I had no difficulties in selling everything I could not fit into my van. I had no problem giving two weeks notice at a job I’d held for ten plus years. The hardest part about leaving LA was telling my parents. Telling them I was moving two states away and I was not going to be making any money and that I just needed to do this. Yeah… that was hard.
So back I went to the Fellowship of Ecology and the Arts, with a van packed and my cat singing his concerns for several hours. When we got to the Grape Vine Campground, clouds were gathering and the air was full of static. Once again the old truck greeted me and we threw my stuff in the back and me and the cat in the front and we headed back quickly to beat the storm. One last River crossing and we were there just as the sky let loose. Within minutes the River increased in level and speed. A woman who was there for retreat looked at me and said, “well, you are here now”. When the River rises, you cannot leave, even if you wanted to.
I had visualized myself being a part of this retreat setting, organizing the office, spending time helping with work around the ranch and getting into my art. What I didn’t expect was that the concept of the retreat had changed since I was there two month previous. There was less emphasis on the Arts and now more push to become a horse ranch. That’s not so bad, right ? Not so bad if you had staff who knew about horses. Nope. Not so bad if your horses got along with one another. Nope. In a word, a nice word, it was daily chaos. Just one example: I witnessed a buckboard arrive one day with a matching pair of mules. Beautiful they were. The Director decided to take them for a spin but the mules took off. She bounced right off that buckboard and the mules continued down the canyon. When they were found, the mules were still yoked together but okay and the buckboard was shattered. The Director was lucky she was only bruised.
I was there almost a month, trying to make it work for me. When I realized that I couldn’t be there any longer I took myself off to a quiet place and just cried. I didn’t want to leave but I finally realized that my initial experience of the Fellowship was to help me disconnect and leave LA. Now I was free to do whatever I wanted.
I made arrangements to stay with some friends in Albuquerque so the old truck was packed up once more and cat and I got dropped off at the Campground. We would spend the night and leave first thing in the morning. There was one more adventure as I lay in my sleeping bag with cat attached to leash near his crate. I woke up with cat sitting on my arm while he watched a skunk standing about 5 feet away. I slowly pulled my cat into my bag and held my breath…. skunk finally walked away and cat and I beat a hasty retreat inside the van to sleep upright in the seat the rest of the night. Phew ~ !
My trip to Albuquerque was long but it gave me plenty of time to catch up to myself. I drove through a little town called Hillsboro and stopped at an apple orchard for a bag of apples.
I saw the most amazing mountain range in front of me as I came down to catch I-25. And I saw the name “Truth or Consequences” on a road sign and thought, how funny and interesting. I would need to come back and check that place out !
I had no idea what was ahead for me now. I only new that my new home was New Mexico and I was open to possibilities. Next stop, for this moment anyway, would be Albuquerque.