Friday, March 12, 2010

Reflections at Nineteen Weeks

As we pause for a six-day respite here in Las Vegas, New Mexico on the occasion of our nineteen-week anniversary of leaving New England, we are surrounded by natural beauty and reminded of just how lucky we are to be doing what we're doing. Having this beautiful and comfortable home to ourselves is a luxury, and having two horses and an extra dog to care for and spend time with makes it even more special and memorable.

This morning, I got out of bed around 7:15, roused by Zia the Dog, who walked up to the bed and unceremoniously rested his wet nose inches from mine. By this time, the horses had made their way over to the gate adjacent to the sunroom near the kitchen---they were apparently peering into the house in an effort to discern if we were indeed coming to feed them. Lucky for them, I was already dressed, and having fed Zia, I walked directly to the barn, scattering their ration of hay in two separate piles, and giving the Arabian his extra bucket of grain to munch. After cleaning the stalls and cracking the ice in the water trough, I left them to their own devices and went inside for breakfast with Mary. Soon after, we finished the morning routine by filling the myriad bird feeders in the yard, the lucky winged ones feasting on corn, sunflower seeds and homemade suet made from peanut butter, flour, lard and corn meal.

At this resting place in Central New Mexico, we're reaching out to intentional communities in the Santa Fe and Albuquerque areas in order to make connections and to see what communities are open to visitors and prospective members. There are a number of New Mexican intentional communities that are intriguing to us, and we hope to arrange a few visits over the weeks to come. New Mexico is feeling more and more comfortable, and we feel that the state is indeed high on our list of potential places to make a new life. 

Next week in Santa Fe, we'll stay with a high school friend of mine and will also visit other friends and acquaintances who live in and around the city, one of whom is a new friend we met recently while visiting Hummingbird Community. We hope to attend a Laughter Yoga session, meet like-minded people, visit the food coop, and possibly make a day trip to Ojo Caliente, a natural spa just an hour to the north. And while we were indeed beguiled by the beauty and friendliness of Taos, the economic situation and milder weather in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque do indeed give us pause. Taos is lovely, but the rough winters, low wages and high cost of living are factors to consider in the bigger picture. Still, it's a nice place to visit.......

Staying in this lovely home, I'm reminded that we both do want to eventually have a place to call our own. Having recently sold a house and most of our possessions, we are loathe to buy yet another house and begin the process of accumulating things all over again. Rather, we would prefer to build a life within the structure of intentional community if we can, preferring to employ simplicity and the need for less as a general modus operandi. Give us our rig, perhaps access to a common house, kitchen and bath facilities, and the camaraderie of life in community, and maybe there's a way for us to create a life that's simple, sustainable, economically viable, and satisfying. 

We do not see intentional community as a panacea. Community life takes work, organization and open-hearted communication. It also takes commitment and sacrifice for the good of the whole. Our hope is that there is a community out there where we will be a welcome addition, and where we can offer our skills and gifts as willing participants in an ongoing social experiment in sustainability and conscious living. 

So, as the sun continues its arc along the wide open blue New Mexican sky, I ponder what the future might hold, I feel grateful for the present moment, and I look back on our past without regret. Nineteen weeks is a long time to be on the road with so much uncertainty in the air, but nineteen weeks is also long enough to begin to get a sense of what we want and where we're going, even if both of those questions remain partially unanswered. 



  1. My heroes :)

    Love you both!


  2. You certainly know how to experience our Land of Enchantment. Your stay in Las Vegas is very much like my life here south of Santa Fe. You are correct, those cold winters up in Taos can be challenging, the price you pay for choosing that special place.
    Enjoy the sounds as though you are on a really amazing one.

  3. I've enjoyed everything I had time to read this morning...It was a welcome diversion from the other tasks I have to finish today and for that I'm grateful.