Archive for November 8th, 2009


En route to Albuquerque on I-25 through southern Colorado, listening to The Greatest Hits of Kenny Loggins, I do believe I saw a tumbleweed bounce across the road.  That was definitely a first.  I also believe I passed a farm full of gnus.  But I can’t be sure.  When you’re zipping along at oh, let’s say 85 miles per hour, you don’t have a lot of time to take a second look at anything that crosses your visual field.  Or verify the exact parameters of a vaguely familiar-looking horned animal grazing by the fence alongside the highway.  Trying to make up a little time lost to my earlier perambulations, I was grateful that the road was largely straight and level, and I could often see for many miles in all directions.  There was not much out there, except a plain right out of “Little House on the Prairie” on the left, and my sweet Rockies, ever so gently descending, on the right.  Crossing the border into New Mexico, I felt very sad to be leaving Colorado behind, but took comfort in the continued yet changing beauty around me.  After navigating a series of very New Mexico-esque mountain turns near the state line, a long, straight, stretch of road resumed for several hours.  Now I say I was traveling at around 85 mph.  On average.  Maybe.  Let’s just say it would be way too easy to go 100 mph on I-25 in northern New Mexico.  Theoretically.  Still, I was not going to make Albuquerque before dark.

I rounded the Santa Fe area mountains just in time for sunset.  As I took a brief turn westward in the approaching twilight, the terrain was enchanting – sort of half-desert, half-mountains – in the last of that light for which the area is famous.  The partial clouds above and before me went gold, pink, and crimson, as snow-peaked mountains could still be seen off to the north, and the mountainous Santa Fe National Forest rose up on both sides of the highway.  It was all lovely to behold after a long, and dare I say, boring stretch through the middle of New Mexico.  As I banked to the west, listening to Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin belting out “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” I thought, Yes, Indeed.

Hungry, and late, I finally arrived to an ever-patient Ty, holding up his Saturday night awaiting my arrival.  We grabbed a late dinner, then joined a bunch of his friends who were hanging out at a sort of open house for an herb shop one of them owned.  It was at this “herbery” that I encountered Hazel, a 65-year-old woman from Florida, retired there from Boston.  Hazel had been on her own walkabout of sorts, having visited friends in Albuquerque several times over the last year or so; after receiving some sort of prophesy that she would be staying, she learned that her house in Florida had burned down, and everything she owned was now with her in her rental car there in New Mexico.  She was in an extraordinarily good mood.

Hazel claimed to be a healer, and first offered to work on my suddenly sore neck, then later sat down to give me an “Angel Card” reading.  I have had Tarot readings in the past, mostly out of curiosity and for the entertainment value; but I was unfamiliar with Angel Cards.  After I shuffled, Hazel took cards from the deck and held each between her hands, not reading the card per se, but instead tuning in to whatever “message” she was “receiving.”  Now, I am pretty darn open-minded, and hold a very live-and-live attitude regarding most superstitious beliefs so long as they don’t hurt anyone.  But I also don’t fully write off some of this “way out there” stuff, because I find it the height of arrogance for anyone – scientists, doctors, theologians, preachers –  anyone, to think that they or someone else has, at this moment in time, evolution, and history, all the answers to the universe.  So I tend to be pretty open-minded, and am more than willing to have a 65-year-old woman with a Florida tan, Boston accent, and marginal dye job give me a reading on an otherwise quiet Saturday night in Albuquerque.  Even if it did begin with her saying “Stop being such an ass!”

Hazel said that part of her gift was to translate the divine into plain English.  I assured her I was unoffended.  She claimed to not necessarily know what every message meant, but that the divine spoke through her, and that if I did not understand right away, I would, and soon.  Hazel continued with the reading.  Next card, eyes closed, she looked at me and asked, “Why did you stop writing your book?”  Stunned at first, I was about to retort that I never started, when I suddenly remembered five or ten pages at most, written some 18 years ago, and probably lost on an old set of floppy disks.  “I barely started,” I stammered.  “Why did you stop?” she asked again.  I stammered some more, thinking “Fear, it’s got to be fear.”

A few cards later, Hazel opened her eyes again, looked at me with a maternal, beatific smile, and said in the kindliest, most assuring tones possible, “No harm will come to you.”  I nearly fell out of my chair right there in the middle of the herbery.  I had not said anything to Hazel about the fears I’d contended with earlier on this trip, and it had been days since I felt troubled by them.  Nevertheless, her reassurance was startling.  And comforting – if only because I already knew it to be true.  I was able to look Hazel in the eyes, smile back at her, and say “I know.”  Because I did.

Hazel told me a few more things that surprised me, such as, I am a healer (really?); such as, I need to leave writing, specifically a journal, behind me for a daughter, or someone who felt like a daughter; that this “daughter” needed to read it, and that by leaving it behind for her, my life would have fulfilled a purpose (Oh!).  But the biggie, the one that got my attention the most, was Hazel telling me, “Finish up this trip, fine; but go home and get on with it.  There’s going to be an even bigger walkabout.  In about nine months.”  I could only stare, eyes wide.  She continued, “Do the research, gather your information in this phase; then get on with it.”


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