Caves, contusions and cows

“we travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls.”

so, i did it. 3 days after staring at it everyday i got on the tire swing in payson, arizona. and it didn’t break. and, while for a moment i know i had a mischievous smirking grin on my face, it occurred to me very quickly that a tire swing does not feel good. also, drinking a margarita while on a tire swing that doesn’t swing back and forth it just twirls around in circles isn’t much fun either. I’m still smiling, because on my cancercation this week, i played on a tire swing in arizona, while a cow stood next to me, while drinking a margarita, and i didn’t fall down.

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the whole week wasn’t full of blue skies. in the first 24 hours of arriving here I experienced hail, torrential downpours, flash flooding, mud ankle deep and wind gusts like a hurricane. the town I’m staying in next is actually called hurricane, utah. is this because i spilled the salt last week?

the last few days have been beautiful though and i have seen some unexpected magnificence out here in Rim Country. i spent half a day at the tonto natural bridge, believed to be the largest natural travertine bridge in the world. this park is like a secret garden in a secret garden cave. also, for those of you thrill seekers…who needs amusement parks when you have free roads like this to drive on. i felt sick and part of me thinks there should have been a big black trash can at the end so i could barf into it. where’s the dramamine when i need it?

i hiked down to the eden and was so impressed by what was all around me. as if if i wasn’t overstimulated already by the bridge itself, there were small pools of water, ferns everywhere. i go off the trail a few feet and find a spot on a fallen log hovering over the water. i see dragonflies, butterflies, birds. everything seems larger than it should be down here. the prickly pears are the size of large lemons and bright purple like young grapes. there is life growing out of everything everywhere i look. could i live here? i think i could be very happy down there. prickly pear margarita?

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the sound of the flowing water is awesome. it eases my anxious heart and i try to take a couple photos but the secret garden feeling i have is not coming through. i take out my notebook and write. i look and listen instead. i can feel the warmth of the sun on my face, poking through the tree canopy. it is reflecting off a small pool of water nearby. i spot a couple dragonflies chasing each other across the stream. one is blue. one is red. i smile. everyday i am amazed by how beautiful our country is. how lucky and blessed we are to have this and to have the freedom to be here. on the way out of eden i got backhanded by an alligator juniper. nasty trees, but beautiful. at least i have a nice souvenir. i am officially hard core. gash across my cheek…

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yesterday i hiked around woods canyon lake on the mogollon rim. it was there, pretty early on, that i was given the gift of walking beside an elk, a cow? she kept sneezing and i actually said to myself or i may have even said it out loud, because traveling on your own will do that to you ..“got a cold huh? me too. we walked together for what seemed like 5 minutes but it was probably more like 2. she was so beautiful and close to me. her wildness made my heart race when i saw her instantly. her size, intimidating. despite my excitement and a bit of fear, we shared a couple moments in this place together.

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it was a perfect sunny day on the lake. i needed to be around water. the sunlight glimmered across the top all day. i stopped half way to write and enjoy some ice cold grape juice. i was alone there and i could have stayed all day. i thought about the future a bit. what is the best way to live this life I’ve been given? i am not sure yet but what i am doing in this moment feels right. i know it is somewhat wasteful to ponder the what if’s of the future. for now i will do my best to think about this lake, this trail, those birds, and the ripple in the water that the wind is pushing my way.

when i arrived home there was a cow in my yard. later on, sitting on the front porch, after the tire swing, there were 5 cows. it is becoming very city slickers here. should i like call someone? oskar is very angry 🙂 clearly, they are trespassers and clearly he needs to take care of the problem. i think they are black angus. I’m remembering this from an animal science course i took at a college in oregon. i switched majors after i saw the dead horse and wrecked my car right after. anyways, i think their udders are black. one of them is so close i can hear his horns rubbing against the wood of the porch.

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it’s hard to believe i will be home in one month, back in new hampshire. doctors appointments, surgery, recovering blah blah. which reminds me of the daily small dose of chemo i am supposed to be taking but not and the wrath and disappointment of dr. r when i return and the look in her eyes. i have made my decision for now and there hasn’t been a day in the last month that I’ve questioned it. i don’t want to disappoint her or anyone but i know my closest loved ones understand and that’s all i need for now.

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tomorrow, i head to hurricane, utah & zion national park! for 4 days i will explore this wondrous area and I’m sure be taking lots of photos. Until next week.

All my love xo
A

One thought on “Caves, contusions and cows

  1. Cleanse your soul……
    Savor the beautiful sights…….
    Continue to take pleasure in the Simple Things……
    Never forget how much we love you…….

    Like

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