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New Year in the Chihuahuan Desert

January 9, 2010
Big Bend Texas 038
Big Bend Texas 130

Tracing the Sun's Path

Abandoned hot springs resort on the Rio Grande

Even in its shrivelled winter hibernation, Big Bend, Texas is soaring, stirring, still country.  The silence and space offer some of the only nourishment to be found here.  Astounding agates and crystals and crazy rocks (inadequate geovocabulary) and singularly mysterious plants invite exploration.  It’s a place to let awe seep in.

We soaked in a muddy hot springs on the Rio Grande, and hiked through the tall yucca, depth-giving sotol and century plants, pink and green spikey and smooth prickly pear sisters, still-fragrant creosote bush, bare leatherstem.  There were very few insects, very few birds, but we encountered a huddle of javelina and scared off a few more.  Trent found a zipping vermillion flycatcher in a wetter part of the country.  In March that country must be so many softening shades of green, when the ocotillo leaf out and the blossoms begin.

This has been a wide open week for homeschool and for my own herbal study time as well.

Big Bend country was a clarifying place to begin our new year here, visualizing next year’s goals and skills and priorities,  and appreciating the year that has passed.  When we started on this trip we had several goals, among the most important stripping life down to the most sacred and treasured, and having time to focus on that.  For us, that’s the kids as they grow,  the heart connections we’re making with people, plants and landscapes, and the things we’re learning on several levels.  From a material perspective this could be seen as a foolish year, but I feel satisfied.  If I were to die tomorrow, I’ve treasured my family and seen some of this good world.  There’s much more to do in the years to come, but it’s been a year full of love and wonder without (what is for me) the overwhelming distraction of many material concerns.

We were transfixed by Terlingua and if we didn’t have highly anticipated(!) family dates luring us toward Arizona, would linger longer.

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Big Bend National Park

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. dad permalink
    January 21, 2010 3:20 pm

    so sorry to be the pain-in-the-ass family date luring you to Arizona…..ha ha ha

    see you soon

    Dad

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