Poet, Playwright, Workshop Facilitator
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Welcome to daily nature photo and creative writing blog, #NewThisDay

Welcome to my daily nature photo blog

Writing from My Photo Stream ~ Kelly DuMar


#NewThisDay Writing From My Photo Stream

Santa Fe National Forest as Chama River Canyon Wilderness.  

Santa Fe National Forest as Chama River Canyon Wilderness.  

Nineteen years ago, in April, my husband told me he wanted to go on a vision quest in the Chama River Canyon wilderness of New Mexico with a spirit guide, Sparrow Heart, and a group of other questers for eleven days. We had three young kids, then, my youngest was about a year old. He had about a week to prepare his gear; I had about a week to prepare my feelings. I wouldn't be able to reach him for ten of those eleven days while he camped in the desert and fasted for four of those days, entirely alone, on a mesa with a sleeping bag under a tarp. But I told him yes, of course, you need to go. I'll be fine, he said. We'll be fine, I said, and we were. The day he finished the quest and got to a phone he called, and I was at the emergency room getting my youngest an x-ray of her pinky finger which had been crushed in a door by one of her siblings. This was the worst of it. And, when we came home with a chipped tooth, pounds thinner, deeply tanned and happily smiling and hugging us, we were more than fine - we were all better for him having take this journey.

Today was a spectacular day hiking with my husband in the Chama River reserve to the exact spot where he did his solo quest for four days on top of his mesa. We sat silently overlooking the mountains in the hot sun for a long time. He ate his sandwich. How was it? I asked. Great! he said. It's the first time I've ever eaten anything here.

After our hike, we visited the monastery another five miles up the thirteen mile dirt road. Below, on the right, is the view from the sanctuary. We stepped inside for a moment, the moment turned out to be afternoon vespers, and so we sat while the Benedictines sang the psalms in their black hooded robes in the sanctuary. 

Our exquisite day didn't end there. We drove back to Abiquiu just in time for a tour of Georgia O'Keefe's home there. The pictures I took are wonderful, and I look forward to sharing them as a slideshow very soon. For now, it's time for rest, for sleep and dreaming in the land of enchantment.

All photos and text copyright Kelly DuMar 2017