Syurgeon Moon

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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.

Cantrell

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.

Shift

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

14,000

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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

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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.

Adventure

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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.

Listen.

 

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

Cantrell

Allow

 

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.

down Under

 

We flew from Denver on a Thursday in the Spring and Arrived in Auckland, New Zealand on the following Saturday in the Fall. This is what happens when you go Down Under.  On the way home we left Sydney Australia at 6pm on Sunday and got into San Francisco at 4:30pm on the same day.

There was a lunar eclipse on the evening we flew out and a solar eclipse on the way back.

I had dreamed that I was upside down and could not stand up straight; this did not happen but it made me laugh to think of it.

We used www.airbnb.com  to rent apartments in Auckland and Sydney, they were well appointed as they say, and it provided us with great locations for exploring at a good price with friendly and helpful hosts.ImageImage

Auckland is a beautiful modern city, built on old volcanos, Steep hills, beautiful parks and an international population. We had an apartment across the street from the university and a few blocks from the central business district. The first couple of days we walked and bussed and saw the main city sights. Brothers Brewery was one stop a craft beer pub that also sold 250 beers from around the world including Rogue from Oregon. Did the Hop on Hop off Tour bus ride,  This was a great way to see a bunch of stuff without having to hoof all the hills. One stop was at the Auckland War Museum. We learned that all of the games and toys traditionally played with by Maori children were training for battle.

Third day we booked a tour of the west coast with Terry of Absolute Tours. He was a riot and since it was off season we were his only guests for the day. We explored the Waitakere ranges, hiked to a waterfall, hiked to the top and then down to the pristine black sand beach in Piha. My body loved the moisture and my heart sang with the trees. The Manuka tree or tea tree is the tree of the oil and the honey so popular for healing coming from down under. We ate a bunch, I also got some bee medicine when one of them stung me on the foot.ImageImageImage

New Zealand had its longest drought in 57 years up until 2 weeks before we arrived and everything was a color of green I have never seen before.

We did another solo tour with Terry to the east coast. We left early and drove through a fogged landscape of rolling hills, crowds of cows and scatterings of sheep. Our destination was Coromandel. We stopped for a scenic narrow gage train ride through a property owned by a man who is a potter and naturalist. He has spent the last 35 years building the tracks through his property while hosting a pottery studio and planting over 27,000 native trees. You can go there on retreat to work with clay from his hills. More here at www.drivingcreekrailway.co.nz

Another trek through the bush and we were at Cathedral rock and another amazing clear, clean beach, this one with white sand and towering cliffs and very few people. The New Zealanders call the natural landscape Bush and anything planted by man a forest. They have created a pine they grow for timber and there is logging and replanting of these forests.ImageImageImageImage

David’s conference started and the rain came. Up to this point we had such beautiful weather!

I wandered in and out of the downpours, taking care of our next leg of the journey and had a day tour of Whiheke. This was a wine and food tour although very little food was offered. A sweet day of three wineries and an Olive oil farm and processer. 70 percent of all of the wine and beer made on this Island gets consumed there. This island is a 50 minute ferry ride and I was one of 30 tour guests. A note; this trip is the first time I have ever gone on a tour, and I booked 3!Image

After David’s conference was over we took a 3 hour bus ride north to the Bay of Islands and took a ferry from Paihia to the island of Russell where we stayed in New Zealand’s oldest establishment The Duke of Marlborough Hotel. Quaint, quiet, good bed, good food. We continued our walking about from beach to beach, through bush, up hills, watching the people and birds, stacking stones and enjoying the beautiful water.ImageImage

Russell NZ (38)

Next stop Sydney Australia and Rain Rain Rain. Although it did rain a lot during our few days here we managed to be indoors during most of the deluge. We did our walk about, met up with our former roommate Jorge, and drank local beers. We took a tour of the Opera house, fascinating. We took the ferry to Manley beach and watched the surfers riding the surf in the rain. On the way back David and Jorge got soaked when a rogue wave came over the bow and covered them. David dried out while we explored the Sydney Modern Museum. Our last day there was all about the Botanical gardens and an evening catching beers and snacks while participating in VIVID. http://www.vividsydney.com

What we thought would be our last morning in Sydney , we found breakfast at a place close to our loft room called Kitchen by Mike. Beautiful food in a converted warehouse filled with alternative, reuse, recycled ideas on living and food. Great find. We took the train into downtown to see the inside of Saint Mary’s Cathedral where there is a black Madonna and child.ImageImageImageImage

Long wait, canceled flight, airport hotel, next day walkabout around area of airport, Magdalene chapel, three hour delay and finally on a plane which will hold 300 and there were about 90 of us. Room to lie about.

Home again and still getting our rhythms back.

Amazing time had by both

Big love

Cantrell