Letters: Good wishes from Florida

Letters: Good wishes from Florida

I am following the Nation in this difficult time. I wish everyone a safe passage through.

I have never felt such peace and oneness with the earth as I have done on my few trips to your Nation and I truly want you to be safe and not badly impacted.

One of the better days of my life was spent in Mystery Valley with Barbara from Goulding’s. We were just three — my husband, Barbara and myself. We cooked a small meal and ate in quiet companionship and I had the strongest connection to time immemorial.

I live in Florida but am English by birth. I hope to return again one of these days. The Navajo people for some reason feel very dear to me and I wish everyone well.

Gillian Robbins
Stuart, Fla.

Turning north to get south

In running, I find healing and meaning in some of their purest forms. I have always thought that I could write a “how-to” guide on life just from the lessons learned while flying over the trails.

No technology to track my steps or miles, no fancy gear, nothing to sync my data to show the rest of the world.

So feeling a bit drained from a long week, I laced up my shoes and headed to the strong medicine of the Sandia Mountains for three hours of play.

I was about an hour into the run when I got directions from a friend I happened to pass on the trail.

“It’s going to look like you are going the wrong direction, heading north, but that trail will take you home to the south.”

From 6 feet away I panted, “Thanks, brother.”

I climbed further into my playground, trying to accept that heading north was actually going to get me south.

In our current moment, there is comfort we can find in having someone to guide us.

Reflect on all of the messages you received in the last 48 hours from authorities about new restrictions and updated procedures related to coronavirus, all of them asking us to turn north, just to make it to the south.

Beyond feeling inundated and overwhelmed, perfectly normal responses, do you remember feeling a sense of relief that someone was guiding your way? Did you take a moment to think about what it means for our communities and larger society that we are able to work for the collective good in a way that we rarely see?

When those emails, “alert texts” and newsflashes come across your screens today, pause, breathe deep and give thanks for the CDCs, the DOHs, the frontline health-care workers of the world who are there to protect and guide us.

Yes, we are all being asked to turn north with a promise that it will be our best way to make it south safely. Again, find comfort that someone is there to guide your/our path. Allow yourself to trust that advice.

Well, being both stubborn and directionally challenged, a few hours after that encounter I found myself nowhere near my starting point and heading south, climbing higher and higher.

You would have thought that the patches of snow and glimpses of the ridge that signaled the top of the mountain would have kind of, sort of told me I might want to re-evaluate my current path since I needed to end up about 3,000 feet lower than my elevation at that moment (perfectly OK to laugh here).

“I am heading south so I must be going the right way!” I told myself over and over.

Our lives are the route. The map in our head tells us the only way to turn is south, blinding us from seeing that we clearly headed the wrong way. Maybe COVID-19 (or “Mr. 19” as one of my patient’s nicknamed it) is the turn to the north that will get us where we are meant to go?

With some bumps and tests of faith along the way, but maybe it is getting us “home” despite our feeling that it is taking us the wrong way.

My friends, “Mr. 19” has turned us north. Let’s accept it. Let’s embrace it. Find joy in the path ahead.

Be an active part of it getting yourself “home” in a way that, like a long run, leaves us replenished and renewed even if exhausted.

Anthony Fleg
Albuquerque, N.M.

PS: In case you are worrying that I am writing this stranded in the mountains, I did make it to the car, just under the six-hour mark. Replenished, renewed, exhausted. The blessing was not the finish line, but the journey north that it took to get there.

Wool, mohair buy canceled

This is a difficult letter for us to draft and send to each of you. We are living in unsettling times throughout our country and normal things in our lives are not what they were a month ago.

After much deliberation, we have determined that it is in everyone’s best interest to cancel the wool and mohair buy this year.

There are reports that the coronavirus has found its way to the Navajo Reservation. The virus doesn’t respect boundaries and is moving quickly across our country. We feel that cancellation is the only prudent measure. We do not believe we should put our people, the volunteers, and most importantly, our wool and mohair customers into this situation.

We thought about waiting longer before making a decision, but we are not sure that the situation would be improved by then and the producers needed to know as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate in calling. We hope that each of you stay healthy and safe through these times.

Dave Rowe, General Manager
Stanley Strode, Wool Manager
Winchester, Ohio


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