We just returned from a long road-trip. It was the kind of “automotive-walk-about” that we used to relish in our younger years, but somehow, the thrill is gone. Long drives just aren’t as appealing as they once were. But this trip had a great purpose. I had been invited to perform at the Annual Commemoration of Abdu’l-Baha’s 1912 visit to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. I’m glad we went.
Glenwood Springs was the only stop The Master made on his American travels just to rest. When he saw the beauty of the mountains and greenery, he prayed for God’s mercy on those who had incarcerated his Father depriving Him of seeing such sights.
It was an intimate crowd of about 70 people this year, about half (or less) of the regular turn out. But everyone there was a joy to meet. I got to see some old friends like Derek Cockshutt and Mitchell Silas. Derek is a member of the Northwest Regional Baha’i Council and he shared some thoughts on “change” that let me know that he and I share some perspectives in common. Mitchell is a great Navajo Sand Painter whom I first met decades ago, when neither of us had gray hair, while he was touring with his craft in Virginia. It’s always a delight to see such an artist at work.
And I finally met my Facebook friend David Barnes from Colorado Springs. David makes Native flutes and does quite a job.
This year he held a hands-on workshop where folks made flutes out of PVC pipe which were immediately proclaimed to be “dishwasher safe”. The real flute player in our midst however was Alvin Bitsilly. Alvin, who is Navajo, spoke about Spirit and finding Faith and when he played his flute, the sound carried my heart to the heavens. It was a truly magic moment. I am convinced that – if we listen – our Native Baha’i brothers and sisters will lead us to learn how to inculcate the Spirit of the Faith into the pattern of our daily lives.
I really enjoyed performing for such a spiritual crowd. Of course, since these were Baha’is, I did the songs from my Each One Teach One CD. But I did a few from “Plain & Simple” as well and a few that I haven’t yet published.
The trip up there was also inspiring. We saw some more of this wondrous state of Arizona driving up through Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon into Flagstaff where we stayed for the night. We dined at Macy’s Cafe (a Baha’i-owned Organic vegetarian food haven for Deb) in Flagstaff and got our morning (organic) coffee there too before driving north across Navajo Lands and through Monument Valley in Utah. Mexican Hat is an amazing sight.
Last time, I forgot to mention some stuff about our recent “dog exploits”.
Perhaps my bride was worried that now, having sold the Tucson house, there would not be quite enough stress in my life. Maybe that’s why she felt it necessary for us to get a second dog. Yes, we’ve been down this road before without success and so far, this most recent attempt was not any better. We had just returned one dog to the shelter that seemed to be suffering from hip dysplasia, and, as though it was a good idea, immediately brought home another. Just before we picked her up, the shelter staff removed a tick, deep in the ear, and the poor dog was still bleeding hours later. Every time the dog would shake her head, blood would spatter half way up the wall. Our family room looked like a crime scene. I had to put one of those plastic cone collars on her to keep her from scratching. First thing Monday morning, Deb took the critter to the vet. The diagnosis: “Tick Fever”, “Bronchitis” and “105-degree temperature”. We took the animal back to the shelter. She’s in “happy dog land” now. I don’t believe we are meant to have more than one dog. I never wanted the first one, but now, he’s part of the family (our special needs, short bus, pit bull, Rocket). As for a “second”, we’ve just made our fifth attempt and it didn’t work.
Deb has agreed to let the matter rest for a while.