Monday, November 5, 2012

What an introduction to November!!!

This Saturday, Rose, Nora and I loaded up yummy goods from the bakery and headed down south to Terlingua Ghost Town for farmer's market.  It was cloudy and drizzly here in the mountains of Alpine.  The sky was blue and weather warm once we got to Terlingua.

I wrote about the Terlingua Green Scene some last year.  It is a cooperative garden, designed to educate folks on how to grow stuff and live more sustainably in the remote, arid Chihuahan desert.  They have a giant compost area, receiving treasured cans of refuse from area restaurants.  garden plots are filled with little seedlings that should bear all winter long~greens, herbs, other cold crops.  The non profit was given a large shade structure which not only shielded us from the beating down sun on Saturday, but also provides many gallons of water harvested from every drop of rain, collected in giant rain catchment systems. 

If you have ever been to Terlingua, you will know that it takes a special kind of person to live out in the remote region.  Tough as nails, independent, able to live without many amenities other people think are essential to life.  Green Scene is all about helping make this lifestyle work even more efficiently, demonstrating that it is possible to create gardens and oasis in the desert.  In fact, this has been done for thousands of years.  It just takes grit, stamina, perserverance and a little help from friends and neighbors.  A local market makes the economy even more brightly flavored.

I love going down to Terlingua.  The market has the best view for hundreds of miles-the blue Chisos Mountains to the south.  Pace is relaxed.  We visit.  Stories are shared.  Everyone catches up on the latest news.  Kids run around.  I hugged necks of some folks I hadn't seen in 22 years.  Visited with new friends.  Met tourists from many points across Texas. 

After market, the kids, Raymond and I drove on down to Big Bend National Park, loaded up gear and headed for the Rio Grande.  I made a mexican stew with venison provided by R, local peppers and onions, eggplant grown by Seiko up in Fort Stockton, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, cumin, oregano and fresh herbs and tomatillos from Shannon at Green Scene. Since I was busy baking bread, I bought whole grain tortillas made locally by someone else.  We set up camp at Gravel Pit.  Sierra del Carmen glowed.  Ate our supper while watching the best show in town, lightening storm and clouds over in Mexico, shooting stars above us.  Constellations and the milky way so bright and clear!  Rising moon like a spotlight, curving over the night sky, our ceiling in luxurious accomodations, camping pads and sleeping bags, Nora cuddled up right next to me. 

We set up a tent, in case scattered showers came our way, but we had no need to use it.  We enjoyed the open air.  Dawn rose pink and lavender.  I don't think I worried about anything for several hours!  We ate leftover stew and quesadillas for breakfast then canoed downriver to a secret hotsprings Raymond knew about.  Not too secret, for he has pictures someone gave him of a camp set up back in the thirties for folks who wanted to go bath in the healing mineral waters.  Hard to believe that anyone could find such a remote spot!  Now there is a rock formation across the site in Mexico that helps you know where to look, but otherwise you would not know you were anywhere near until you felt the shockingly hot water hit your boat! 

We sat in the springs, must have been over 105 degrees.  When we got sufficiently boiled, we moved over to the cold river.  It was fun watching the clear water and bubbling sands, water heated by magma who knows how far down in the earth?  Kids and R scrambled and slid around in the sand dunes back beyond the river bank.  I relaxed.  Sat still.  Listened to sound of whirring bugs and soft breeze in mesquite.  Gurgle of spring and river, coexisting. 

We canoed back to camp, packed up, and then drove north to meet some friends at a place midway between the Park and Alpine.  We drove through badlands, thankful for 4-wheel drive, and I wondered where in the world could anyone find water in such a remote and desolate place?  We had been hearing of this swimming hole for ages, but never made it out there.  Busy.  School stuff.  Farmer's Market.  Etc. 

We set aside excuses and drove down the road, catclaws scraping the side of the truck as I hoped to keep from falling down into washed out gullies inches away from my tires!  All of a sudden we reached the canyons and striated colorful rock formations formed a backdrop for the most lovely swimming hole I have ever seen.  And from the squeals and breathless shouts of laughter, it must have been pretty cold, but don't ask me!  I decided that I had had enough fun in the water and chose to pass on a cold swim!  But everyone else was game and watching them gave me great joy!

The setting sun shone on the rock walls, the blue sky told me that everything was going to be just fine.  And for another few hours we didn't worry about a thing. 

I know the Bible says to worry about nothing, but in all things present your requests to God.  Which is how I aim to live.  But let's be honest.  No matter what you call it, real living involves real problems, real concerns and plenty of managing situations, whether work, family or home.  Sometimes you just need a break.  A chance to see something bigger than your problems.  A chance to be still and feel the sun or hear the river or the sound of crickets and a breeze blowing through the leaves.  There is nothing like the delight of a seeing a shooting star, or two or three or more!  To see the perfect reflection of delighted children and friends, smiling in the crystal oasis. 

When we lived in New Jersey, I loved to run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Filling my eyes with beauty would put everything back into perspective. 

So the Met is too far away for my escape.  Now I have a different place that is perhaps the exact opposite, and yet brings about the same calm and joy. 

We stayed at Agua Fria a bit longer than planned.  Dark came upon us and so did a bit of a chill.  We were no longer in the national park, burn ban had been lifted, so we delighted in the joy and warmth of a campfire built on the edge of the water.  Bread was sliced.  Sandwiches made and giggling girls with muddy feet made me so thankful.  I felt very loved.

I felt even more loved when we got home and I found a sparkling clean bakery and stacks of clean clothes folded on my bed!  Maggie and Patrick went to Lubbock for their regional cross county meet and were unable to join us.  Maggie, BLESS MY SWEET TEENAGER!!!, cleaned up the mess I left.  I never asked her.  I hated to leave things undone, but figured that I would spend all Monday morning cleaning.  What a gift.  What a girl.  How many 15 year olds would offer that gift to their mother? 

Consequently, you have Maggie to thank for these blog posts. 


1 comment:

Chris said...

Thank you Maggie!!!