We can attempt to teach the things that one might imagine the earth would teach us: silence, humility, holiness, connectedness, courtesy, beauty, celebration, giving, restoration, obligation and wildness.
David Orr from "Earth in Mind"

Oct 27, 2007

There are but a few of these in life...and they must not be missed

I spent this morning with a good friend of mine named Bliss (short for Elizabeth). Bliss is an amazing woman I met during my student teaching in Durango almost ten years ago. She was the librarian and media specialist at a wonderful school called COL (who was closed by the school district). Our friendship bloomed from their because of our interests in community, the way people think and the excitement of life. We also filled a space in each other's lives, her as a vaguely maternal figure, me as the daughter she had not had (she has two sons).

But my meeting of Bliss isn't as simple as running into a woman at the school I was working at. It all had to do with a series of choices that I had made. Choices that did not seem too big a deal when I made them but who ended up changing my life in drastic ways. They were the magic moments that were gifted to me by the spirits. The sort that no amount of guessing would have thought where they would have led. The first one was a little bigger than the rest.

1) Before the age of email I had just graduated college and was spending my summer at my parent's cabin in the Hill Towns of Massachusetts working as a house painter. Everyday at lunch I would walk to the post office and back to pick up the mail. I had four or five friends who I was writing with consistently, so there was always something for me to pick up. I had just written a letter to a close friend from my childhood how I did not have any real plans now that I was graduated, that I only knew what I did not want to do. A few days later I received a response suggesting that I first come visit her in northern Minnesota that summer and then move out west with her the coming fall. By the time I had walked the mile home I had already mentally packed my boxes for moving. Incidentally, this woman is Alder's god-mama.

2) A few years later I had gone back to school in Durango to get my teaching certification. We were all supposed to find our own placements in schools, which were limited by how isolated Durango is. I happened to be flipping in the phone book and came upon a listing for Community of Learners Charter School, I had done an internship at a charter school during college and decided to call this school. They were immediately open to me coming to work with them and it was there that I was introduced to some of my favorite writers and thinkers (John Holt, Edward O Wilson, David Orr, Janet Luhrs to name a few) as well as meeting many amazing people like my friend Bliss.

3) When on my first date with my husband, which was a blind date and I was somewhat doubtful of the whole thing, I decided to climb a tall tree that we were passing. The trees in the valley where we were hiking were tall strait ponderosa pines with lots of ladder like branches. I figured that if he follow up the tree he might be worth my effort, on the other hand if he had stayed on the ground I would have a clear idea that this was a one time thing. Well he followed me up that tree (you knew that was coming didn't you?)

4) Most recently we were looking through the phone book here in Vermont and found another acupuncturist in a town not too far away, their add said that the business was both an acupuncture office and tea house. We went up to meet the people, figuring that if they didn't seem like nice people we would have just pretended to have read the sign for tea. That's how we met our new "Tuesday Friends" a week later Kevin was visiting with them and discussing our new business and they suggested that he should open in a visible location in town and maybe have something in addition to the practice to get people to come in to the building.

That's were Seven Mountain came from, an idea that was formed fully in a matter of moments in my mind when I heard this idea. Now our life has this amazing momentum towards ... well actually we don't know towards what but we committed to this idea that really fits so well with everything in our lives and thoughts. Okay, there is part of this that isn't true, we are generally not shoppers but we figured that we would make a shop where everything in it we would be willing to have in our own home and that we would know, as much as possible, the person who made them.

Do you have any of these small/monumental moments in your life? I'd love to hear about them.

Phew, well now that you've struggled through all that writing I'll end by saying that we're off to spend time with family and friends for the next few days. Enjoy your weekend.

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