I go on longer morning walks these last days of August, since I know they will be my final opportunities to spend time in the forest.
We play music in the afternoons, sometimes zoom with the UK group, sometimes Clifford has other groups, or we each work on our own instruments. With the UK group I play viola, but on my own, I play cello, enjoying pieces that I’ve just touched on over the years. I have thoughts of playing in the little park across from the post office, so want to have a few pieces worked up in case I actually try doing that.
Rain showers in the afternoon are a welcome relief to the dry conditions here on the mountain.
On the 30th, since I am up before Clifford, I go for a final morning walk, but close to camp, heading off in a direction I didn’t often go, then around to say good-bye to Bertha, one of the Mother Trees I’ve enjoyed visiting. Back at camp, after breakfast, we pack up with some reluctance and head down the mountain, back to home-base and the Carnicom Institute tasks that Clifford has set up for himself.
While the word is in turmoil with covid, hurricanes, wildfires, and rioting in the cities, we have been at peace on the mountain. It is my hope that this sense of peace will remain with us as we go forward.
These are good days on Abajo Mountain. Our daytime temperatures are in the low 80’s, while in town they are mid-90’s, as I discover when I go down to do laundry and run errands.
The morning walks continue to be a source of outer peace so that I am better able to experience inner peace. As one wildflower fades from the scene, another takes its place and now I see thistles sporting their beautiful purple.
A highlight of these days is a visit from a friend who also lives in Utah. It was quite the delight to have him visit us on the mountain, and I even got to ride on his fancy motorcycle from the entrance of the dispersed area to our out-of-the way cul d sac. Such good conversation. It sure would be great to have get-togethers more often.
A low point for me is a discussion with Clifford as we finally decide for certain that a trip to Montana is not going to happen this summer: mostly covid, but also finances and our aging Suburban are factors. This is a great disappointment to me, but I do understand the thinking behind the decision. Great advice from one of my daughters is to have a Knowing that I will see loved ones in the future and hold that thought with joy.
The last days of July include a hike with Clifford, leaving cross-country from our campsite. Heading south, we eventually come upon a jeep trail and since it is going the direction that we want to explore, we follow it in a big loop on the north slope of Abajo Mountain. Sometimes we are in pine forests or groves of scrub oak, sometimes surrounded by aspens or crossing meadows. The road is rugged, probably a lot of fun for ATV’s and mountain bikers. It eventually takes us around to the far side of Pine Flats, quite the delightful hike.
Having listened to a documentary on trees having feelings and friends (of course they do!), I started being more aware of trees hanging out in families, as couples or close friends, as well as the great trees called Mother Trees, which nourish the trees around them through their complex root systems and by providing shelter for saplings. Photos of tree families and friends will be featured in a separate blog, as there are too many for this blog. Wildflowers are always a delight to see.
Of course, music continues, sometimes individually and sometimes Clifford and I play together. The photo of me with the viola is a “Becka Day” as I realized that I was wearing pants, shirt, and shoes, all from Becka. Thanks, Becka!
While we are here, the roofing job takes place at home-base in town, and when I go to town to check on the roofing and run errands, I discover that a shrub near the driveway is BLOOMING! We have never been here this time of the year, since we are usually in Montana by mid-July. However, this year is different because of covid. It is a small consolation to see the beautiful blossoms of a Rose of Sharon.
With smoke from the forest fires in Colorado adding particulates to the air, the sunsets are particularly vivid these last days of July.
During these mid-July days, there are a few things I can mention beside our usual activities: rain and mud puddles for one. It is so great to have rain and I make the most of the mud puddles.
I have noticed how oddly shaped some of the trees are. Aspens in particular, usually gracefully straight-trunked in their growth pattern are sometimes not, and some pines have an unusual curvature of the trunk. This calls to mind a very interesting thought by Ram Dass (sent to me by my sister, as we are both tree lovers).
When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.Ram Dass
So, I have two thoughts in relationship to this: For all these months (309 days to be exact) that I have been doing the Higher Vibration Photo series, I have been seeing trees and flowers as people – singing, dancing, having families, smiling at me, being wise and patient teachers of wisdom. What an interesting turn-about to see people as trees.
The other thought is Ram Dass’ use of ALLOWING. I have been learning that in allowing something to be as it is or someone to be as they are, I move beyond tolerating, which I’ve always been good at, but which still has a negative energy about it. Allowing means having no emotional hangups or mental judgment in regard to a situation or person. This can be a very difficult move to make, since tolerating is a habit but allowing requires thoughtful letting go, releasing. This is not to say one should let go of awareness and discernment, but these states of mind and emotions need to be approached with deliberate intent.
The other unusual thing these days is an unexpected trip to town after dark, as the camera monitor in the house is picking up an unusual sound and we need to check it out. Cows, deer, and headlights make it a not-fun trip down the mountain. The house is fine. The noise was apparently fireworks, delayed from having no fireworks on the 4th, allowed this evening because of the rain a couple of days ago. We are certainly relieved that there is no problem at the house!
We are camping on Abajo Mountain in southeast Utah, a dispersed area that allows for space and a fair amount of privacy from other folks who are also camping here.
The daily “highlights” don’t really touch on what’s important. The morning walk is important, on a superficial level for the exercise, but also for the photo opportunities for the daily Higher Vibration photo that I post on FB, Instagram, and on my website. But even more important is the positive vibration that I feel from the connection with nature. Opening to what’s positive, beautiful, and right with the world is nourishing for the soul, and I am blessed to be here on the mountain where I can take these daily walks among the pines, aspens, and scrub oak with wildflowers keeping us company.
For Clifford, bringing forward activities that have been left on a back burner for over twenty years is what is nourishing his soul. Playing dulcimer, virtual flying around the world, and ham radio have gained an important place in his life. After devoting himself to Carnicom Institute research for the past two decades, it is now time to fill in the life-gaps. He is still working on research projects, but his life is more balanced and enriched.
Covid has changed our plans, but we are not nearly as disrupted as most people. Self-isolation via camping/boondocking is a normal way of life for us. Even when we are in town, especially since moving to Utah, we are pretty much self-isolated – partly because of Clifford’s research, but also because we simply don’t know anyone and are not involved any social activities of the town, not that anything is going on now with Covid. So, other than missing the trip to Montana to see family, which is huge for me, we carry on doing what we would be doing in any case.
Monday: Town early to get the trash can out to the street. Play bluegrass music with Clifford. Listen to David Icke on the London Real program.
Tuesday: Morning walk through the pine forest, visiting a great Mother Tree. Clifford updates me on Covid, more than I really want or need to know. Taxes are done, slow because of computer and software issues.
Wednesday: Morning walk, especially enjoying the lower aspen forest. Clifford is not wanting to make the trip to Montana because of Covid issues. Play cello outside. I think I saw a mouse in the RV. Set traps.
Thursday: Mouse trapped, major counter cleanup first thing. Trip to town for errands and domestic chores at the house in town.
Friday: Longer walk this morning, then more counter cleanup (another mouse trapped). Review the journal of the St. Mary’s Pilgrimage in August 1996. Continue editing I Am Markus Desmend, Ang’s sci-fi novel.
Saturday: Forest walk, mostly in the aspens. Deposit insurance check for roofing work (following hail damage), which is scheduled to begin soon. Begin rereading Way of the Essenes. Sit outside to eat dinner and watch a beautiful sunset.
Mid April brings cool temperatures, highs sometimes only in the 40’s. Most of my projects and Clifford’s are indoor activities. This is a good time for reorganizing closets and cupboards in Cougar, editing, blog writing, and reading. With Clifford’s help I submit four photos to the Community Beautification Project.
One of my sisters sent me a book, The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. Very interesting insight into the reign of infamous King Henry VIII.
In spite of the chilly days, as I keep an eye on all the flower beds, I am happy to see the potential for blossoms this spring.
Clifford is occupied with his ham radio, passing traffic (ham radio messages), and music, playing dulcimer and writing his own compositions using music software.
Although most small businesses are closed, on our daily walkabouts, we discover that the greenhouse is open, which I am glad to see. The “essential businesses” are mostly where we go anyway, so we notice very little difference in our weekly errands, other than the Plexiglas barriers in some places and many people wearing masks. We follow the news on Covid19 and inform ourselves through watching a number of videos related to the topic. There is certainly more going on than what the mainstream news reports, and even that is very contradictory.
It is only toward the end of April that temperatures reach the upper 60’s and lower 70’s and we are finally able to make another outing on Abajo Mountain. The pond created by snow melt is a good place for us to stop. We set up table and chairs for our picnic and music, and I enjoy taking photos of reflections on the pond in spite of the clouds and gusty breeze.