the message that female beauty invites rape.

I am beginning to…

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For Love of Trees

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Yesterday I dreamed that I discovered a bird’s nest that was hidden in the center of an evergreen tree. This little dream moved me deeply because this is the time of year I celebrate my love and gratitude for all trees, but especially evergreens, and the dream felt like an important message. For me, the “Tree of Life” is also an evergreen at least during the winter months.

 

Outdoors, I recently placed a glass star in the center of my newly adopted Juniper here in New Mexico, repeating a pattern that began in Maine years ago with my Guardian Juniper in whose center I also placed a star…Inside the house an open circle made from a completely decayed tree trunk sits at the center of my Norfolk Pine. Indoors both boughs and tree are festooned with tiny lights. The point of these making these gestures was/is to remind me that tree bodies are sacred in their wholeness and each tree explicates the immanence of divinity. Another way of saying this is to say that Natural Power lives in trees.

 

I do not believe in god.

 

But the reality of “Natural Power” is an ongoing force in my life. When I am deeply troubled I turn to trees or birds or animals for help, and they always respond, although often it takes me a long time to understand their messages, mostly because my intellect and cultural conditioning gets in the way of intuition, sensing, and feeling.

 

Sometimes dreams help me to bridge the gap, and when I dreamed that the tree held a nest I felt a great comfort moving through me…

 

It seemed to me that the dream was showing me that the “little bird woman self” (most vulnerable personality) has a safe place to rest within the protected boughs of the evergreen, also her Tree of Life.

 

Because I am living in two worlds and must find a way to move between both, I am by necessity a “snow bird” migrating with the seasons. Thus, it means a great deal to me that I have a place to feel contained and nurtured among fragrant boughs anywhere I go.

 

The tree and her nest may be hidden, but it is there, and I found it.

 

Perhaps I have found home, after all.

A Murder of Crows

 

 

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(Wily Black Crow)

My grandmother fed the crows every afternoon and I can remember their cries of anticipation as she walked out into the field with a pail full of scraps. After my grandmother’s death, it was many years before my mother began feeding her crows. But after she started my mother often remarked that she heard them say, “Oh here she comes!”

 

Up until recently I didn’t know why my grandmother and mother had a penchant for crows – I wish I had asked for personal explanations. But my neighbor Rose in Maine has been feeding her crows for ten years, and last week when I learned that all of her crows had been shot by hunters on her own land, I was enraged by this injustice. Rose loved her crows; She was devastated.

 

First, I discussed the problem with Raven who was perched in a cottonwood tree outside my door. He listened intently to my plea for help while peering down at me with one beady eye.

 

Normally, I do not have crows around here so ten minutes later when a “murder of crows” appeared screaming over my head as I walked down to the river I knew the raven had passed on the message. I repeated the story to the screeching crows asking that they inform other crows in Rose’s neighborhood that she was in crow mourning. Would they consider asking others to visit her? I took their collective cries as a yes.

 

Returning to the house I was stunned to see another cluster of crows perched in one tree engaged in raucous conversation with at least 4 magpies that had joined them. The raven had been joined by its mate (A bevy of crows, two ravens and four magpies stayed around the house for 3 days).

 

Convinced that I had been heard, and that something would come of it, I immediately emailed Rose telling her not to give up, to keep leaving scraps outside, and to begin to “call” new crows into her yard. She was skeptical, but did as I asked. As a personal thank you I began to leave tasty tidbits for the crows, ravens, magpies around here.

 

One week later Rose has seven new crows to feed! The skeptic will immediately counter the obvious: namely that the crows intervened, with reason and logic. The crows returned by coincidence or because at my request, Rose continued to leave food out for them. There’s one major flaw in this thinking: Crows routinely demonstrate to researchers that once one of them has been killed the rest will avoid a favored feeding area for up to two years. “Something” intervened to reverse this normal crow behavior, allowing the crows to return, and I believe it had everything to do with (crow –human) interspecies communication.

 

Although I wouldn’t have begun feeding crows on my own, outrageous crow slaughter had changed my mind! Armed with the knowledge that birds and animals can communicate telepathically through space/time, I never doubted that help would come. If one understands as I do that telepathy is a biological survival strategy that allows animals to stay in touch when they are separated then it isn’t a stretch to believe that these crows communicated with their Maine relatives. (Please go to biologist/plant physicist/author Rupert Sheldrake’s site to learn more about the extensive research that has been done on telepathy in animals https://www.sheldrake.org).

 

Crows are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, a federal act resulting from a formal treaty signed by the United States, Canada, and Mexico. However, under this act, crows may be ‘controlled’ without a federal permit when found “committing or about to commit depredations upon ornamental or shade trees, agricultural crops, livestock, or wildlife, or when concentrated in such numbers and manner to constitute a health hazard or other nuisance.” What this means practically is that anyone with a gun can shoot a crow because humans have all the rights. Hunters like to kill, and crows make great target practice.

 

Crows are amazing opportunists who can adapt easily to changing environments. Crows are extremely intelligent and use tools to help them obtain food. Crows not only use tools but they also make them! They are excellent mimics who deliberately confuse other birds by copying their calls. They steal food from other birds and shiny objects from humans including car keys left in an open car highlighting their deceptive trickster-like nature. Crows are busy bodies paying close attention to what their neighbors are doing, human and otherwise. They can be bullies who mob a sleeping owl during the day. They eat garbage of all kinds, and exhibit loud and raucous behavior. They have big mouths that alert other species in field and forest to the presence of unwanted hunters and others. Crows are also black a color many modern folks associate with racism and/or “evil” especially during this ugly cultural reign of “white” supremacy. These qualities of adaptation, intelligence, tool making/using, deception, mimicry, curiosity about others, bullying, ingesting garbage including dead animals/humans, raucous behavior in crowds, the big mouths of certain individuals, and the fact that they are black, the color most commonly equated with evil in western culture leaves Corvids suspect and extremely threatening to some. Crows exhibit all kinds of behavior that is human-like and people despise them for this tendency. Crows reflect the shadow side of today’s culture much like the coyote does.

 

In reality Crows are a fascinating species of birds with a very complex family system. Crows mate for life and both parents are actively engaged in parenthood. They care for their young for a period of up to five years with the help of “aunts,” siblings, and older youngsters who protect the youngest birds after hatching (3 or 4 eggs). Baby crows fledge in about a month after being fed all kinds of insects (any crop damage that is blamed on crows is offset by the millions of crop damaging insects these birds consume). During the nesting period and long afterwards the guardian crows watch vigilantly for hawks, eagles and other predators who are a threat to the youngsters. Even with this kind of vigilance fifty percent of the fledglings die before reaching adulthood. The crow’s worst threat is humans who kill them indiscriminately by shooting them, poisoning them, trapping them or deliberately running them over with automobiles or trucks. As previously mentioned, in today’s culture man can’t stand the sight of his own shadow.

 

These remarkable birds have been able to adapt to virtually every environment on earth with the exception of Antarctica and are as home in cities as they are in the countryside. In cities they learn the garbage truck routes and pick through refuse for tasty offerings! They raid cornfields without guilt. They do the rest of us a favor by ingesting carrion that would otherwise smell as it rots. Crows honor their dead by gathering together in large numbers and stay with a deceased crow for hours, sometimes days, before moving quietly away.

 

Crows spend a lot of time studying people with their bright beady coal black eyes. They recognize the faces of those people who have killed a crow. They communicate this threat to the others in their flock and can also educate the next generation of young who will also avoid the people who would harm them. Crows have at least 20 distinct vocalizations. Some like the “caw” are public but most occur between individuals.

 

Crows will abruptly change migration routes to avoid predation. In most areas in the US the crow is a permanent resident but many Canadian birds will migrate southward during the winter months. Once the mating season is over crows gather in large groups (in some places they gather by the thousands) to roost communally at night.

 

American crows are monogamous as previously mentioned. Mated pairs form large families of up to 15 individuals that are all related and remain together for many years. American crows do not reach breeding age for at least two years.

 

The nesting season starts early, with some birds incubating eggs by early April. Crows build bulky stick nests nearly always in trees but sometimes also in large bushes and, very rarely, on the ground. Most predation of crows (with the exception of humans) occurs at nesting sites. Besides hawks, snakes, raccoons, ravens, domestic cats and great horned owls also eat eggs and nestlings.

 

Adult crows are omnivorous eating mice, frogs, seeds, eggs, fish, corn, wheat, and grains as well as gobbling up destructive insects. During the autumn and winter they gravitate towards nuts and acorns. We know they scavenge at landfills. Along with their attraction to grains as food, this tendency earned them the name “nuisance” birds giving hunters an excuse to shoot them when all the crows are doing is trying to earn a living.

 

Crows have been killed in huge numbers by humans, both for ‘recreation’ and as part of organized campaigns of extermination, none of which have worked to decimate the populations. Like the coyote they continue to thrive!

 

The easiest way to distinguish between crows and ravens, two closely related species, is to note whether the crows are flying without flapping their wings every few seconds. Ravens soar on the thermals. Another difference between crows and ravens is the shape of their tails. Crows have rounded tails while those belonging to ravens are wedge shaped. If seen flying at a distance the distinctly larger ravens have larger heads. Ravens also fluff their throat feathers when calling from the trees.

 

Crows lifespan in the wild is about 7-8 years but those in captivity can live more than 30 years.

 

Because they are opportunists and so adaptable crows are one species that is not on the endangered species list. What a relief. My guess is that they will outlast humans.

 

Unlike today’s culture, crows were once respected and revered for the remarkable qualities they exhibited. Indigenous peoples of the Americas understood that crows were special.
For the Tlingit (North-West of the Pacific), the crow is the main divine character. He organizes the world, and creates both civilization and culture.
For the Haïda (North-western coast of the Canada), the crow steals the sun to give it to the People. Crow and raven have a magic canoe that can become big enough to contain the whole universe.
In the south and Northwest Crow flaps his wings generating wind, thunder and lightning.

 

In ancient European mythology- the cult of Mithra is a prime example – Crow fights evil and has the capacity to break dark spells.

 
Scandinavians legends show two crows, perched on Odin’s chair : Hugi, the Spirit, and Munnin, the Memory. Both crows symbolize and embody the principle of creation, the power of Nature to create and form patterns of becoming and through memory. In much same way, these birds are the companions of Wotan who is also named the god of the crows.

 

As a feminist I am particularly interested in the relationship between crows and old women, both of which have been demonized – old women are frequently called ugly old hags while old men are “distinguished”, and rarely referred to as old. Another example is the phrase “those old crows” which is often used to describe old women. In western culture we worship the young, the “heroic”, fear aging, and split ourselves away from old women and death demonizing both in the process. And yet in mythology we see the power of old women and crows.

Baba Yaga, the greatly feared Slavic goddess of the Forest who lives alone in a house (with her animal familiars) that that moves around on chicken legs, is a perfect example. Baba Yaga transforms into a crow whenever she chooses. This powerful figure embodies Nature’s wisdom, the wisdom of heart – body instinct; she is also a trickster who is unpredictable in her actions. She is an aspect of woman centered Nature, a protector of all forest wildlife and she has a penchant for all black birds.

Dhumavati is the Hindu goddess of “the great void”- the place outside time, (as humans experience it). She is associated with death and therefore transformation. Many of her drawings and paintings depict her on a cremation ground and often she looks like death itself, and is depicted as an ugly old hag. Note the correspondence between old and ugly. She carries the horn of the death god Yama, and sometimes wears a garland of severed heads. It comes as no surprise that Dhumavati’s animal guardian is a scavenger bird – the crow. Dhumavati is depicted as either riding a large crow or being pulled in a chariot by two blackbirds. Crows are known to be scavengers on the battlefield, and hence have been associated with death since ancient times.

The Morrigan is an Irish Celtic goddess with the ability to shapeshift. She was known as the Phantom Queen. She is also said to be one of a trinity of sisters (daughter, mother, crone). The Morrigan is most well-known for being a goddess of Fate and a warrior; she was able to predict death which made her presence terrifying. Most commonly she shapeshifted into a crow, although she could take the form of any animal she chose. She is known for her role in battle, her ability to triumph over “evil.” The fact that the Morrigan shifts into the form of a crow while on the battlefield reveals her dominion over death. It is said that she will often fly above a battle, her cry bringing courage and encouragement to her warriors, whilst simultaneously striking fear into the hearts of the enemy. Sometimes she will join in the battle in her human form. She speaks of the battlefield as ‘her garden,’ a place to consume the dead for re birth. One of her names, Badbh, means Crow.

Nephthys the Egyptian Goddess of the Dead is another example of a goddess who manifests as a crow. In the myth, Nephthys marries her brother Set who is the god of disorder, the desert, and storms, birthing Osiris who literally rises from the dead.

While Nephthys is often depicted as a woman with falcon-wings, she also appears as a crow or the crow is her companion. She oversees funerary rituals. Nephthys represents part of the life cycle that is death, while her twin sister Isis represents birth (note how death and life are never separated).

Again and again in the stories about old women in their crow aspect we see the same archetypal pattern emerging. These much feared death goddesses are both manifestations of death and are the harbingers of new life. Without old women “crows” there would be no new life.

When I think of my mother and grandmother feeding the Corvids it occurs to me that these two were participating in the life death life cycle of Nature… As I put together an offering for the crows and walk out my door I carry the awareness that like my mother and grandmother before me, I too am now participating in the Great Round, serving the continuation of Life for all.

I end this essay with a caveat: to mindlessly slaughter crows is to incur the wrath of Nature, She is more than capable of retaliation for harm done as we are starting to see with the ravages of Climate Change…Another way to state the same idea is to state that by refusing to own our “dark sides” on a collective level we will invoke consequences that are devastating to all. On a personal level folks may also find that un – integrated personal “Shadow” turns back on them in terrifying ways they cannot anticipate.

I think I just heard the cawing of a murder of crows…

Israel Francisco Haro Lopez : we come from the stars

Artist and Poet

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Build That Wall We Come From The Stars Part 5

Do you know where you come from
do you know all the parts
of where you were born
do you know all the lines
that make your breath

all the oceans
all the trees
all the branches

of your migration
to here
to now

from the tip of the womb
of queztalcoatl
to the tip of alaska

across the deserts
of africa
between the stones
of machu picchu
and teotihuacan
between the walls
of china and berlin
between sand dunes
and druid songs
irish mexican blood
swaying with the lines
of a sufi prophecy
bending inside
a european pagan
dance step
opening
and waiting
to the memory
of the feet
of your ancestors

 

Commentary: I have written about Israel’s work previously on this blog, so I allow the power of this poem to speak for itself. This man knows that the personal is political, a phrase that goes back to the 70’s and to feminism… Unlike some he chooses not to separate the two artificially.

Uprooted

 

All summer I nurtured a small but vibrant hummingbird garden on the east side of the house, watering, pruning, loving… and two days ago a gopher moved in. I met him at 7 AM yesterday morning as he stuck his little head out of one of the holes he dug to the surface. Such a bright – eyed little creature! Gophers have miles of underground tunnels and this year many people are exclaiming over gopher mounds that are appearing in such massive numbers that I am frankly dumfounded and wondering what this behavior might be suggesting. Does this extensive tunneling have something to do with the drought? Many of gopher’s natural foods were decimated last summer, so perhaps gophers are compensating by creating even longer tunnels to reach any available food source?

 

All winter the gophers feast on tasty roots below the surface of the desert, and in the process they may kill plants but they also aerate the hard packed ground, creating places for wild seeds to take root, so I am accepting of the loss of my garden, although it saddens me that I put so much effort into creating a small oasis that fed such a multitude of bees, butterflies, moths, and hummingbirds.

 

It’s too late in the season to do anything with the perennials, but yesterday I dug up most of my cactus and re – potted them; all but one my friend Iren and I dug in the wild, and I am attached to each.

 

When I look at all the gopher mounds in what used to be my garden I can’t help wondering what this process of uprooting might mean for me on a personal level. It is my experience that Nature’s processes mirror my own in uncanny ways, perhaps because I have such an intimate relationship with creatures and plants in the wild.

 

One answer to this question comes in what I have learned about living in the desert for most of two years. This harsh environment spares no one. The fiery wall of summer heat is so intense that being exposed to this furnace over the course of even one season made me physically ill. There is a west wind that is also a killer – merciless – whipping parched ground into frenzied whirlwinds that make it impossible to walk, let alone see. Utter chaos. The drought withers even the hardiest plants. There is a dark side to living here that took me totally by surprise, because the high desert is also an astonishingly beautiful place with it’s amazing outcroppings of rock and chiseled canyons. The most precious have a water source that runs through them, and it is to these that I am drawn back to again and again.

 

I am learning that even having a small garden in the desert doesn’t work very well, and that it’s best to let Nature have her way. I did build a small rock garden to plant spring bulbs and lined it with hardware cloth (to deter hungry gophers), so hopefully I will have spring flowers to look forward to; I love them so. Perhaps one day I will build another raised garden for the hummingbirds if I continue stay here for the winter months. Even my present living conditions are too unstable to make that decision.

 

At this point I am living between two worlds – one in the north, the other to the south. I can’t take care of myself in Maine because there is too much snow to shovel, and here my poor body cannot handle the heat. Worst of all I have no money, so in two years I have come full circle with no solution in sight, except that promise I make to my body, not to subject her to further abuse. My dreams tell me that for now I must continue “to drive in the dark,” that a beloved tree is being uprooted, that the way through is unknown.

 

It does seem to me that gopher’s presence reflects the reality that I seem to have no year round roots that I can put down anywhere.