Sunday, April 14, 2013


Studying the Land
Near the Lazy J2 Ranch
Patagonia, AZ

I must confess that I have a weakness of empty places. 
- Tony Hillerman

For several months, I've obsessed with the beauty surrounding Patagonia, AZ, in a place called the San Rafael Valley. If by circumstance my business takes me near this area, I find an opportunity to enjoy a piece of paradise. A troubled soul finds rest in the arm like valleys and long fingered lush grasses that embraces a traveler as he meanders down gravel roads.

An hour or so before dusk, the dry desert grasses are kissed goodnight by golden sun rays. It's natures way of soothing the soul and palpitating heart of this land. It is very much a live organism. We could easily misjudge it because of its vast properties and wide open spaces, silence, and stillness. It's more than space and more than simply land.

There is an incredible interdependence here between animals, vegetation, and those stewards tending to herds of cattle. All wait patiently for the advent of the summer monsoons on the high desert, when parched grasses become succulent green morsels for hungry cattle.

As I was wrapping up my unanticipated journey to Patagonia, I saw a red tail hawk perfectly perched on a sign at the end of the Lazy J2 Ranch. He greeted me like an omen. He invited me to take his photograph but warned me with his looks to keep my distance. There was no time to step out of the car and I feared that my feathered omen would fly away if I hesitated or disrupted his solace.

Hope to come back some day and resume conversation with the omen hawk. Just would like to join him. Perhaps he can tell me which way I should go. Perhaps he can teach me what he knows. Nature humbles me with simplicity and honesty. I need to to let go of so many things and be like the hawk on his perch and just observe and wait for that opportunity to spread my wings full, allowing the wind to lift me and find my prey and in so doing find my way.

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