Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eight Weeks Ago Tomorrow

It will be eight weeks tomorrow that Bus Companion died. I feel a little comment is in order about who she was and why she travels with me still.

South Dakota 2010.
Miranda Smith was many things, but in all things was the common denominator love. She understood love is life's force, is life itself. She remarked of a couple camping next to us: "That woman is well satisfied." It was her measure of things, of how much and how well one is loved.

She was a farmer. An organic farmer back in the 1970s. She came by it instinctively.

"People think farming is natural," she once said.  "It's the most unnatural thing you can do." Meaning that farming stressed the natural resources of the earth.

She became an early convert to organic farming because she loved the planet and the soil. You do not poison the earth and the air and the water with toxins that kill life. Love and life to her were inseparable.

My hummingbird visitor.
Yesterday morning when I awoke there was a soft whir high in my bus. It took a while to spot the source: a hummingbird had flown in during the night and was flying around inside the upraised poptop roof.

She didn't seem frightened. She perched on the roof handle as though it were made for her. I reached up and placed my fingers on the handle within an inch of her, and she did not fly away.

She was a reminder to me of what Bus Companion always preached:  that all life is connected, all life is beautiful and all life is brief.
Today, or possibly tomorrow, I will go into town to the Fedex depot and pick up the last package of parts needed to rebuild the bus engine: a pair of cylinder heads. The engine, though, is running remarkably well except for a slight flutter at idle. Still I think this project is one I should not put off too much longer.

Summer clouds one can almost touch.
On Monday I move into a small apartment for two months, possibly longer, in Truth or Consequences. Time not only to work on the bus but to finish two books in progress and reflect on things.

In the fall I am looking forward to a drive up the California coast to the Pacific Northwest.
The clouds of New Mexico continue to amaze even after so many months, even on a Plain Jane day like yesterday. Maybe it is because at higher elevation we are closer to them than in other places, and it affects how we perceive the sunlight hitting them, or maybe it makes them look bigger and bolder. And, because they are whipped and shaped by blowing winds, they dance and transform constantly.



  1. John, every time I read your writing, I feel honored to be your friend. I wish I'd known Miranda, but sometimes I feel like I do a little bit at least, through your love for her. And I am sure looking forward to having you as a neighbor here in TorC. See you soon!

  2. I totally agree with Sue, Very well said and beautiful thoughts expressed....
    Thanks for sharing her with us John....

  3. such a wonderfully worded and beautiful post. thank you.