Dear Isaac and Maia,
It’s the 79th or Decembuary and it finally feels like there is light (and sun) at the end of the tunnel we call winter. It is President’s Day and Winter Break. It is my birthday week, too. So, as usual, I have traveled to Moab, Utah for a couple days of hiking and (usually) spring-like weather.
Winter makes me feel stuck. Oh, Christmas is OK but less fun without the two of you and your mom. It’s not fun. fun though . . . like a road trip. Not to say I haven’t seen every moment I have with you as a gift – as far as spending time with people, I can’t beat the 3 of you! A real joy would be taking you on a road trip. I don’t think that will happen but I take my camera with me so you can see me come to life.
The map shrinks in winter – I had to come home from the 1st day hike 20 miles away because of the blizzard. And, my ipod always gets stuck and won’t shuffle. Just until the weather warms up, though. I am like my Ipod. It is just the same old song over and over and over. That is why Christmas isn’t my favorite time of year. Only one (short) day long – hiking season lasts months!
Moab is a beautiful, surreal place with amazing red rock structures all around. There is something about red rock cliffs that touches my soul. I really am happy when I am hiking within those walls. When I can’t sleep at night, I close my eyes and imagine that I am in a canyon with red walls.
Years ago, we use to travel through Moab on the way to Phoenix when I practiced there. I am not sure exactly when it was that I was traveling through Moab with your mom. We stopped for a sandwich and I just remember that they had lots of sprouts on them. Somehow, the waitress overheard us talking about midwifery and she said there was this rock outside of town with a petroglyph of a midwife doing a birth.
I am a little fuzzy because I rarely stopped to explore in those days. I just drove from place to place as quickly as possible. But, somehow, your mom and I took the journey south of town down Kane Canyon to the Birth Rock.
It is just a big old boulder in the middle of a canyon. It has a fence around it now – it did not then. More tourists. But, the figure of the midwife stays in my mind. She is large – the largest figure on the rock panel. The baby is pretty big, too – a boy. There seems to be blood or amniotic fluid dripping from the baby to me. The midwife is what they call an anthropomorph – something non-human that takes on human shape.
The panel is on every side of the rock. I am not sure what all the other pieces are talking about and I don’t know why there are fish bones with the birth scene. There are footprints – looks like baby and an adult.
There is something spiritual about this rock to me. It is like visiting my midwifery spiritual ancestors, I guess. I don’t get out there every trip to Moab – but every few years, it is worth the journey.
Speaking of ancestors, today is President’s Day. Did you know that we are related to a lot of the presidents. Some sources say 21, others say 44 (all but VanBuren). We go back to British royalty and so we are related to a lot of American leaders. That is sort of cool – I did not know that last year.
Anyway – tomorrow, it is Dead Horse Point – an old favorite hike from when your mom was a little girl. My dogs just love that place.
Love and miss you both,
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