"Sheltering the Creative Spirit"
Taos, New Mexico USA
by Mary Ann
astute daughter Holly announced one day, “Life is like Mother’s soup.
You never know what will be in it.”
full agreement, we could never estimate the surprise importance of receiving a
Prosperity Plant as a birthday present from Barbara Waters as well as two
good-omen visits in one day from a very large bear
at our back door. Barbara
shared her intuition by saying immediately, “You will soon sell your farm.”
enough, within four days we did sell my inherited farm, which had been on the
market for three years. My husband,
Geoffrey, and I were elated to finalize this sale as it enabled us to complete
our move from Texas to the Sacramento Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Inspired by the books and ideas of Frank Waters, we have made
major changes in our lives – including finding our “spirit of place” in
coincidences have been a continuous, amazing aspect of our relationship since
Geoffrey and I first met in the spring of 1970 at a Texas bluebonnet picnic.
Mutual friends had given me a gift of a movie camera that day, so we have
a recorded history of our meeting. A
year later Geoffrey, two friends, and I leased a boat out of Nassau and sailed
the Bahamas for ten days. The movie
camera footage of this trip allows us still to review our youthful enthusiasm
and the adventure of that special time.
August of 1973 we were married in Albany, New York, by a Unitarian minister with
many friends and relatives present. Forgetting
our luggage, we left on an unforgettable (but short) honeymoon in Canada.
Upon our return to Austin, we began to cope with the three-ring circus of
duties awaiting us. Besides
directing my own private school, this multitasking process included integrating
Geoffrey’s work, an earlier family, and our beautiful new daughter Linda, born
had been born in Peoria, Illinois. His
family moved to Darien, Connecticut, during his public school years.
He then enrolled at Brown University to receive a degree in physics
before attending Yale and the University of Texas for a time.
Astronomy became his major focus, and his eventual decision to live and
work in Austin was motivated by his specific interest in radio astronomy.
After thirty-two years with the University of Texas, he retired and is
currently a consultant in satellite communications research, with his own
private astronomical observatory called Hoka Hey, meaning “Hold fast; There is
my west Texas birthplace of Sweetwater, early memories for me include
tumbleweeds, dust storms, scorpions, rattlesnakes, and precious little rain.
Memorization and elocution were daily rituals.
By age four, one of my favorites was, “Water for washing, water for
drinking; there is nothing like water, pure waters I’m thinking.”
Sixty-four years later, I recently received the honor and privilege of
having Frank Waters’ posthumous book Pure
Waters dedicated to me. Completing
a full circle for me, this friend and mentor is now a major influence on my
age sixteen, working in a public library as my first employment initiated
experiences that instilled in me an enduring devotion to literature.
By twenty-seven I had worked in three public libraries, a county library
bookmobile, the Oceanography and Meteorology Department’s library at Texas A.
and M., the Texas State Library, and both the Humanities Research Center and the
music library at the University of Texas.
in music, I also attended North State University in Denton, Texas, and the
University of Texas. As an
accompanist for instrumental music majors, I enjoyed the challenge of musical
my first marriage to a fine violinist, two babies – Holly and Phillip –
demanded my devoted attention. With
them, we moved to Washington, D.C., where my husband, Leo, and I attended the
Association Montessori International. We
soon decided to establish our own Montessori School in Austin.
This led to my thirty years of involvement with wonderful children and
parents. Sadly, along the way we
lost Leo to cancer. Upon closing
this private school in 1992, I was awarded recognition as “A Friend of
Texas” by this state’s Human Resources Division.
in my current life as a grandmother, sharing her grandparenting role with
Geoffrey, we are enjoying the extraordinary wonder of two talented
grandchildren, Mary Beth and Harrison Reed, the precious children of Holly and
her husband, Forrest.
involved with the Frank Waters Foundation and serving together on its board of
directors is another shared interest that Geoffrey and I long will be dedicated
to. Attending in Taos the July 2002
centennial celebration of Frank’s birthday was a highlight of my life.
in now at Serenity Summit, 9,200 feet high and surrounded by Lincoln National
Forest in New Mexico, Geoffrey and I continue to believe as Frank Waters told
me, “All unfolds as intended.”
time, Mother’s Soup of Life grows ever richer and more nourishing.
WHATEVER THE SONG
By Judith Bronner
I find some peace
I watch red ants lift sand crystals
And I suddenly become brave again
"WILL YOU BE OKAY?"
By Della Estrada
Will you be
okay when I'm gone
Will you arise with mindfulness to
Will you smile a tear, knowing,
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