Running Away

Sometimes it’s good to run away from everyday life, to just go somewhere else for a while. Being “away” always gives me a new view of “home,” and right now I need. I’m having a hard time seeing anything clearly–maybe Richard’s skewed eyesight is contageous. Or it could just be that the attempt to walk mindfully on this journey with his brain cancer is wearing me out. (Ya’ think?)

Part of keeping my life more or less in the sustainable column in the Great Chart of my own and the planet’s energy budget  is getting a break now and then. Last week’s Girls-Night-Out party masterminded by several friends reminded me of how long it’s been since I had a real break (trips to Denver for Richard’s medical procedures and to help out my parents do not count!). Months, I guess…

Hence this weekend’s plan: Hop in the car for a road-trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico, a favorite nearby destination since the years when we lived at the southern margin of that state, where Richard taught at New Mexico State University. On the way, we’ll stop at Bandelier National Monument to visit the ancient villages cut into the soft volcanic cliffs and spilling out over the valley of Frijoles Creek, and the huge ponderosa pines with their vanilla-scented bark we were admiring in the photo above (shot by artist-friend Sherrie York).

We don’t have any grand plans for our time in the “City Different,” other than relaxing. We’ll probably stroll the downtown and adjacent historic neighborhoods, visit the Railyard Arts Distict, eat some great chile (note the spelling: in New Mexico, chile is a vegetable that comes in green or red, not a stew with meat and beans–that’s chili), sit in the sun, nap, read…

Thanks to travel-writer and biodynamic cranial-sacral therapy practitioner Nicky Leach, we’re both going to get some energy work. Other friends offered to treat us to a stay at the Hotel St. Francis, a lovely old lodging just off the square. And my brother and sister-in-law are gifting us with a meal at one of our favorite restaraunts, Cafe Pasqual’s, for my birthday present. (Thanks, Bill and Lucy!) I’m starting to feel better already.

So off we go tomorrow, and if there’s radio silence here until next week, it’s because we’re relaxing and having a good time, not because anything dire is happening. When we get home, it’ll be back to harvesting the garden while we can, starting my project to narrate the audiobook version of my memoir, Walking Nature Home (photos of the great microphone table/book stand Richard is building me to come), and making a short trip to The Nature Conservancy’s Carpenter Ranch to participate in an “Artposita,” a day of presentations and workshops for Colorado Art Ranch.

In short, life as usual, which, seems something of a miracle itself when you consider that tomorrow marks five weeks since Richard emerged into the ICU after brain surgery, disoriented, in pain, missing most of his right temporal lobe, but very much still here. Five weeks out and he’s designing furniture, practicing juggling, and investigating clinical trials for brain cancer treatment on the internet. If that’s not a tribute to his strength of body, mind, and spirit, I don’t know what could be.

After this weekend break, I hope we’ll both be walking this life-as-usual path with renewed energy, attention, and grace.

Blessings to all of you for your support. And don’t forget to check your own Great Charts and make sure you’re keeping your life in the sustainable column…