Friday, October 5, 2012

In the Natural World

Having successfully dislodged Kira from her homestead on the hammock adjacent to the house above the trading post, Grange and I have held our position on the porch for the past 90 days. Kira believes her environment became overpopulated by two when we arrived, and has not attempted to retake her spot. One wonders what will happen when she enrolls in college and is faced with genuine urban sprawl.
Night Moon Against the Sheer Bluffs

Throughout July, August and September we have slept outside on the flagstone with our camp cots, pillows and blankets borrowed from inside bedrooms and sleeping bags. During July and August we perspired through the early evenings until the cool desert breezes rolled in, tickling our skin and coaxing us to sleep. There were several times we wondered whether the light winds would ever arrive, but they always did. From time to time, rather than relief, they brought a dusting of red dirt that invaded our scalps, stuck in our teeth and made us sneeze. Still we held on, covering our heads until the worst had passed.

Late September brought cooler nights that chilled our ears and required an additional layer. We even had a few sporadic rainstorms during the monsoon season that moved us inside for short periods. Nonetheless, Grange and I steadfastly kept to our post.

While early October has threatened to end our occupation altogether, we are still encamped. When I am inclined to return to the warmth and comfort of my own bed, I think of Tom, Serena Supplee’s friend, who spent an entire year parked on an old sofa tucked under her verandah. Hot or cold, windy or clear, snow, sleet or rain, Tom never left his nocturnal habitation at the House of Many Colors.

Since Tom did not appear to have any romantic ambitions, for the longest time I could not understand why he might stick outside sheltering walls and away from the warmth of the hearth. That was, however, before I formed the habit of waking in the early morning darkness to gaze up at the monumental sandstone walls that soars up into the night sky behind Twin Rocks Trading Post. At about 3:00 a.m. the stars seem brighter than at any other time. It was while gazing into this unending space that I came to believe I might comprehend Tom’s motivation.

As the moon progressed through its various phases, expanding and contracting, becoming brighter and dimmer, coming up and going down, ever moving, ever the nomad, I have come to think of myself as an integral part of the larger order, and less like a gnat buzzing round without plan or purpose. This is a strange and unexpected development. Since the rocks nearby are so impenetrable and immense and the space above so limitless and indefinite, I expected this experience to make me smaller, more inconsequential. Instead, there is something that has caused me to feel integrated into the grand scheme, to feel a partnership with the moon, the stars and the vastness of our universe. There are even times when I think I may challenge Tom’s record. It may be a long winter.

With warm regards,
Barry, Steve, Priscilla and Danny; The Team

Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!
Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!

Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!

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