The Double Cone Quarterly
Window to the Wilderness
Summer Solstice 2001 || Volume IV, Number 2


The View From Afar
An Open Letter of 'Homesickness' from Z

As the days lengthen here in Dallas, Texas, and my time away from the Ventana lengthens as well, 'homesickness' has become an expected quality to my days. I've been here for two and a half months now, and daily I am thinking about how the Ventana must be unfolding into late Spring/early Summer beauty! I consider the qualities I left behind: clean air, sweet water, magnificent views, majestic vistas, conscientious people, and awesome closeness to Nature! The trade: being in my Son's and Grandson's lives, seeing my Mother for the first time in 24 years, and spending time with my Father and step-Mother. My heart is filled - in a different way - by this "family" connection; yet the Ventana is my Soul's home, a home forged in the 35 years of living in and close to this vast "wild"erness and sharing the experience with the denizens living there: wildlife and wild folks!

As I open to images of this 'home' in memory to sustain me through my 'daze' here, what comes is: the sound of the wind in the redwoods and pines; the sound of the creeks running and the zillions of frogs at their time of year; the scent of the lilac and sage, yarrow and eucalyptus; the sound of the surf and the feel and taste of the ocean spray; the joy of discovering a new wildflower or sighting a new bird; and sharing all these experiences with the folks who are living in 'wild'ness. There is beauty here in Dallas, but it is a 'hard' beauty; a struggle exists to survive here, even amongst the backyard birds and squirrels! I am happy in my decision to spend time here with my family, yet I am looking forward to when I can return to re-fill my lungs with Ventana air and my eyes with the sights and my ears with the sounds of 'Home'. I am also understanding in this separation that I must always see the Beauty in the moment, wherever I am, as that Beauty is everywhere, at all just seems more evident in the grand-ness of the Ventana. I felt some guilt in leaving to come here when there is so much work to be done to protect and preserve this 'Soul's home'; yet I know, and am so grateful for the fact, that there are so many great folks "fighting the good fight" who feel as much love for the Ventana as I do. I am with each one in spirit in 'the work'. If you feel a slight presence on a hike in Ventana territory, it just might be me, joining in. Don't forget to stop and watch that beetle cross the trail; even if you've seen it a million times, it might just do something different this time!!

from Tzila "Z" Duenzl

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