“The universe is wider than our view of it.” –Henry David Thoreau
Has this ever happened to you? The answer, or that thing you’ve been searching for, was actually right there all along? You passed by it many times, but you did not “see”? At least not immediately. But then, once you truly opened your eyes, once you zoomed in the lens and found your focal point, your vision became clear. You had to laugh! Laugh at yourself for being such a blunderhead. Laugh at the universe for playing games with you.
Do you see it? The town’s name? My blog: searchingforthoreau? The town I have been passing through for weeks now.
Henry David Thoreau, one of my heroes, gave a great deal of his life over to communing with nature while transcending the material world.
I give as much as I can! (Who hasn’t said that before?) I could do with less. I could give more.
Yet a man (or a woman) has to eat.
Plus, I love the classroom, a petri dish of human interaction where tremendous growth and change can take place It’s always a grand adventure.
During my search for employment to get paid the bread, to buy the bread, it was necessary to travel to Crownpoint, NM a number of times. To and fro my friend and I would go, across the vast landscape, in awe of the majestic scenery.
Dreams and vows and lives converge…
One Dream: to live with Native Americans, to learn their ways. Many years ago my family immersed itself in the way by way of the of the cowboy and Indian genre on television shows. We couldn’t get enough of them…shows that featured the wild west. Who to root for? Simple for me. Who to pretend you were while playing with the neighborhood kids? I played Tonto. I played Sacagawea.
“Honor all with whom we share the Earth:
Four-leggeds, two-leggeds, winged ones,
Swimmers, crawlers, plant and rock…”
“Regard heaven as your father, earth as your mother, and all that lives as your brother and sister.” –Navajo Proverb–
I wanted to walk that path as closely as a white person is able. I found Henry David Thoreau when I was sixteen and understood: this nature-loving white man’s words and ways would help me hold the Navajo ethos close to my heart.
Points of Convergence
Destiny or Chance? Fate or Coincidence? What’s your take?
The desire to teach again, to live the Navajo way, to live like Thoreau: with nature while writing about nature (both human nature and nature nature) found me creating a blog, but also interviewing for a position on the faculty at the Navajo Technical University. The Humanities Dept Chair showed me around the campus. We walked and talked and at one point we watched a huge bird, silhouetted against the sun’s own sky, swoop up and over an escarpment. Prof. Tallant confessed, “When I die, I want to come back as a bird, a raven to be exact; they have attitude and altitude.” I quickly responded, “Me too! If I get to live again, I want to return flying, like a keen-eyed hawk.”
In the bookstore 2 hours later: On a jacket and on a sweatshirt hanging on the racks, on the T-shirts folded neatly on shelves, I saw the NTU mascot, the university spirit animal. One of the T-shirts proclaimed, “We are the flying hawks!”
I will be a flying hawk…reincarnation through teaching. Very interesting, you must agree?
Not until I was back home in Albuquerque, recalling my wish for reincarnation and the flying hawks did it all connect…I have been passing through Thoreau twice a visit. I will be teaching literature and writing to the flying hawks of NTU. I will continue driving every week through Thoreau on my way to Crownpoint, driving across (and soon exploring) some of the most magnificent expanses of nature a heart can hold. Henry David would have much to say about that!
Destiny or Coincidence?
“Not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.” –Henry David Thoreau