Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sportscar Heaven

The fellow at the car rental counter scammed me a little bit when I picked my car up on Sunday. He convinced me that my pre-selected Economy car would have trouble making it up the mountains on my trip to Pagosa Springs. It sounded reasonable, so I let him sign me up for a car with more "pull." When I walked to the parking spot, I found a cherry red Mustang. Whoa! That was more car than I expected and I almost walked back in and said no. Giving it back seemed like a lot of trouble, though, so I took the Mustang and drove off.

The steering on the Mustang was so sensitive that I had to be very careful not to oversteer it. Once past Santa Fe, the road narrowed down to two lanes with very few passing lanes. Sunday traffic was busy and I did not feel like the Mustang was really such a great sportscar. It did zoom up and down the hills with a lot of verve, but, in the long run, I thought the extra $40 I paid was wasted.

Driving back to Albuquerque this morning, I changed my mind about the car. More rested than I had been Sunday, relaxed and in good spirits from visiting June and Bob, I took the wheel and fairly flew down the road. And I wasn't speeding! There was no one else driving, the steering felt natural in my hands, and the lusciious countryside seemed designed just to make me happy. 

I drove along mountain meadows with sunflowers in roadside profusion, all facing the morning sun. I drove along rolling hills, covered with dark green forests of mostly pine trees. In the background, great, rocky, grey massifs loomed over the landscape. Slowing down for a twisty turn, I came upon a doe along the verge. She hardly gave me a glance and even didn't bother to run away. I guess she's seen more than her share of speeding cars and wasn't impressed with mine.

As I got into New Mexico, the terrain began to shift away from tree-covered hills and mountains and into sere bluffs in the vivid reds, yellows, and purples that Georgia O'Keefe painted. The roads began to congest and the lovely smoothness of zipping along a peaceful highway disappeared. But I didn't mind. My hour or so of sportscar heaven made the $40 worthwhile. And while I never need to drive a Mustang again, I'm glad I did it this once.


My week at the AROHO Women Writers Retreat, held at Ghost Ranch, filled me with blessings of the cerebral-spiritual kind, with nourishment for my soul, my brain, and my heart. The AROHO women bestowed care on each other with a fierce generousity of spirit. We danced joyously, with unbridled physicality, after the closing ceremony. My final good-byes were quiet on Sunday. The experience had been so intense that it felt right to slip away without a lot of emotion. I will be processing the experience for weeks and likely months to come. It is clear to me that my writing will benefit from what I heard, saw, learned. I am truly blessed to be one of the hundred women who were able to attend this retreat.

The three days at June and Bob's home in Pagosa Springs filled me with blessings of the heart, with the joy of laughter, and with the inspiration of gorgeous art. June and Bob are warm, caring people who are the most gracious hosts. Their home is full of lovely things, selected with exquisite taste and displayed beautifully. Walking through the house is a feast for my eyes. June is a talented fine arts photographer and many of the treasures are her pictures. I hate to leave tomorrow and wish I had allowed more time with them.

By Wednesday evening, I will be at my mother's home. It is a blessing of a most particular kind to spend time with her. She will be 91 in a week. Fortunately, she is vital, engaged person who is living a full life on her own terms. Mother inspires me. Visiting her means visiting many other relatives who live nearby. A bunch of those relatives are small children, great-nieces and - nephews, and they bestow the blessings of innocence and wonder on me every time I interact with them. 

August has showered me with such blessings. Who could ask for more?