Posted by: highmountainmuse | January 2, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope it is a good year ahead.  I bet you’re saying the same thing.  Perhaps it is just me in my endless optimism, but I believe more folks are not looking ahead so much for themselves, for their own personal benefit, but for the whole country, the economy, the world.  It’s a package deal.  We’re all in this together.  There is a sentiment being expressed, “I can’t do great if you are not doing well.”  I think it’s a pretty good one.  We can look out for and help one another.  What could be more important?


Last night we made it to midnight.  Forrest enjoys doing that, seeing the very first of the new year, and it’s good for us to keep traditions.  As always, we take some time talking about the year that is ending (did we reach our goals, was it a good one, highlights, etc.) and looking forward to the year ahead.  Funny how human nature is, how we look backwards and forwards.  There is so much we can learn from the past, and planning for the future gives us hope, keeps us focused and motivated, gives us a purpose.


Each year, we look at our selves and the world and try to decide what we can do, what small steps we can take, to try to make both better.  Often times, the answer is not so much in what we can do, but in what we can not do, or what we can give up.  And often the answers do not come to us when we are so tired from sitting around the fire many hours beyond our regular bed time.  So, more on this subject later…


In celebration of the New Year, Bob and Forrest took off up river on their snowmobiles to break track along what is a jeep road in summer, all the way up to the Continental Divide and an elevation of probably 12,400 feet.  I headed the other way: down river, then across it, and into the Wilderness on snow shoe in complete solitude. 


Crossing the Rio Grande on the way home from the Wilderness

Crossing the Rio Grande on the way home from the Wilderness


Part of growing up for me was realizing I did not have to do what everyone else was doing to be happy.  (Ah, but I suppose I am still growing up, and still searching for answers that may take me a lifetime to figure out.) We are all different, and only when we can accept ourselves, can we be at peace with ourselves. I am often most content to just be off on my own, in nature, lost in my own thoughts. 


I believe this is the most essential element that enables us to live here.  When we were planning and preparing for our first winter up here, we were told stories of a few folks who had tried to winter up here over the years.  No one made it to Christmas. I’m pretty sure no one thought we’d be any different. By the end of our first winter up here, I stopped hearing the stories.  And people looked at us a little differently.  Bob attributes things like putting in the solar electrical system and getting the satellite internet hook up to making it possible for us to stay here.  Yes, these things do make life easier up here, but deep down, I believe the biggest reason is that we are comfortable in the silence, in the solitude, and happy to be either alone or just the three of us. 


Seven winters later, we are still enjoying the peace, the beauty, the solitude, the company of ourselves, and each other.  We have so much to be thankful for, how can I ask for more for this coming year?


And yet, I do.


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