February brought a lovely little jaunt back to the hometown, where I actually had a couple hours to say hi to friends, and to be with family. Turns out they are all very interested in my journey into a vegan life, and they really enjoyed the food I had a chance to share with them.
(Vegan Chocolate Cake. I made it for some friends and family. See, vegan is delicious!)
(Meanwhile, back in Tucson, the wildflowers were going crazy thanks to the amazingly wet rainy season we had all winter. This is a shot from Picacho Peak State Park.)
Come March, it was off to the east coast for a week, my home away from home, for a much needed and thoroughly enjoyed vacation. Some of my favorite people in the world live in Western Mass, and now in Boston, so our time was divided between the two. I got to show Chip all my old haunts, and introduce him to my other loved ones.
I spent lots of good quality time with dear friends, and with Ashley, we even got to fly ourselves through Salem, witches that we are. We fell prey to a touristy wax museum, and found the most incredibly precariously arranged bookstore that must exist.
All in all, it was a soul filling, much needed week, and of course it reminded me of the beauty that is Western Mass in the spring.
April showers... well actually, here in Tucson the showers were ending.... But April in general brought a visit from Mr. Donner, which was also much needed, as he lives too far away. This visit consisted in large part of staying up way too late and waking up way too early to cavort around the Sonoran. Luckily, the wildflowers were still in bloom, and the snowmelt was still supplying the falls with adequate water for being beautiful. Thus, a hike out to Seven Falls and a day of swimming, getting too sunburned to get the tattoos we had designed, and then hiking back. We did manage to fit in a show at the Planetarium and a telescope viewing. I'd say it was a success-- as the desert did divulge certain of her secrets to certain pleading souls. (She tends to do that on asking).
Later in May brought my brother's wedding, and a lovely trip back out to Nashville. The weather was gorgeous (oh how I miss the humidity). I can't believe my little brother is all grown up, but more importantly, I am so glad he is happy.
Here we are in June. Lindsay came out for a week. It was a lovely visit. We explored every corner of the desert, including her mountains. We went on a bird walk with Audubon guides- so perfect. We even trekked all the way to Seven falls, only to find that they were none. All dried up. We spent the weekend camping at Roper Lake, and even caught some fire performers at Sky Bar. I wish she lived closer. I loved having her here.
Now here we are about to head back out to SD for a weekend, and next month to finally make it to Yellowstone: the trip I've been dreaming of for two years. We will be backpacking around Shoshone Lake, and enjoying the company of mosquitoes and grizzly bears in the process. I seriously am more excited about this than anything else at the moment.
On the flipside of all the physical evidence of life's onward march, is the emotional and personal journey which lingers behind it. Over the course of these past months, I've decided to go back to school for Natural Health. I've been overwhelmed for a while with work and future prospects, and have been trying to figure out where I'm supposed to be going. I finally feel certain- I want to be a healer. I want to interact with others on a positive level. I want to help others find health- whole body health- using their own bodies as medicine. So I will be starting a program in the next few months that focuses on holistic nutrition, herbalism, and natural health. I'm really excited about this new leg of life's adventure, but it also meant saying goodbye to other things I love. Goodbyes are always bitter sweet. And every new beginning comes with some other beginning's end.
It must be in the stars... many of my friends and family are welcoming their own new beginnings now. Heading down new paths of mindfulness, whole body healing, and embracing a manner of living which heals the earth and upholds her sacred bounty. I hope that all of you who read this will consider embracing some change that has been lingering on your own horizon- a leap of faith in order to take life in a more positive and uplifting direction.