This book I'm reading: The Great Work of Your Life by Stephen Cope, is just amazing me and no doubt what I need to be reading at this point of my life. It is helping me understand this restlessness that I'm feeling is actually the need to fulfill my dharma -- my life's calling, which
1) changes at different stages of our lives, and 2) is larger than our little selves -- also serving the world, no matter how 'ordinary' that calling seems to be. Reading this book makes me realize I need also to revisit Thoreau and Whitman with a different eye than I read with years ago.
It was brilliantly temperate this morning (for Texas) and I slept well, from 11 pm until almost 7 am. It is also dry as powder so I'm finishing the watering of trees before it becomes too hot. It is joyously quiet and peaceful out here and I bask in it. Something about our Luz de Blanco, my immovable place, is every bit as awesome -- no, maybe more awesome than The Parker Ranch out in Iraan, Texas that Dickie Dell (Parker) Ferro ran as a B&B. It's definitely greener here, even in drought, but both places have that feeling of having been a part of, and then passed over by history. I guess Dickie Dell has passed on by now. She was an interesting woman: part pioneer, part socialite, part artist, and entirely Texan! I can remember her cooking up bacon and eggs for Bob Jackson and me while dragging around an oxygen tank with the longest clear plastic air hose I'd ever seen. Emphysema might have killed her, but it sure couldn't keep her down.
I wonder if she chose to live out her last years at Parker Ranch or if that was the only option she had left. I'd like to think she chose it. Maybe she reached the decision to go back to her roots, to the great wide open spaces where she could think larger thoughts, thoughts clear as that vast sky stretching out beyond bare mesas. What would that life have felt like? Her bed was turned so she could look out across that dry scrubland first thing in the morning, last thing at night. She listened to the beach sound created by the symphony of wind through those tall out-of-place palm trees in front of the ranch house, until their rattling and rustling in the stiff night breeze became background music. At night, watching the multitude of gaswell flares dancing on the dark hillsides across the dry Pecos River -- the 'oil side' of the Pecos that made folks on that side unspeakably rich but left the Parker clan land poor and ranching on land that took forty acres to raise a single cow. Tough stock -- women, men, and beasts. The Yates grew richer and had a town named for them; the Parkers hung on. Cowboy karma.
Almost noon now judging by the sun and I'm soon through with watering. Without rain, all I'm doing is triaging to keep the 'important' trees hanging on. And who the hell decides which trees are important and others not? Well, fruit trees rank up there with me. What God thinks, I can only guess. If they're that important, perhaps he can send some rainfall.
The heat is building and I'm content to be done with chores for awhile. Texans need a siesta time also. We'd be a happier and more agreeable bunch if that practice became commonplace. Maybe we'd even stop grousing about secession. No, that would be asking too much...
This one's for you, Dickie Dell...