29 December 2012

Holiday Greetings

Victoria's Christmas angel, entirely handmade around a purchased doll head

Ricky's Dine' (Navajo) Christmas, painted on Kraft paper
I am finally feeling rested after a week of vacation and wanted to share photos of the holiday office door art created by my talented coworkers at the Alamo Navajo Health Center. I hope we can leave these up for a while - the art is both a visual treat and a welcome respite from the usual bare walls and serious atmosphere. So far, we've decorated for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas; next up is... Valentine's Day? Then Easter, and the first day of Spring, and May Day, and... there is always a reason to create beauty, right?

Lorena's Wishing Door

28 December 2012

Family Time

Rudolph says it's vacay time!!! Christmas display at Winston's on Hwy 60, Magdalena, NM, Dec. 2012
I asked Santa for a horse, and for summer to come back NOW.
One seems about as likely as the other.
I was fortunate enough to be able to take a full week of vacation for Christmas, which is especially important because the kids are still young enough to really enjoy the holiday. Maggie got to see Santa, and when he asked us what we wished for, we gave the same answer: a horse! I've been wanting one since I was 6 years old; maybe next year I'll be able to make both our wishes come true. Of course, everyone warns me how hideously expensive horse care is, so it's a big "maybe." But slightly more likely if I can get hold of the empty lot next door and use that as the barn/corral space. Horses in my backyard... yeah, that sounds right.

Maggie also got a brand new bike, Laz got a week of pajama days and an iPod, and I got to sleep in and be just a little bit domestic. Before I go back to work on Monday I hope to have one or more seed trays sown with mixed greens, chard, and spinach. Once the new year starts I'll have almost no free time thanks to three intense trainings, so this is it for my leisure time till sometime in February. So we're enjoying it to the hilt...

Oh, and I gave Dad a metal running-horse silhouette sign for the ranch, made by a local blacksmith (and Santa, shown in the pic above); he's really hoping to get a home built out there this year, finally. We wish you all the best for a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!
Blue, Christmas

23 December 2012

"A world undone"

The times are nightfall, look, their light grows less;
The times are winter, watch, a world undone…
(Gerard Manley Hopkins)

Three months of hard work and learning have left me exhilarated and exhausted, and grateful for a holiday respite... my first paid vacation in a dozen years. Having time and energy only to watch summer and autumn race by, I now seek out the beauty in the stillness, in the husks and hulls of "the world undone" as winter descends upon the landscape.

Winter silences me, creatively; I find myself thinking and feeling more but doing less -- hiking less, photographing less, writing less, creating less. But there is more time to watch when gardens lie fallow and tools are put up for the season. Watch, consider, let be for now.