Robert Mirabal and the power of intention

fort-francisco

“You never know what the spirit of intention can do.”  –Robert Mirabal

We spent a marvelous morning on Saturday at the Native American Celebration at Fort Francisco in La Veta.

First of all the Fort is a beautiful example of 1800s adobe construction. Their exhibits are also a wonderful collection of memorabilia from the past century, like a a walk through the homes of the early 1900s. Old furniture, clothes, and my favorite, photos of people from our past.

Then we enjoyed a dance performance by three girls from the Jicarilla Apache Nation. The highlight was a performance by Robert Mirabal of Taos Pueblo. Yes, his music is magic, and I also found great wisdom in his words.

Robert MirabalRobert shared with this mostly European-American crowd the history of this area and what it meant to Native Americans. He explained why his ancestors came up here from the south and kept the trails alive and fresh for others. He spoke of intention in our daily life.

When Robert plays his flutes and sings, it sounds like he is channeling the life and  stories of his ancestors, bringing up vivid imagery of our Native American past.

And in a way, isn’t that what we all do each day, channel our ancestors? So much of who we are is determined by choices made by our parents and grandparents.

I am honored to be now living on this land where the buffalo roamed, the place where my grandfather hoped to retire.  I feel closer to the land than I have in decades, and I intent to protect this land and its heritage.

Excerpted from my new book: A Memoir of Retirement: From Suburbia to Solar in Southern Colorado.

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Sacred Journeys, Sacred Mountains…

View from our land

After watching an episode of Sacred Journeys on PBS, one which included a bit about the sacredness of mountains in Asian thought, I realized how fundamentally important it feels to now own land with views of our own sacred mountains.

IMGP3555The Spanish Peaks, pictured above, have a centuries-old history of sacredness. Dating back far before the Europeans arrived, this area was a crossroads of the American West. Taos Pueblo, located in northern New Mexico today, has been a major Native American trading center for over 1,000 years. One trail headed north out of Taos into the San Luis Valley, crossing east over Sangre de Cristo Pass, through the gap between Rough Mountain and Sheep Mountain.

Various Native American tribes like the Ute, the Navajo, the Jicarilla Apache and the Comanche passed through this valley regularly. To them the Spanish Peaks stood out because they seemed to emerge out of nowhere up to 13,000 feet running east and west, not north to south like the rest of the Rocky Mountains.

The natives peoples considered this a sacred place of ceremony. As far as they were concerned, this is where mankind first emerged from the womb of the earth. In other words, this was their own Garden of Eden.

The Ute Indians named these two peaks Huajatolla (pronounced Wa-ha-toy-a), meaning the “two breasts” which translates as “Breasts of the Earth”.

I loved learning this ancient history, which I first heard about when Robert Mirabal came here to perform this past July.

We moved here to create a dynamic relationship with these mountains, this landscape and the lovely silence. Mike and I have both traveled to many parts of the world. We now find the inward journey more essential than outward ones.

DSCF1014For us this is a sacred place, one where we can celebrate and appreciate the beauty of nature every single day, while continuing a long tradition of sustainable living.

Want to learn more about our experience of moving from the city to the country to live a quiet, sustainable life? Check it out here and follow us on TWITTER!