Chuck and I were joined by Maggie Rothermell as we attended the Rio Grande Celtic Festival, Bernalillo, NM this weekend. On Monday, we drove home and had planned to visit the Great Sand Dunes, a place I have yet to visit, even though I am a Colorado native. We drove up on the non-traditional road, entering Colorado with a gas stop at Antonito. The pumps were out of gas, the clerk was waiting for the truck. We decided to keep going. But, before we left, I noticed an old guitar in the window. I took a picture, and took this as a sign from Charlie that we were on the right path for the day. It was an old, beaten guitar and I wondered if it had the “soul” that Char always looked for.
I put on earphones to listen to the ritual music and got as far as the next gas station before I had to return to the real world, so I didn’t finish it. In my ritual, and when I am not at the Counsel Tree physically, I visualize a thin chord attaching me to the trunk of the tree. I imagine touching the bark on the trunk like I do when I am actually there. And then I go through the whole ritual in my mind as if I were there. I figure if Char, Daddy, Robin or Andrew see the circle, they can zoom down to it and follow the chord to me. This seems to be comforting and logical to me at the same time.
Anyway, I was irritated that I didn’t get to finish, but, maybe they saw the circle before I had to take it down.
Big, wide high plains surrounded by distant mountain peaks. Every mountain had a glistening white cap of snow, it was windy and the thick clouds had covered the sky. May be May, however, it was very wintery. As we turned the corner, we saw the dunes. Under a deep dark rain cloud, the color of the dunes were more like a deep purple. Where the sun tried to peek through, the dunes were shiny and almost white, almost like snow. From a distance, it looked like a stream snaked its way along the outer edge. When we actually got to the parking lot, the stream was actually very wide, very shallow and barefoot people were walking in it to get the the dunes. The people on the dunes looked like little ants crawiling up the face.
I am glad we came here, and I will return again as there is so much to explore… dunes, creek, Zappata Falls and hikes into the mountains. However, we had to leave soon after we got there, to make it home in time for the weeks work. Maggie and I walked up to the waters edge, took our pictures with Charlie and then I released some of his ashes at the waters edge. I wanted them to land on the bank and in the water. I wanted to think about how his ashes would eventually float down the rivers and finally into the ocean. And I know that this is one place Charlie would have liked.
On our way back to the RV, 4 huge hawks were circling overhead. I wanted to take their picture, but, they did a couple beautiful, sweeping turns, tilted in so I would see them in their full glory, and zoomed off towards the dunes. I waited, but they were gone. As we were driving away, I was a little sad that they didn’t hang out. But, then, I realized that they had followed the chord, dipped into the area, made sure that I knew that they knew, and then went back to their new lives.
When I come back, I will do a full ritual and maybe they will come hang out. Until then, they know I love them. And the adventure continues with Charlie Hughes. I love and miss you son, but, now, I know I can reach you in this new way. And at least none of you are in this new place alone.