There are so many new things to see here. It's all still a mass of images. Oh, I don't mean that I can't see. Yes, of course I can. Rocks, massive rocks. Pine trees on the mountain, salt cedar and willow and sycamore along Manuelitas Creek, grasses and sages and wildflowers in the meadow, all very beautiful. But to see, really see, the landforms and the textures and colors, and the birds and mammals and insects, all the community of this land, of each different habitat, I need to learn more. And learning takes time, and close, daily acquaintance, just as it takes a long time to know a friend in all her various changing moods and seasons, to know her history and her wants and wishes. It's taken me twenty years to learn just a little bit about MeadowKnoll, and about the Hill Country. A summer month in the Sangres, a month in the winter--it's only long enough to tantalize me with possibilities.
I've been a little out of focus, doing different things, none of them at top speed. Working on the last chapter of Landscapes (the memoir), helping Bill with his log restoration project, reading (Nancy Pickard's The Virgin of Small Plains), knitting (another tam), quilting (a table runner and some chair back hangers). Not quite lazy, but switching back and forth when I feel like it, which I can't do when I'm working flat-out on a writing project. For me, that's what makes this a "vacation." Yesterday I led a memoir workshop for seven of the women who live in this little community--fun and interesting, as memoir workshops always are. Sharing stories brings us closer and reminds us of how alike we really are, under the skin. I have the feeling that I know each of them much better than I would if we'd encountered one another at an over-drinks get-together. Thanks to Ann for hosting us, and to Editha for making sandwiches.
Reading note. Still--in a way--no one sees a flower--really--to see a flower takes time--like to have a friend takes time.--Georgia O'Keefe