Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Giving Thanks.

The windmill. That iconic reminder of a bygone era, America in the 1800s, ranches, farmers, livestock, hardscrabble lives and times. At least once during my stay here in Arizona, I have had to correct the steering wheel and redirect my Nissan back onto Route 82. I am smitten, mesmerized. Is it my love of Americana, the lure of a great picture, or does the fascination go deeper? I love old red barns, and the sight of an oversized American flag still delights me. I have conjured up the perfect photograph in my mind's eye countless times---one of these Aermotor mechanical towers, galvanized steel blades gleaming (more oft rusted out), in the foreground, with a dazzling blue southwestern sky, and the Whetstone or Mustang mountain ranges in the distance. I suspect, however, that for me, the fascination, the identification, goes deeper. Sidestepping the notion of a past-life connection (which, incidentally, I fervently believe in), I am simply drawn, at this juncture of my life, to things and processes that harken back to a more mindful existence. Some will argue, there is nothing glamorous, romantic, or time-saving about having to pump your own water, hang clothes out on a line, or travel long, winding, arduous miles for fellowship. For me, living out here in southeastern Arizona, where the nearest grocery store is a solid fifty-minute drive, and the border patrol's presence is keenly felt, I am grateful for every opportunity to slow down, rewind, remember, and fall in love with the natural landscape around me; to yield to deer, horses and burros; to marvel at the raptors' flight overhead; to welcome the grasshopper's presence. In my own small way, I pay homage to the pioneering men, women and children who so bravely covered this sacred ground before me.

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