A Love note to Mom

November 21, 2020

Cave Creek Canyon, Southeast corner of Arizona

Ritual for my Mom

My mom died here in our home in Tucson on 8 /20/ 2020 at 8am.

Part of my grieving process is making art, doing ritual, remembering.

This weekend David and I traveled down to southern Arizona where we stayed in a remarkable place and did 4 different hikes.

I brought some personal items of Mom’s and gathered some other items from nature to assemble into a reliquary to leave in this beautiful place for the natural world to incorporate into its daily life.

 An ephemeral love note for mom.

A metal butterfly with an Indian head penny, both from her collection

Some of her ashes wrapped in the last piece of the homemade paper David and I made from the cards and flowers we received after Bianca died.

Three silk roses, for Moms 3 children.

Some Lichen and an Autumn sycamore leaf, mom always loved the fall leafs. I sent them to her for years when I lived in places where we had them.

2 pine cones, Douglas fir and Ponderosa.

A key to her house and a Kennedy 50 cent piece, all wired together in a very old, very fine wire.

In the afternoon, we found a place off the beaten path to the east of two massive monolith cliffs covered in lime green lichen. Worn down from ancient volcanos, now their geology explained as Cave Creek Rhyolite, Silver peak Dacite and Horseshoe canyon tuff.

I hung the piece on a Sycamore tree which was embracing a Juniper.

We said goodbye yet again.

I think this last parent of mine will require many more goodbyes.


Syurgeon Moon



Tomorrow will be a full moon, the Sturgeon moon.

I have spent the day going through all the paper remnants of the time of Bianca.

I have been feeling a ritual coming on and this is how it will be.

I have dug a hole into the rocky east bay hill side where David and I have lived for the past 2 years.

When I stand there, I can see into the city where Bianca was when she died.

I have candles burning and I have cut into strips the sweet letters you wrote, journal entry’s from the memorial and first year of grieving, among other memories of her life and leaving.

I have wrapped the tiny pieces in an old well loved dress of hers that I wore until it fell apart, making small bundles. Tomorrow morning I will bury them in the fullness of the moon with the fullness of my heart.

Yet another piece of letting go.


On The Road

The fog has just rolled in, here in El Cerrito, CA

I am heading to the Sonoran Desert for friends, family, Chanteling and a house concert.

The car is packed, the moon is almost full. Time to drive.


Dear friends and family

The longest night of the year has passed and the New Year is close.


I write to let you know that by the end February David and I will be on the west coast.

David has been offered a job in Emeryville, California.


We are packing, downsizing yet again. Neither of us had ever thought of living in California, yet when we asked for the Highest and Best for the both of us, this is what came up.

A big plus is being so close to my sweet sister, and some very dear friends.

So here we go off on our next adventure. To the BIG city.


May your year be filled with light and love


Cantrell and David


mt Evans (29)

mt Evans (15)

mt Evans (5)

mt Evans (1)

This weekend’s adventure was going to Mt Evans. 14,000 feet and a view to take away my breath, never mind that I can hardly breathe at that altitude. OK OK so most of it was driving, But I must say the road is not for the weak of heart. And we kept passing people on bicycles! Even a group riding Denver’s rent a bikes with stuffed animals and a bowling ball in the baskets. After we walked up to the summit we drove down to Summit Lake and had another hike towards Chicago lakes. Another drive down took us to Mt Goliath and an amazing forest of Bristlecone Pines. David got to hang with Smokey the bear on Smokey’s 70th BD. Meanwhile this seasons torrential rains and lighting storms followed us down the mountain.We found a great new restaurant in Golden with Venezuelan food called Elote’s café, restaurant and Bar. Wonderful dinner to end a glorious day.

A meadow

712 a place for lunch

712 Elkweed

712 field flowers wild

712 Frazer Meadow 2

712 Frazer Meadow

712 hiking into the clouds

712 indian paintbrush

This last weekend we stopped in Golden for a farmers market visit on our way to an all day hike in Golden state Park. The wildflowers were amazing as we hiked up through the clouds and arrived at Fraiser Meadow. We spent the evening and the next morning with David’s Father tying Flies for fishing. All in all another wonderful weekend in this beautiful state.


july 4th adventure (21)

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David and I have been having adventures.

This last weekend we went south on 25. At Walsenburg we took a county road along a creek to La Veta. Drove by skeletons of some old town in the shadow of the Spanish Peaks. The native peoples called the peaks, the breasts of the world. Looked for and hiked up through the Great Dikes of the Spanish Peaks. The great Dikes are a geological world wonder. http://www.sangres.com/mountains/spanpks/#.U7wBh7FhsTA,

Out of Cuchura, we ate lunch with big ants in a forest of oak which became aspen. So many wildflowers this year and it continues to rain. After a few hours hiking switchbacks we continued driving south on 12. Checked out Blue lake on the east slope of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and had a picnic dinner next to the rushing Cucharas river. Driving south we continued past small lakes, coal mines and ranching communities, along the beautiful Purgatoire river, stopping along the way to check out future fishing and hunting possibilities. Spent the night in Trinidad, a depressed border town made mostly, and not surprisingly of red brick. Just north of town we saw the old domed brick ovens.

Saturday we took 25 north turned right at Walsenburg, 160 to Alamosa, 285 south to Antonio and 17 west into the Rio Grande Forest and the South San Juan Wilderness. Fished Elk Creek, David pulled in one brook trout. Followed 250 along a fairly bad road for 3 hours along the Conejos River, so happy so beautiful. Fishes some more, never finding out what the fish wanted to eat. Once we got over Stunner pass we began following the Alamosa River which we found out was highly acidic, caused by mining and the natural geology. By early evening we were almost back up Alamosa way, driving through flat open irrigated farmland and Amish.

This is where you do not eat in Alamosa. First hint no one in the restaurant, dirty menus and stale chips. David asks for a small cup of the red and green chili. The green is not green and the red is not red and they both taste like watered down floured gravy, we give the bewildered waitress a few bucks and leave. We ended up with some good tacos around the corner.

Straight up 17 north an hour away was Joyful Journey Hot Springs, where we had a room and 110 degree hot water in pools looking east at the Sangre De Christo mountains. We soaked a long day of fishing and driving away watching the sky start to rest and the night hawk’s mating dance.

January 1 2014

January 1, 2014

Some years ago I thought it would be prudent to stop asking WHY. The idea to focus on how.

How can I contribute in the best way possible to myself and all that is around me?

How shall I move forward in a world so full of attitudes and behavior I don’t understand?


Call in like-minded humans.

Get rid of the TV

Stop participating in corporate consumption as much as possible.

Don’t be led by the status quo.

Create my own fashion.

Support local business as much as possible.

Downsize, reuse, rebuild, fix it don’t toss it.

Find places to sing from my heart.



In the past few days I have been again beset by questions.

What is it about humans and anniversaries?

Why can we not gift and honor each other every day?

When will people understand that consumer capitalism is destroying the very fabric of humanity?

Let alone this planet. This one safe place where we live.

What is this fascination with stars and royalty?

How is it we are OK with the gross amount of money they make from the industry supported by people who can’t pay their bills?


This year my hope for us is that we find again our spark of imagination.

That we remember to take time to connect and tell our friends how much they mean to us.

Every day, any moment, all the time.


Peace out




On Tuesday afternoons I sing with the Threshold Choir here in Denver. We sing bedside to people in St Joseph’s Hospital. This last Tuesday, one person we sang to is a stage 4 cancer patient. In between songs she shared some lyrics she had written for her children. In one moment I was moved to tell her I would return the next day and get the lyrics from her and see if spirit would grace me with a melody.

The next day I sat with her for about an hour as she worked on the lyrics, I left with 2 pages of rhyme dotted with tiny bits of blood. I assembled the words into a whole, sat down at my small digital recorder and in one take sang her song. The next morning I hurried to record it and get it on a CD and a digital file.

I arrived on the ward just after lunch and went to her room. It was empty.

I approached the nurses station and when the nurse saw my volunteer badge she said, “oh are you the Threshold singer that has been working with ……….., we moved her to another room. She has been really focused on this project; it has helped her a lot.

I was able to give her the CD and email the file to her and her sister, along with the lyric sheet. She cried when she heard the recording. And I am so grateful to be allowed to participate in this sacred service.