|Just a speck on top of Window Rock in Window Rock, AZ|
My work has taken me to Texas, Utah, and New Mexico this spring and just last week I had the opportunity to visit the Navajo Nation in Window Rock, AZ. I used to think Denver was a dry climate - and it is compared to Minnesota - but NW New Mexico and NE Arizona are truly wind swept deserts. Having worked with tribes in Arizona and Wisconsin in the past, I was excited to be back among a slow-paced culture, rich in artwork and spiritual beliefs.
My work (training clinicians in STD/HIV prevention) is taboo in many places, but especially in places like the Navajo Nation where there isn't even a word in Navajo for STD. We had a blessing by a local leader before our training and he asked that the Great Mystery be with us and help us fight that which is harmful. The Great Mystery is the Navajo peoples' way of describing God and the creative spirit within each of us. I really like the title "great mystery" because it implies that there is something more powerful than ourselves, it gives us permission to not know everything, and it means that there is a journey.
Renzo and I have been reflecting back on the journey of the past 3 years that we have been married (as of tomorrow) and especially on the past year of transition. One of the lessons we've learned is that we cannot predict the future - and neither would we want to because the Great Mystery's plans for us have been so much better than we could have planned for. Who would have known a year ago that I would be full-time barefoot runner? Who would have known that I'd have the opportunity to travel all over Texas and the southwest for work? And who would have known that after living in 5 places in 3 years (and thinking that we would not own our own place until we were at least 40) that we would be homeowners? Yes, that's right - if you can believe it, the Amayas now have a permanent residence! Of course we went about the whole process "Amaya style"... decided to think about buying a house and then put an offer on a place within 10 days. We have owned the place for a week now and move in this Sunday! Pictures will be coming soon.
Another thing I could not have predicted is that this summer would be so darn hot, setting a record of 5 days in a row of over 100 degree temperatures. A perfect time to start training for a 50k, obviously. My 13 weeks of 50k training started this morning at 5:30am (ugh) with a 4 mile run. I am pretty well recovered from my marathon (3 weeks ago), but have to admit that I am nursing a mildly sore right IT band. I'm hoping it's just sore from a decrease in exercise these past few weeks and walking in flip flops. Keep your fingers crossed!