Noelle at drum circle in Manitou Springs, CO
Sunday, July 25, 2010
We wrote this to the woman whose condo we were renting, but I thought it was an appropriate Swan Song as we get ready to leave Angel Fire.
We stepped out in the crisp pine air,
Weary from a winding night’s journey,
Greeted by a warm New Mexican space
We call it
Stepping in chilly rivers
Running through flower-kissed meadows
Watching oceans of grass waving green in the sun
Then back to
Taos, Eagle’s Nest, Mora
Las Vegas, Red River, Cimarron
New places, new adventures, new friends
Then back to rest at
A little one who now knows
How big a mountain is,
What color adobe is,
What Power Bait smells like,
What fog feels like,
And thunder echoing through the valley sounds like
We will miss everyone that made our stay so wonderful in Angel Fire!
Saturday, July 24, 2010
It is interesting how traveling has changed my perspective on parenting.
When we go on a day trip the morning always starts out a little rocky. We don’t know exactly what we are going to do when we get to our destination, the car ride can be challenging with the baby, we are usually trying to figure out where we are going…
Then we finally reach where we are going and we pour out of the car, ready to find some space.
At this point I am usually questioning why we are doing this, if this was a good idea, am I expecting too much from my children, do I deserve to even be a parent (just kidding, but it isn’t far from what we parents sometimes say to ourselves over small things, right?:))
And then once we stretch into the wide open and feel the tightness in our bodies relax, and my breaths become deep and slow again, the world just starts flowing to us.
By the end of the day we have found some neat park or river or bookstore where we have spent the afternoon laughing and playing and making new friends.
And by the time we are driving home in the evening, a baby asleep in my arms, watching the mountains pass by out the window, I am thinking to myself how great the day ended up being.
And I am realizing that my way of showing the world to my children is changing. Before, I tried to avoid all negative experiences, anything that could overtax them.
But then I noticed how much pressure that was, how boring it was for the adults in the family, and how it wasn’t really working anyway.
So now, I find I just want the good to outweigh the bad, the fun to outweigh the stress, the love to outweigh the anger, the freedom to outweigh the rules, the yes's to outweigh the no’s.
And besides, one could get used to scenes like this:).
Monday, July 19, 2010
So many good people, so little time. It will be hard to leave this place.
First, the winery. The people here are wonderful. The lady brewmaster who makes dry berry wines that are delightful. Her husband, the sax player.
All the regulars who know everyone. The fact that they all remembered our names the next time they saw us.
The dogs whom Noelle runs around with while we relax, drink, and just be merry.
The night began with great blues music, Johnny Cash covers, and other songs I hadn’t heard before but could totally groove to. Hummingbirds danced overhead and the setting sun shone through my cranberry wine. Flowers hung all around, horses grazed in the pasture behind the winery,
and everyone was in high spirits.
Noelle began her rounds talking to everyone on the patio. After a few songs, she went to the front where she proceeded to dance for the rest of the night. Another girl joined after a bit, and the whole place clapped and danced and laughed along with them.
It was one of those nights you never forget.
And then there was tonight. A climb up a mountain road to a new restaurant to meet new friends. The food was great, the beer selection impressive, and the view fantastic. Noelle met a little girl, a special girl who would normally be labeled as disabled, although I have come to find children like this are anything but. Noelle sat beside her and they held hands, the girl stroked her hair and back from her wheelchair, Noelle wiped her mouth for her, her parents shared their meal with Noelle. The night ended with her grandfather’s eyes tearing up as he told us what a special daughter we had. He bought our dinner.
It was one of those nights you never forget.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Today we went to Monte Verde lake. It is a lake of the imagination.
Cool and clear,surrounded by soft green grass and wildflowers. It is shallow on all sides so you don’t have to worry about your little one falling in.
Mountains rise in the distance, and one can watch the shadows from the clouds slowly move over them.
It is a place to take out a little fishing boat.
A place to make new friends.
A place to watch baby ducks follow their mother through the water. And, just like in the children’s book, there is always one who likes to find his own way, make his own waves.
Noelle has seemed to find her own rhythm here. Today, Stephen and I were engrossed in conversation while she was playing in the mud with worms. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw her run off down the shore.
I followed her wondering what she was doing. And then I saw her find the little beach and run into the water, splashing around at the tiny fish.
She did not tell me what she was doing, or was even aware that I knew where she was going.
For this, some might call her misbehaved, headstrong, belligerent.
But I remember the little duck who likes to make his own waves.
And so I call her none of these things.
Instead, I call her free.
Monday, July 5, 2010
We celebrated 4th of July in the little mountain town of Red River. While Angel Fire has a very contemporary, granola kind of feel, Red River is a true mountain town. Every building is made of logs, every business has plenty of wooden bear statues guarding it.
The parade was wonderful. People were glittering red white and blue in the sun, flying flags and ribbons, waving and throwing candy out to all the waiting hands. Noelle loved it. She would run out and grab the candy, run back and put it in her stroller, where she liked to sit on it until the next float came by. She even danced to the 60’s music blasting from one hippie float.
At dusk we parked on the side of the ride between Eagle’s Nest and Angel Fire and watched the fireworks lighting up the dark silhouette of the mountain behind them.
It was perfect. And as each firework exploded, I thought about freedom, about what the people who came to this country wanted in their heart of hearts. And I watched the light bursting forth from the darkness and thought about my little family and the freedom we have felt bursting forth from our hearts this last week.
Stephen and I finally feel like we are flowing in the river of our lives. Our personalities have never craved comfort and security, although we respect and enjoy those things -- but it is adventure, spontaneity, and growth that gets our blood flowing. We like to live on the edge of our comfort zone, laughing sometimes, crying other times, but feeling alive in every moment.
On so on this 4th of July, I felt, for the first time in a long time , truly and unequivocally free.
Friday, July 2, 2010
This is the view from our balcony. It looks over the village of Angel Fire.
We have been up here at 8300 feet 3 days now. Words can’t describe what it feels like to be in the presence of so much beauty.
But I will try.
Everything feels fresh and clear. My mind finds clarity here.
Even the most mundane things, like going to a playground, are filled with breathtaking landscapes.
I feel like I can’t see enough, can’t breathe enough, can’t hear enough to take in all that surrounds me.
I told Stephen,
“I was starving for this.”
Aspens shimmer and whisper as I pass by, breezes carry Christmas on them with the aroma of Evergreen, wildflower filled alpine meadows beckon us to spread our arms and fly,
and vistas that come suddenly into view constantly remind me to take a moment to allow the moment to overtake me, and remember how truly full of wonders this wonderful world is.