Thursday, September 3 - La Ventana, New Mexico

We return to this sacred place. Sister Raven and Brother Crow greet us with song. Their calls echo in the stone cavern. I sit beneath this clean, strong sandstone arch. At first, my surroundings seem monochromatic, but, upon closer examination, there are countless subtleties. I am sitting on a log in a pile of logs, artfully arranged among the boulders. The Great Artist has outdone Himself here. I can hardly write for looking up. The sky is a miracle - it seems to be standing still. The vast wisps of smoky clouds move so slowly this morning. They invite me to do the same.

I whistle back to a squawking winged, hoping she will display herself. Her perch, or nest, is directly overhead. Perhaps in one of the hundreds of holes dotting the side of this open cavern. The vista before me is a vast, tree-covered sandstone bluff. Its pleats and folds spread across this high desert landscape. Unfortunately, the sounds of traffic reach even this relatively remote sanctuary. We must be 15 miles from I-40, but the noise is relentless in its intrusion. Now. . .it is quiet again, and a chorus of song from the wingeds goes up. And there - a man-made bird moves quietly and quickly across this little piece of sky. As white as the clouds, but in much more of a hurry. Created in our own likeness, these giant phallic rockets, going fast, pierce the barriers of sound and civility.

These must be swallows at play -- their happy chatter and gleeful swoops entertain the eyes and ears. Now, E. returns from his perch higher up to take a photo of me doing my pages. He disappears into the circle of stone again, and I am left to scribble what's left of this morning's thoughts. I am grateful that this day has begun, and that it has begun with beauty, and the doing of it. Now I hear a hawk or eagle cry. I greet our great companion spirit and rise to meet her. But I glimpse her only briefly and she is gone. Am I different than when we last visited here? Of course. Like the hawk, I make circular journeys, and find myself again and again. Around every corner I meet myself, and become re-acquainted with the essential Mystery within