The art of dormancy.

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Fourth of July Canyon, located in the Cibola Forest, is so named because each fall it erupts in a riot of colored leaves. I knew it was a little early in the season for the pop and bang of full on fall, but on a whim I hopped into the truck this morning and drove. I drove up a mountain and straight into wet, sticky clouds. I thought several times about turning back due to the weather and the long drive (an hour and a half, one way), but something compelled me to keep going. 



All morning I'd been fighting a strong feeling of aloneness and I couldn't quite sort out if it was the same thing as loneliness and how either of these fit in with the undeniable feeling of peace and strength that has been emerging in my life of late. I passed mostly defunct towns with beautiful old churches and ornate graveyards. I went miles without passing anyone or anything but fences and brush. As I drove, it occurred to me that fall is a time of deep and silent waiting, a time of dormancy which ushers in new life and new growth. I turned off of the main road and bounced down a rutted dirt track, my truck splashing in huge puddles. Eerie burn zones with sharp blackened trees lined the road.



And suddenly, I knew. 



This time of dormancy in my life is exactly where I should be right now. Waiting and watching, gathering strength, silently growing my roots stronger and deeper. 



I hiked today in an otherworldly forest which seemed enchanted. I was so under its spell that I could have easily been convinced that this was the fountain of youth.



Heavy, wet cloud nestled  atop the canopy of trees and it seemed as if I had stepped out of time. Several times I checked my watch just to make sure that I wouldn't get caught by nightfall, startled to see that it was still early afternoon. It was hard to keep track because time seemed so slippery in that place. 




It was a rainy, drizzly day - uncommon in New Mexico. I hiked in a lush, dripping land. I clambered over slick rocks. Most of the water never touched me, but ran in rivulets down leaves and trunks turning the trail into a series of miniature streams and waterfalls. It was not quiet. 



I saw several people in the first mile and my aloneness was accentuated by several couples tucked into the trees, silent except the sounds of sucking and pawing. A day for rain AND romance, apparently. 



As I moved higher, I heard only the occasional whisper and chirp of birds. The incessant dripping and movement of water. I became spooked. For quite some time, I'd heard movement in the brush and was so convinced that a bear was following me, I retrieved the pepper spray from my pack. I stopped frequently to listen and look but couldn't spot the follower. 



I rounded a curve in the trail and came face to face with two huge eyes. It was a doe but it took a second for me to realize it and the adrenaline shot was intense. She didn't move, just locked her deep liquid eyes on mine.Then the moment broke and she  bounded away into the forest.




When I departed for this day trip, I'd had no idea what drove me or where I would end up. It turned out to be exactly what I needed. There is an art to lying dormant and I think I'm just going to lay low for awhile and quietly grow stronger inside.



Whatever you have planned for this fall season, I hope it is exactly what you need to be nurtured and happy in this world. 
 

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Tara Leaver, artistic mentor, friend, and longtime supporter of all things Ink & Alchemy is facilitating an incredible journey beginning on October 5 and I wanted to take a moment tell you about it. If you've been around here any length of time, you know that I don't recommend these things lightly; I take my responsibility to you very seriously. Tara is the real deal. She is incredibly gifted artistically, but she couples that with a talent for nurturing creativity in others. It's truly a gift. Click below to see what Abstractify is all about and how it can bring out the best of YOU in your artwork. 

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