Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Today started oddly at our motel with an uncomfortable incident. When we walked down to check out the driveway was blocked by two police cars. After the police left, a young man approached us in the lobby wanting a ride to the bus station or to Albuquerque - or somewhere. anywhere. We lied. We told him we didn't have room in the car. We could have made room. He scared me. I have a hunch he had just gotten out of prison , was angry, or a little crazy, was lying, desperate. And I keep thinking he was somebody's baby once, that he has suffered, is suffering now. I wonder where he is tonight now that it is cold again, if he is warm, if he has hurt anyone.

Bob and I shook off the strangeness around the young vagrant to track a shared dream around winding hairpin turns through the mule deers' mountain forest to the edge of the Gila wilderness. We climbed to the Gila cliff dwellings and were fascinated by our tour guide, a man about to turn sixty who has been working three years in the Gila and has a deep sense of spiritual connection with the place. We liked his approach - not just giving us facts but encouraging us to think about how the people actually lived in these dwellings. We felt he was a true keeper of this place and its stories - and one of the voices of the Gila. But the other voices of the Gila- those howling voices of the endangered and transported Mexican wolves - floated down the mountain and entered our hearts even more deeply. We heard these wolves - or some of their kin, before, at Wolf Haven in Washington state when they were being readied for reintroduction into the wild. We wish them well and thank them for their song.

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