After spring break I grabbed my priest and we ran down to the park for a day trip. We were ridiculous, oohing and aahing all the way down. Unfortunately, I mean, fortunately, cell service is better than it used to be, and a parishioner was able to reach our priest with a legitimate need which cut our trip short. Instead of a long hike all the way up Lost Mine Trail to meditate, and a sit in the Hot Springs and a peaceful prayer in Boquillas Canyon, we hiked up midway the trail and had a picnic on a saddle point up in the mountains, ate our feast and then drove back to Alpine.
I only felt a twinge of selfishness, wishing that duty didn't call, but thankful for a priest who cared enough about the truly important things that matter.
I was so thankful to share with her a bit of my sanctuary.
A week later, friends from North Carolina who were friends way back in New Jersey came to visit. So what do we do? Load up all the kids, the bathing suits, the picnic, my parents and drive like maniacs down to Big Bend for picnic and swim in the Rio Grande time and sit and play in the rocks and take pictures of flowers and act like tourist time! It was spectacular. We were amazed to see even MORE wildflowers in this desert heaven of ours. While the kids climbed up the sand hill and cavorted in the Rio I meditated quietly, stacking little river rocks into statues and bridges and buildings, managing to set all my thoughts to the side. The sun baked our skin and the sand felt gritty and real and the sound of kids laughing in the river was more intoxicating than any glass of champagne.
We bragged and told stories of our favorite times in the Hot Springs, grabbed our towels and hiked the half a mile or so to the ruins that used to be a thriving health spa run by Mr and Mrs. Langford pre-Pancho Villa. One has to pass the ruins of an old Post Office and store, a few palm trees, some old cabins made of adobe. And then, with a creek on one side and canyon walls on the other, a cane brake to the right, if you are lucky you will notice the petroglyphs, rusty red, thousands of years old, leaving us all to wonder and guess the meaning of the ancient graffiti.
Another bend, past some illegal contraband, I mean trinkets, left by enterprising neighbors from across the knee high river, you will see a foundation made of cement, filled with clear, hot water and sand and probably half a dozen people or more, sitting in 105 degree water up to their chest, watching the cold Rio flow to the side, and rocks and riffles and bats and a brilliant starry sky.
I was so happy to relax in my favorite spa, I strolled right in, cut offs and tshirt, and sat down in the bath. And jumped right up, curse words flying out of my mouth. Can you guess why?
My brand new smart phone, which I recently bought to replace my other broken smart phone, was in my back pocket.
For a few hours I was quite disappointed.
Then all of a sudden I realized I had been given a gift! No texting, no easy email checking, no messages to urgently return. And our friends delighted in the magic and we were so happy to share.
My mom, a professional artist, had a camera glitch. Which meant a trip to the national park in a historical wildflower display with no photos!
Darn. She had to come back a few days later and darn, I had to take the day off to drive down and chauffeur her as she took pictures for painting research.
How much can a person exclaim over wild flowers? For as far as the eye could see we saw blankets of blues and yellows and purples and pinks and yellows and whites and lavenders and more.
Over and over again I felt so blessed. So rich. So thankful to share this moment with my mom. So aware that my life is good.
Old timers are saying that it is the best wild flower display they have seen in their lives.
All those seeds, tucked in the sand and rocks and cactus. Waiting. Resting. Just being.
And then the rains came. All at the right time. And the temperatures were just right. And all of a sudden, there is a feast, an impressionistic wonder, a banquet. And we were able to enjoy it because we didn't do something else, but instead decided to go for delight.