Charting a New Course

I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as a blossom, goes on as fruit.
“I Will Not Die an Unlived Life,” by Dawna Markova.

A snowy mist shrouds the surrounding mountains – the first taste of winter here in our new home in Taos. Usually we enjoy the panoramic views of mountain ranges, clear sky and bright sunshine, but we welcome the needed precipitation of an early winter snow despite the plummeting temperatures. I watch the mountains wondering if tomorrow they’ll emerge, snow white against an azure sky. This land of enchantment is so full of magic and mystery.

Taos Sunset

It’s still hard to believe that less than six months ago I sat at my desk in Summerville, SC hammering out rage and anger in, “Thundering Hoofbeats.” I remember, not long after that, sitting at the kitchen table, talking about our yearning to pick up and move, Taos being the only destination we considered. We laid out plans for a house hunting trip in early July, a trip to look around and get the feel of the land where we thought we wanted to live. Life is too short to wait; do it now, we thought.

In the spirit of adventure we  put our Summerville house on the market before our planned trip, expecting it to take months to sell. But the universe smiled on us.
When you offer up your dreams and do your best to make them come true, doors sometime open. Our house sold in two days..

A few weeks later, on my 64th birthday, we were moving into our new home in Ranchos de Taos. When I looked back at my blog to my birthday, August 18, 2011 I had to laugh at the synchronicity of events.  It was that day that I wrote “My Metamorphosis.” I spoke of emerging from my chrysalis and spreading my wings.  Perhaps my spirit knew, what I did not yet realize, that I was ready to spread my wings in order to embrace a new adventure – a new life.

In the past few months my writing has faltered. We’ve spent long days landscaping, sanding, staining, cleaning and making our  house into our new home. We’ve spent time exploring the many diverse activities now open to us here in Taos, hiking the nearby trails, getting acquainted in the community. But with the first taste of winter I find myself turning inward, to explore this new path within my secret garden.

I have plunged more deeply into my passion – preserving the wild mustangs. I’ve spent my time researching the history, trying to understand what is going on now, contemplating the role that I can play. I’ve come face to face with horses running free and wild on Wild Horse Mesa just north of here in Colorado, a heart opening and life changing experience.  I’ve deepened my friendship with Linda Hanick, an old Great Harvest friend turned horse advocate, my teacher and mentor who motivates me with her enthusiasm. I’ve made friends with the inspiring, Ginger Kathrens, Founder and Executive Director of  The Cloud Foundation, the Jane Goodall of Wild Horses.

Horses running free – Wild Horse Mesa

As I pursue this passion I’m unsure of what lies ahead. Can I in some way use my writing as a tool to raise awareness? Can I use my passion to motivate others to call out for change? Can I contribute in a meaningful way to this movement of advocates who are trying to preserve and protect horses and burros in the wild, without drowning in anger and frustration at the inhumanity of our government’s actions? Can I channel my rebellious spirit into that of a “Warrior Bodhisattva,” taking the vow to go forward without fear? Can I awaken to my fundamental goodness, to the clear mindedness, to a depth of caring that holds nothing back? Do I have the courage to pursue a path from which I dare not turn back?

We never know what lies ahead, what is coming around the bend unseen, like the mountains as they look today,  shrouded in a mysterious mist. I anticipate their emergence, snow covered sentinels, white against the azure sky.

First Snow in Taos

The sun peeks through the clouds, the white mountain goddess smiles, and the path ahead, illuminated now, is clear to see.

About Paula Todd King

My passions are my husband Ron, dogs who've blessed me with their love, writing, spending time in nature, meditating, reading, and finding gratitude in every waking moment. Earlier this year I was asked to join The Cloud Foundation as Communications Director,which has allowed me to contribute in a small way to help educate the public about the ongoing threat to our nations' Wild Horse Herds.
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