Sunrise in the Sangres, always an astonishment in the morning, no matter how often I see it. Outdoors, it is crisp, chilly, with a light dusting of frost on the trees and grasses,air so clean you want to breathe it in and hold it forever, sky so blue it makes me want to shout. I remember a line from Barbara Kingsolver's essay, "Seeing Scarlet," about her journey to Costa Rico to see the endangered scarlet macaw: "El que quiera azul celeste, que le cueste," the Costa Ricans say--"If you want the blue sky, the price is high." Yes. Watching the polarized, politicized dithery debate over cap/trade and noticing that there won't be a formal agreement in Copenhagen next month, I've reached the conclusion that the price for blue sky--for lessening the impacts of global warming, for preserving the planet for future generations--is too high for policy-makers and corporations. So I breathe deeply, shout out at the blue sky, and treasure this day.
The dogs and I arrived on Thursday, after a comfortable 11-hour drive. This pair, Toro and Molly Mcquire, are easy travelers and sleep the whole trip, except for three pre-planned doggie breaks for leg-stretching and necessary business. Friday was a day of getting reacquainted with the house, a little more challenging because I skipped my summer break in favor of getting a book done and trying to keep the garden alive during our drought. Bill was here last summer, though, and things have been moved around. But those are little problem, easily solved. Checked the fridge, pantry, and made a grocery list for Bill, who had an errand in Las Vegas (25 mi) and had to go anyway. Set up the computer, got online (dialup, and very slow). Ordinary chores, but beyond every window, the vividness of the bluest sky I've ever seen.
Last night: a potluck dinner in the community center, large crowd, lots of good food prepared by good cooks. Nice to see everyone again, mostly old friends who live here year-round, since the summer people have already left. Not many come for the winter, but snow is a huge enticement for me. Hoping for lots of it while I'm here.
Next Week: Peggy and I are working via email on lots of Stories From the Heart conference details. (A reminder: early registration closes Dec. 15.) I'm also starting on the first chapters of Mourning Gloria, the next writing project (China #19), and working out the backstory, which wants to get complicated, in spite of my KISS efforts. Reading Ann Heller's new biography of Ayn Rand (utterly fascinating), layered with chapters of the new biography of Molly Ivins. (Thanks, Trilla, for the tip.) So interesting to read these two biographies together: two strong-willed, brilliant women writers, very different but with some unexpectedly similar views about the power of the individual in society. Both biographies very well done. Oh, yes, I'm happily knitting. Socks. Of course. And contemplating doing a quilt while I'm here.
Reading note, from Kingsolver's "Seeing Scarlet" in Small Wonder. Kingsolver and her husband have reached the remote tropical coast where the endangered macaws live in the freedom of their endangered jungle habitat. "All afternoon we walked crook-necked and openmouthed with awe. If these creatures are doomed, they don't act that way: El que quiera azul celeste, que le cueste, but who could buy or possess such avian magnificence against the blue sky? We stopped counting at fifty. We'd have settled for just one--that was what we thought we had come for--but we stayed through the change of tide and nearly till sunset because of the way they perched and foraged and spoke among themselves, without a care for a human's expectations. What held us ther was the show of pure, defiant survival: this audacious thing with feathers, this hope.