Making Friends with Wolf: The Beat Abides

It was a dark cloud covered night as I sat outside playing a drum at my Chupadero valley home north of Santa Fe in 1982. It was more like the drum was playing me–or we were in a conversation like close friends. There was only the drum in my immediate awareness, no thoughts of conscious control or direction of the beat.   A slight breeze began, then light rain.  I asked whatever, whoever was listening in the darkness if I might see the moon and then watched how seemingly in response it appeared from a circular opening in the clouds. I kept drumming. A feeling of oneness with life welled up that was humbling amid this kinship with land, sky, water, air–an intimacy with the natural world I had not known fully before coming to New Mexico.  The feeling was both new and anciently familiar.

The beat abides.

Years later I learned that what happened this night in 1982 was the experience of many people in many cultures, this relationship of thought, intention and prayer between drummer, drum and the natural and noumenal world. Some say the drum was the first instrument used by humans and that it has the power to aid in healing and influence the weather. Stories about drummers being able to induce or dissuade thunder, rain and other elements through the vibrations sent into the atmosphere are common among indigenous people. 

The Native American drum I held in my hands that night came to me through a creative performance production called Luna. I was singing as well as playing my old instrument from grade school, the clarinet.  Friend Jim Berenholtz   had composed the music and choreography for the performance based on the cycles of the moon.  Singers, musicians and dancers from Taos, Santa Fe and Albuquerque joined the creative collaboration.  After the performances, the one-sided Taos drums used by the dancers were for sale, and I bought one, not really knowing why or what to do with it.  But the drum was calling me to listen to its voice–the language of the tree, the animal, the earth, ancient cultures of the world and my own heartbeat.  Over time it has become an abiding companion on lonely nights, on Earth Walks journeys I have led throughout the American Southwest and Mexico and at monthly full moon drum circle gatherings in my home for over 20 years.  

After living in Chupadero, I was fortunate to find a home in the Upper Canyon Road area of Santa Fe, near the national forest.  On a hot summer day in June 1989, I walked with friend Judy on the unpaved road from my house. Judy was and is a wise mentor and confidant and at the time a highly respected director of substance abuse programs in Santa Fe.  Despite our easy-going conversation and smiles, I felt a certain sadness and slowness in my step because Judy was dealing with breast cancer.  It was a huge ordeal for her, but even so she maintained a sense of hope and optimism.  I wanted to help in whatever way I could, and had called her to offer a healing session with my drum.

That may sound like I knew what I was doing with the drum.  Yes, I had studied methods of healing through use of the drum with Michael Harner and other teachers and experienced what are called “journeys” to other states of consciousness where I encountered “animal allies” and insights into issues with which I was wrestling. The Way of the Shaman But to help someone else?  I thought it over repeatedly and drummed on my own seeking guidance. Ultimately, I felt it would be worth a try to share this with Judy during her battle with cancer. She was open to the experience.

As we found our way to a secluded side canyon, there were a few drops of rain among Western meadowlark warbles and cooing Mourning doves. Judy got comfortable on the ground and I sat next to her, gently drumming.  I closed my eyes, letting a rhythm emerge from within, without trying to construct one.  What happened next are best described in Judy’s own words which she wrote in 2014:

“...friend Doug called and wanted to do a drum healing ceremony for me.  He also played the flute, a hauntingly lovely sound heard years later as it wafted over us at my 50th birthday party, five years into survivorship.  He does music; comforting and healing music, lodged firmly and deeply in his unique spiritual perspective and practice.  On this June day in 1989, we walked into the Audubon protected area near his house on Upper Canyon Road.  A meadowlark sang to us both as we entered the soft sunny woods, and again later as we left.  I laid on my back in the sun as Doug gently drummed.  As I slipped away, my hawk flew, circling above me and then came down to rest near me. 

            What seemed to be a snarling dull gray wolf was off to my right in the trees.  I was afraid as it seemed ominous and scary.  My hawk flew low and fast over me, I thought to protect me from the wolf.  It then landed on the wolf’s back.  I was no longer afraid, as the wolf now seemed friendly and non-threatening.  The wolf walked over to me, hawk on its back, and wonder of wonders, stretched out soft and warm, nurturing along my left side, with its muzzle restring on my shoulder, sweet as can be.  It was incredibly touching.  The hawk then spread its wings and covered my body with them while resting on my stomach.  I felt safe and embraced with healing light.  I remembered another time in the early days of diagnosis, while visualizing the cancer, a snarling wolf had appeared and I pushed it away as it seemed frightening.  Now it seemed like an ally; what had been frightening was now a helper.  Extraordinary experience; extraordinary Doug.”

I do not consider myself extraordinary, but am humbled and grateful to Judy for this extraordinary opportunity.  It was a healing experience that opened some unnamable healing currents within myself as well. Our experience was testimony to the power of the drum, the power of prayer and positive intention.

In the book “Black Elk Speaks,” by John Neihardt, Oglala Sioux holy man Black Elk says this: “Since the drum is often the only instrument in our sacred rites, I should perhaps tell you here why it is especially sacred and important to us.  It is because the round form of the drum represents the whole universe and its steady strong beat is the pules, the heart, throbbing at the center of the universe, it is the voice of Wakan Tanka (Great Spirit) and this sound stirs us and helps us to understand the mystery and power of all things.”

It is important to know that Judy was the victor in her battle with cancer. The beat abides.


Your Vibe Attracts Your Tribe–the Beat Abides!


In the beginning there was silence.  Then came the big beat that some call the bang—intense vibration, energy, rhythm–sustained and steady. Since time began, that cosmic beat has remained through creation, war and turmoil, joy and transformation, chaos and dislocation–an ancient universal messenger keeping memory and hope alive across countless generations and cultures on Earth.  And one beat of a drum opened a doorway of awareness for a young man who had just stepped out of the gates of incarceration.

It was 1998 and five of us were sitting around a low table in the little office space on Second Street that was assigned to a Santa Fe, New Mexico community corrections program. Three of the group were on probation from juvenile court.  One of us was an Indigenous American woman named Sapokniona, White Feather Grandmother.  One of us was me.  All had drums in our hands. The faces of the two young men and one young woman on probation look bored or irritated and seemed to say, “OK, let’s get this over.”  Sapokniona spoke gently, quietly, with what felt like reassuring confidence.

I had been asked to present some of my studies in cross cultural earth related traditions to these youth who were considered “high risk” having had numerous run-ins with the law. But when I got the go ahead, I puzzled about how to offer my experiences and studies to some who might not be remotely interested.  I had a Master’s degree in criminal justice, had been a juvenile probation officer, worked part time in a Colorado youth prison and served a year as a counselor in an Army jail where the word “counselor” was an anathema, so I had some reason to wonder about what to present.

In the middle of my muddle came the thought: drums.  Drumming was physical and could be energetic and noisy and an attention getter.  Local drummer Eric Gent kindly loaned his drums. Eric and his wife Elise had sponsored African dance sessions in Santa Fe for decades. Then I thought of Sapokniona, an acquaintance of Apache heritage who led teaching circles, ceremony, workshops and retreats that included work with veterans’ groups. She kindly agreed to lead the group of youth that day.

“I want each of us to play one single beat, in unison,” Sapokniona said.  I was expecting something a lot louder and more physical, but went along with it, as did the others.  One beat at a time, like the steady rhythm of a pulsing heart. Each hand with a beater rising then falling on the face of the drum. First softer, then louder, then softer, then it was over.  We went around the table to talk about the experience.  It came to one young man who looked confused, withdrawn. He hesitated.

Finally, he said, “When I closed my eyes for a while, I saw a bear.”


“Well,” Sapokniona paused, then responded.  “My people believe that the bear represents the direction of the west.  And you are sitting in that direction.  I’m not surprised.”  But the rest of us were, including the young man whose face lightened a bit, almost into a smile.

The beat abides—your vibe attracts your tribe.

To my understanding, some Indigenous Americans view the strength of “bear medicine” as the power of introspection.  Bear seeks honey, like the sweetness of truth and intuition inside the silent “cave” of mind and soul.  Think of Merlin in his crystal cave.  In India, the cave symbolizes the creative energy of Brahma which some consider to be the pineal gland located at the base of the brain.

As I wrote these words on an early March morning in 2017, the first rays of sun touched my table, the computer, my hands, the photographs of the family “rogue’s gallery” above on the wall.  I stopped for a moment to listen to the “sounds of silence” around me:  the light twinkle of water in the nearby fountain, the low burbling beating of the humidifier releasing wispy curls of steam, the drone of the refrigerator, the rumbling beat of the attic heater and then…the percussive tapping of typing on the laptop with punctuations, rests, faster and slower rhythms…an opus magnum.

I thought again about the young man in the drum circle who had just stepped through the gates of incarceration. Something happened for him that day that couldn’t be put into words. His eyes got a little wider and there was something like a smile.  Maybe the world, too, got just a bit wider with wonder and possibility for him and for all of us in the group, drumming that one beat together.

Did it make a lasting difference in his life in some way?  I don’t know. But my thought and hope echo Ann Mortifee’s song, “Just One Voice”

A single note becomes a song,

            A single tree becomes a forest.

            A single voice that’s clear and strong

            Can turn into a worldwide chorus.

            Just one voice, one single voice,

            If you say you can, well then you can!

The Native American drum first found its way into my hands in 1982 soon after I arrived in New Mexico. It still does in 2024 after hosting monthly full moon leaderless drum circles in my home for nearly 25 years. In the posts to follow, I’ll share some of my journey with the drum.  If you haven’t picked up a drum to try it out, do so!  It’s a universal, worldwide instrument.  Your vibe will attract your tribe.  Have fun!


A Voice in the Clouds

It was an overcast day, the gray clouds mirroring my mood from the news I had just received early that morning.  My mother called from Kansas to tell me that her father, Grandpa Wallace Fleming, had just passed on.  As I lay in bed gazing out the window at the colorless clouds thinking of him, a perfectly circular opening appeared in the gloom through which I could see brilliant blue sky.  At that moment I seemed to hear grandpa speaking to me and telling me he had “made it over” and all was well.

Maywood Community Church, Kansas where Grandpa Fleming attended.

It was March, 1978 and I was living in Boulder, Colorado serving as a juvenile probation officer and working on my Master’s degree in Public Administration with specialization in criminal justice.  In August of 1981 after I moved to New Mexico, I visited the Millicent Rogers Museum in Taos which had an impressive collection of Native American and Hispanic art and artifacts.

I was drawn to a particular Hopi pot and discovered quite to my surprise a depiction of what were said were “spirit holes”–circular openings in the clouds through which the spirits pass through.  In total amazement, I realized  that my personal experience was not singular and indeed was confirmed by at least one other culture, in this case the Hopi Pueblo people of Arizona.

From a strictly meteorological point of view, there are some possible scientific explanations: and   I have been told by Indigenous Pueblo people where I live in New Mexico that they traditionally believe  moisture from the clouds in the form of rain, snow, etc. is the ancestors coming to visit. If you think about it, when we pass on, the moisture which comprises nearly 70% of the adult human body, evaporates into the atmosphere and to some degree becomes part of the life cycle that includes the formation of clouds. Maybe that “some degree” also carries the voice and spirit of the ancestors.

In any case, that day in Boulder I am certain the voice and spirit of my own ancestor Grandpa Fleming spoke through the perfect circle in the clouds, letting me know he’d made a happy landing.



Ladder to the Moon

It was a hot summer solstice day June 22, 1985, and I was hiking the high country above Santa Fe with a 40-pound backpack.  Light streamed through ponderosa pines, dappling the path I walked.  My breath was coming harder so a stream along the way was welcome cool relief. Then it was onward and upward. As I approached the summit of Puerto Nambe, I paused for air in the rarefied atmosphere and took in the great expanse nearly 12,000 feet below me.  I felt small, insignificant amidst this vast panorama and yet somehow as wide and endless as the sky and its horizon. Far in the distance was Pedernal Peak on the northwest edge of the Jemez Mountain range.

Pedernal in Spanish means “flint.” The first peoples of the area call it by the Keres language name of Tsi Ping, “place of chipping away.” Centuries ago, Pueblo people traded chert and obsidian implements crafted from mines at Tsi Ping.  When I once climbed the 10,000-foot volcanic butte, I was scrambling up 8 million years of geologic history and could see the far away mountains of Colorado. Another time I explored the nearby ancient pueblo (also called Tsi Ping) perched atop a mesa and found numerous examples of archeoastronomy, places where researchers believe certain natural features align on specific seasonal, lunar and solar events and figure into sacred ritual observances of the people. As they continue do today in the Pueblos, these cyclical events foster awareness of our essential connection with nature and a sense of balance and inspiration. 

Silently standing on the summit of the Sangre de Cristos and looking back at Tsi Ping, I was awestruck at the drama of sky and earth before me. I was certainly not the only one to feel that way. In 1958, famed artist Georgia O’Keefe painted Tsi Ping with a ladder to a moon suspended in a turquoise sky. The moon was in perfect balance, halfway between full and new, light slicing it exactly in half.  They say Georgia thought if she painted it enough times it would become “hers.” Was the painting just a reflection of surroundings at her Ghost Ranch house?  Or did it symbolize some kind of unseen link between us and cosmic forces like the ladder in a sacred ceremonial Pueblo kiva? We can only guess at the answer, but O’Keefe passed on March 6, 1986 and her ashes were spread atop the peak according to her wishes.  If the mountain did not become hers, perhaps she was claimed by the mountain.

O’Keefe was a fearless pioneer when women were more likely to be found cooking in the kitchen and cleaning up after their families.  That’s a sacred role, but O’Keefe was an iconoclastic renegade, a rebel with a cause and a profoundly talented one at that.  I’m a lot rebel myself and I like that in her. She also took a local young man, Tio Manzanares, under her wing and supported his education and employment. Tio later became a friend of mine as well as an Earth Walks cultural guide. O’Keefe gave generously to the local elementary school and other causes.

It was getting late that summer solstice afternoon, and I needed to make camp in the Puerto Nambe area.  But I was glued in astonishment to the rock in the meadow where I sat watching the path of the sun make a direct arc towards the dark pyramid of Tsi Ping.  As it reached the horizon the huge burning orb of orange and red set directly behind the pointed peak, bisecting it exactly in half.  Had I been here a few days before or after, I would not have seen this phenomenon. In that profound instant, dots and lines connect in my mind.

There are no accidents. I was watching this convergence of sun and earth that in my bones I knew was a part of ancient rituals at this very spot. I had not only a visual connection with Tsi Ping at that moment, but something else powerful, unnamable, timeless. The sun set and I had to set up my camp for the night.  Hoisting up my backpack I walked the steep mountain pass trail into the growing darkness of evening, like walking up the steps of Georgia’s ladder to the sky. Somewhere above me that moon must have been hanging in perfect balance.

“Distances Can Be Deceiving”

It was a warm and sunny July day in 1985 with no hint of the frightening and mysterious hike that was to come in the volcanic hills west of Taos near the depths of the Rio Grande gorge.

My friends Jim, Ron and a Hawaiian visitor named Stanley were on a quest to find a “breathing hole,” a geological tunnel in the earth where air rushes in and out in regular intervals.  Scientists have noted a relationship to atmospheric pressure and air temperature that can cause this phenomenon. Indeed, I had visited such a breathing hole at Wupatki National Monument near Flagstaff, Arizona. (Photo at left)   Perhaps the site was meaningful to the Indigenous Hopi who it is told have their own story about the wind deity Yaponcha.  Our hiking group was more interested in the Hopi version.  The Hopi story brought these words to Ron: “Inhale and exhale…live life to the fullest.”

We made our way through the dry northern New Mexico desert, the Jeep bumping its way along rough dirt roads and endless open land filled with sagebrush and cactus.  Finally, we came to a spot to park.  As we scrambled up the rough volcanic hillside, Ron stayed behind, not feeling well, and I stayed to keep him company.  Later he felt like hiking and we decided to rejoin our friends.  The wind curled around us and patches of bright yellow flower cheered our way on as we happily sang tunes.  Up the volcanic hillside we went, picking our way carefully around blackened basalt and the high desert pinon and juniper trees.

There was trouble ahead though, as we couldn’t find our friends anywhere on the jagged rocks and it was starting to get dark.  We turned around, carefully threading our way down to where the car was parked.  By the time we got to that area, it is inscrutably dark, even though there was some lingering light left in the sky.  No friends, no Jeep, just the vast silence of the northern New Mexico desert, punctuated by an occasional bellow of cows acres away under an infinite ceiling of stars.  Were we or they lost or had they left without us?

Without much food, water or warm clothes we were literally sitting ducks, afraid to walk anywhere in the darkness for fear of falling off a ledge.  Strange sounds put us on edge as we huddled together against the increasingly chilly night air.  In the darkness we lost any familiar boundaries and landmarks and entered an inexplicable liminal wilderness.

We finished off the pesto pasta and pretty much were out of water.  The sky sparkled with a blanket of endless stars in a moonless night. It was spooky but spectacular and Ron noted how amazing it was to feel dwarfed by nature.  Then a sliver of moon rose over the distant eastern Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Finally, dawn came and the rising sun.  Just as we thought, this was the exact place the vehicle had been parked. What to do?  We climbed the nearby ridge for a larger perspective and saw in the distance a dome shaped dwelling with Tibetan prayer flags flying. Slowly we made our way to what we hoped would be friendly inhabitants.

“Hey there!  You guys must be Doug and Ron,” a man shouted at us as we got close to the house. “Your friends were out here last night several times honking the horn, flashing the lights and yelling for you.  They’re about to call Search and Rescue!” Norbert and Suzanne and their children Shanina and Nurya welcomed us inside the dome home.  Norbert was a wood carver and Susanne a massage therapist who also directed a private school.

It turned out that during the long night our friends had driven to the area several times, honking the horn and flashing lights.  But all we heard that dark night was a few lonely cows acres away.  No honking horns, no light.  Inexplicably and as amazing as it seemed, our friends and we had all been there at the same time…wherever “there” had really been. It was as if we had passed through some doorway to another time or place.

Ten years later in 1995, Ron and I returned to the site to hike it again, drawn magnetically to the mystery of our experience.  We discovered a Buddhist community had grown up near the volcanic hill and we stopped by the place out of curiosity and interest.  The elder Buddhist Lama Karma Dorje Rinpoche, spiritual leader of the Kaguy Shenpenh Kunchab (KSK) Tibetan Buddhist sangha, happened to be there and inquired as to our visit.

“To hike the hill over there,” we said, pointing in the direction of our intended travel to the volcanic hill.  He paused noticeably, then fixed his gaze upon us as if he knew all about our story, and said, “Be careful.  Distances can be deceiving.”

Will we ever know what really happened? We were at the same place as our friends but in a different time dimension.  There’s no question we would have seen and heard them were it otherwise. It’s complicated, fascinating and multidimensional.  Science says it isn’t that time does not exist, but it has more to do with space than the absolute of time.  The Rio Grande River near Taos and Santa Fe follows a rift in the north American continent, a place where the continent is slowly tearing apart.  Great tectonic plates are grinding against each other creating physical shifts of monumental geomagnetic proportion.  This is a volcanic region in which forces of nature are at play, unseen energies that perhaps could have an effect on the time space continuum as well as our own consciousness. The Taos Plateau, scene of massive molten magma flow, is now frozen in time, inert, solid.  Or so our limited minds think.  Actually we, like it, are in constant molecular motion, porous, energetic waves of light ever changing.

Image from Scientific American

“Distances can be deceiving!”  Distances between you and I, between the sub atomic particles in my body, between one thought and other. It’s all a bit deceiving, this dance of mirrors, smoke and multi-faceted prisms. Each of us are a part of the elemental forces though sometimes our daily routines seem so small in comparison. In ordinary consciousness we’re wondering how to pay the bills, who’s texting us at the moment, what to eat before rushing off to work.  Then we are thrown unwittingly onto the precipices of another world, upended and confused without the habitual markers, trail guides and electronic calendar sync and apps.  Fear takes over–or, wonder and awe.  Like a roller coaster ride we can go with it or fight the flight.  It’s bigger than we are but we just might find out how much bigger this thing called “I” actually is. After all, just one flap of a butterfly wing can set in motion a chain of events sparks a rainstorm half a world away.

Ron and I were in a “time out of time,” on a journey that wasn’t listed in any of the guidebooks.  The distances were indeed deceiving as the venerable Rinpoche said, and we were glad we found our way home.,

Gift from Canyon de Chelly: We Are All Family

White House Cliff Dwelling

It was early spring, April 1 2007 in Canyon de Chelly, Arizona and I walked down nearly a thousand feet of a switch back trail through 250 million years of breathtaking beauty. The red sandstone cliffs carved over millennia by forces of nature had been home to humans for over 1500 of those years, stretching back to Pueblo cliff dwellers and to the present day Dinè (Navajo) settlers.  Nearly 100 years ago on this same day, Canyon de Chelly was designated a National Monument. Many who come to this place do not know the tragedy and horror that was forced upon its people by the U.S. government led by Kit Carson.  It wasn’t until years later that I visited the museum near Ft. Sumner, New Mexico that I learned more fully about the shameful history in which not only Dinè but also Ndè (Mescalero Apache) people were forcibly removed from their traditional homelands to a lonely, inhospitable outpost, walking in brutal winter conditions for hundreds of miles.  (Visit this museum at )  It is a story of incredible hardship as well as resiliency and courage.

As I wound my way through the cliffs and crags, I was inspired to taste the sweet and bitter berries of the junipers that inhabit the area, their pungent flavor opening me a bit to other fragrances of the canyon: pungent pinon warming in the late afternoon sun, dry roots with twists like the weathered sandstone walls themselves and a subtle aroma of the earth.

On the way down, I encountered an elder Dinè woman, the deep lines in her face reflecting the ancient rock.  She was surrounded by a flock of young children who try to keep up with her steady and sure-footed pace.  No question that she was a part of this canyon and it a part of her.  I imagined that her destination was the hogan and fields far below on the canyon floor.  On they went and gradually I did too, eventually to a small stream at the bottom, finding a secluded spot away from other visitors.  Light through the cottonwood trees dappled the spring snowmelt water.  There were fresh green spring signs everywhere.

The poetry of Acoma Pueblo poet Simon Ortiz described my experience perfectly: (from “Canyon de Chelly” from A Good Journey, Turtle Island Press 1977).

Lie on your back on stone
the stone carved to fit
the shape of yourself.
Who made it like this,
knowing that I would be along
in a million years and look
at the sky being blue forever?

Time passed and the sun dipped down towards the western canyon wall.  Shadows lengthened and it was time to leave.  There were only a few of us left in the area, but I wanted to be the last one out.  As I made my solitary way back up the trail, a young Dinè couple effortlessly foot raced past me like a breeze.

Still, I lingered longer, hidden on a high ledge and above what I thought was the hogan of the elder I had seen earlier on the trail.  I wanted to give her and this place of beauty the gift of music with my flute, my way of saying thank you for being here.  I was giving up something, though, to do that.  Or so I thought.  My original intention was to be high up on the rim and play the flute to the rising full moon.  Offering this musical gift to the canyon on this lower ledge below, however, became the most important thing to do.

I walked to the edge of the ledge, played the flute, then returned to the trail to leave.  But before I left, I did something I learned to do years ago on another high desert place of beauty in New Mexico.

Loree Johnson Photography

As I stepped onto the trail and turned back to “return the gift,” an enormous full moon was rising on the eastern horizon in an opening between the canyon walls. Had I been there a little earlier or later–or had I been on the canyon rim–I would not have seen that spectacular sight.

Once atop the rim, I walked to the public viewpoint and discovered in a small pool of water on the cliff edge a reflection of the moon, now higher in the sky.  This called for cornmeal and another flute offering.  But before I could do so, far in the canyon below a chorus of coyotes began their own offering.  Next it was my turn with my flute.

The story came full circle eight years later in 2015 when I took another walk down the same canyon trail.  Huge winds and lightning struck the canyon and the bare sandstone walls became filled with waves and fountains of water, glassy and glistening. Trails became adobe super-slides.  Eventually the rain lessened and as I made my way back up, I encountered a friendly local man and several of his family. As we all rested a bit we engaged in conversation I felt moved to tell him about my experience playing the flute for the elder on my last visit.  Turned out this man was the nephew of the woman and her name was Marie.  She had just passed away that morning at 1 a.m. and now here I was, gathered with her family members on the trail above her beloved home.  Perhaps that made me an “honorary” relative.  In any case, to my way of thinking, we are all “relatives,” all family.

Georgia Guidestones

I was in mid-flight on October 8, 2009 to fulfill one of my fantasies, “Autumn in New York” and the fall colors of the Hudson River Valley when I read William Least Heat Moon’s “Roads to Quoz.”  Quoz is the mysterious, incongruous, odd or peculiar.  The unknown.  My mother long ago started me on the author’s prolific literary road by giving me a copy of “Blue Highways,” his first travel documentary.  His work is kind of like a memoir in present time, much more than travel documentaries, and inspiration for my work with Earth Walks.  Here are some quotes from “Quoz”:

  • 10…A genuine road book should open unknown realms in its words as it does in its miles. If you leave the journey exactly who you were before you departed, the trip has been much wasted, even if it’s just to the Quickee-Mart.”
  • 13…But for me it is the last reason which underlies all the others, for to go out not quite knowing why is the very reason for going out (on the road) at all.
  • 14…this fragment from a Navajo chant: “Remember what you have seen, because everything forgotten returns to the circling winds.”

On another dream come true, in 2010 I saw the South full springtime bloom when I visited a cousin north of Atlanta.  Boiled peanuts, bluegrass music, church services. And a “quoz” indeed:  the Georgia Guidestones, a mysterious Stonehenge -like monument near Elberton, GA.  Eight world languages were carved in the stones urging humans to preserve and protect the earth and life in harmony with the creator. Unfortunately, in 2022, a bomb was detonated at the site, destroying one of the stones and ultimately resulting in its dismantling.  The mayor and town were shocked and saddened at the senseless act.  See also: and