Lifted by the sky’s palm,
wings slicing through blue silk.
Wind currents sift
& rustle between feathers.
Spiraling higher & higher,
above baked red earth
& the simple doings of land dwellers.
Earth’s curve wears a shawl of milky blue.
What is it like to have the power of effortless, graceful flight? I have wondered this often during the two years while weaving this condor.
Yes, I am still here, & yes, it is almost time to set her free.
Back in August, when I discovered the delivery date for Grand Journey was now to be later this year, I was still in balls to the wall mode, weave & crank it out. But, an epiphany arose when I realized I could do other things without an impending delivery to the Grand Canyon…
Rekindle an old flame.
Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, a part of the Coronado National Forest district here in Tucson, is unique, special, & beloved in our city because its creek flows nearly year round creating a natural riparian oasis in the middle of the Sonoran Desert.
Back in the early 2000s, I used to hike in Sabino often, but life & my then research nurse occupation slowly edged canyon time aside. This past summer, I started going there again more regularly to walk the paved 3.7 mile path (let’s just say that after two years of wrestling with this condor on my loom, I am not quite in the hiking shape that I was). Back in 2011, I discovered that Sabino has a volunteer naturalist program that interested me, but at the time I was curtailing any extra-condor-icular activities. With the tapestry due date delayed, my world suddenly opened up. In early December, I finished the 15 week training course which consisted of lectures & nature walks by local professionals covering the herpetology, mammalogy, entomology, geology, ecology, botany, anthropology, archeology of Sabino Canyon. I am now an official Sabino Canyon Volunteer Naturalist.
I love that this experience will enhance my life socially, yet not consume it—I am only required to volunteer 50 hours per year. During my first year, I must work in the school program conducting themed nature field trips for school children who are bused into the canyon from their schools.
Many have never been out of Tucson’s inner city environs. They are all amazed at what they see & learn; for many kids it almost borders on culture shock. They will all grow up & vote (hopefully). After my first year, I will be able to branch out into other naturalist activities (some senior naturalists lead nature walks for the public), or even create an activity of my own design. I have noticed a glaring lack of anything related to art, for either kids or adults. Hmmm…
Soon, very soon, there will be a condor release in the studio. I can almost feel the loom quivering, she is so eager to stretch her wings. The initial cut-off will be private, because I am not sure how I will feel when I see her, all at once… all 60 square feet of her. It is hard to believe my small hands created her from imagination & bits of colored yarn. What a grand journey it has been. Thank you for coming along!
I hope 2013 has some grand things in store for all of you…
Happy New Year!