Ruminations and Rumi

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November is National Adoption Awareness Month. I’ve been increasingly aware of my own growing acceptance of the old issues and my continuing transcendence, rising above old ways of thinking. Rumi’s poem “The Guest House” describes my emotions perfectly. My aim is to be welcoming to all feelings. Easier said than done, but if I succeeds, I will have accomplished a lot. The adoptee’s journey is about being at home in ones own skin.

Although he wrote seven centuries ago, the Persian poet, theologian, and Sufi mystic Rumi provided insights that serve us well today. The “guests” are emotions and thoughts to which one awakens each morning. Rumi advises welcoming them all rather than disdaining some as unwelcome pests and others as “right” and correct. It is true that we enjoy those guests that empower, buoy us up, and make us feel successful, capable, happy. But as I’ve traveled the adoptee’s road to discovering who I really am, I’ve found that we need to accept all the feelings and learn to live with them.

The emotions that appear in our personal guest houses can, after all, serve as guides from beyond.

The Guest House
This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes  as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all! Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice. Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in. Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond. ~ Jelaluddin Rumi

Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their  quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or http://www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading.

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Adopting Autumn

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Sometimes we grow so busy, we forget to enjoy the changing of seasons. Yesterday, as I walked the arroyo near my house, I received a wakeup call. Crisp air, trees nearly bare, dazzling blue sky. On the arroyo floor, a previous hiker had left a message in the sand. It spoke directly to me, a reminder to cherish Autumn.

To Autumn
John Keats

(1795-1821)

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease;
For Summer has o’erbrimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twinèd flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barrèd clouds bloom the soft-dying day 25
And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river-sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

************************************************

Join Elaine on alternate Mondays for reflections on adoption and life. Your comments are invited. November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and submissions are being taken for guest blogs on all aspects of adoption. Length no more than 500 words, photos accepted, short bio needed. Send queries to elaine.coleman2013@gmail.com

Decades of diaries became my memoir, The Goodbye Baby-Adoptee Diaries

Follow the Yellow Leaf Road

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October gave a party;

The leaves by hundreds came:

The ashes, oaks, and maples,

And those of every name.

— George Cooper: “October’s Party

Check the thermometer. Mercury dips; outdoor plants must be moved inside; leaves blow away in gusts of chilly wind; an icy rain splatters intermittently. Even though being outdoors becomes a bit more challenging, Fall hiking is one of my favorite activities.

Thich Nhat Hanh said “When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There is nothing else to it.”

Scene: Santa Fe National Forest

Last Friday, my friend Mary and I chose the Borrego/Bear Wallow Trail for our morning outing. When we arrived at the trailhead parking lot — a short 20-minute drive from Santa Fe — we were the only folks there. We started our walk before 9 a.m., moving briskly to ward off the cold. 

This popular hike is a moderate four miles, following Trails 152, 254, and 182. A map displayed at the trailhead shows the way. One should turn left from Borrego onto Winsor, then left again on Bear Wallow. Basically a lollipop shaped route.

Stepping into the forest is stepping into another world.
Mary listens to the gentle soughing of wind through treetops.

Going down the wide dirt steps into the forest, we were captivated by the aspen. Their branches seemed to sweep the sky. Overhead, golden leaves quaked. The trees’ towering white trunks shimmered against deep green ponderosa pine trees.. Brilliant gold leaves trembled, rustled, danced, shook. Underfoot, fallen leaves formed a magic carpet. The views were so lovely, we found ourselves singing. Instead of “follow the yellow brick road, it was “follow the yellow leaf road.” A little over  two hours later, we’d finished. All too soon,  time to return to everyday life.

SOME TIPS FOR AUTUMN HIKING:

*Rain gear in your pack (jacket, rain pants)

*Hat with a chin strap (Fall wind can be blustery)

*First aid kit

*Plenty clothing layers than you think you’ll need.

*High protein snacks- beef sticks, nuts, raisins, energy bars

Elaine Pinkerton has hiked the hills around Santa Fe, New Mexico, for 50 years.

Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life. The world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their  quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or http://www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!

Meandering Around Maine: Monhegan Island

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[Monhegan] seems to have power — as the Irish say about some beauty spots in Ireland — of casting a spell over you. You either like Monhegan or you don’t like it. But if it casts its spell over you – then you are its lover for life. That is what it did to S.P. Rolt Triscott. 

— A.J. Philpott: Boston Sunday Globe, 19 March 1939

Six days of the Sierra Club trip had passed. It was our last morning in Camden, Maine. Fortified by peach-stuffed french toast, we bid farewell to Maine Stay Inn hosts, Peter and Janis. A short drive south brought us to Port Clyde to catch the daily ferry to Monhegan. This rocky island is roughly 12 miles from the coast. To get there, we would traverse the Gulf of Maine. Comfortably seated on the “Elizabeth Ann,” I mentally traveled back to my earlier life in Seattle, Washington. Ferries were the norm. It was fun being back on water.

All aboard for Monhegan. The author with Rochelle Gerratt, Sierra Club Leader
Island Inn: A broad porch with lots of chairs for sea gazing, great restaurant, and comfy rooms.

Roughly two hours later, we stepped into the magical world of Monhegan. No car traffic allowed. This unique village boasts nine miles of forest and coastline hiking trails, a museum, one-room schoolhouse, a church, and several small shops. We checked into the Island Inn and began a week of walking shoreside trails and exploring the island on foot.

Natural beauty abounds. Like S. P. Triscott, I was captivated by the sea, the sky, the land itself. Not surprisingly, Monhegan is home to dozens of artists. Interspersed with hiking, we visited art galleries, shops, the Monhegan Museum of Art and History. All too soon, it was time to climb aboard the daily ferry and return to Port Clyde. Like the artist Triscott, I had become a Monhegan lover for life. I suspected that Mohegan Island would someday call me back.

Our last night, feasting on lobster at Island Inn. If the scenery doesn’t call me back, the seafood just might!

Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees, Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet, in their quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!

Meandering around Maine: Camden

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Opening picture: Waterfront in Camden ~ Afternoon on the Gulf of Maine

How wonderful to “adopt” a new place on the planet! 

Since before the Pandemic, I’d not traveled anywhere except California to see the grandkids It was time to break out of the rut.

A friend and I just returned from a Sierra Club trip billed as “Jewels of the Maine Coast.” Guided by two Sierra Club leaders, Rochelle (from my home town of Santa Fe) and her co-leader Gail (a Maine resident), the first part of our vacation included Camden and environs. Daily hiking was the theme, but our week was enriched by cultural and educational events.

Camden, Maine: A beautiful place to begin the adventure. The Maine Stay Inn, owned and operated by former attorneys Janis and Peter Kessler, was built in the early 1800s. A three-story white clapboard, “home base” was located on High Street, Camden’s historic district. Every room was furnished with cosy sofas or chairs, beds with comforters, bookcases filled with classic and contemporary books, adorned with starched cotton curtains and all manner of creature comforts. My friend and I occupied a suite on the third floor.

The Maine Stay Inn

Historic District in Camden: park area on the grounds of Maine Stay Inn
One of several excellent Camden restaurants, featuring lobster, mussels and other seafood delights
Sweetgrass Winery, a short drive from Camden
Sweetgrass wine casks, containing blueberry cabernets, blueberry hard cider, cranberry smash and spirits made from local berries and barley

Our first week included a four mile tour of Merryspring Nature Center. Denise, the docent, introduced us to medicinal and culinary herb gardens. One “pod” comprised herbs used exclusively for dyes. Another area featured hybrid chestnut trees. After the herb lecture, we made our way along forested paths and visited springs used by Penobscot Indians and Revolutionary War soldiers. After lunch, back at Maine Stay Inn, we went to Beech Hill for hiking through blueberry fields.

On our last day in Camden, we drove to Sweetgrass Winery and were hosted to a tasting of wines and sangrias made with not grapes, but cherries. Tomorrow we would go by ferry from Port Clyde to Monhegan Island. (Stay tuned for Part Two. coming in October.)

Coming Home to Myself

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‘This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man.” – Polonius in WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’s “Hamlet” **************************************************************

How can you be true to yourself if you grew up not being allowed to know who you are?

As an adoptee, hiding behind the mask of being “normal,” of masquerading as the “real” daughter, I could never live my life authentically. Early on, I assumed that there was something shameful about not being born to my mom and dad. The best way to behave was to strive for perfection in everything.
No matter how I tried, however, it was never enough. In lieu of facts, my imagination took over. I was competing with that other daughter that my parents couldn’t have: A ghost of a girl who looked like my adoptive parents and resembled them in ways that I simply could not. I had to make them proud, to prove myself.
At age five, I had (symbolically) been “born again.” That old life was just a warm- up and I was supposed to forget about it. Never ask about those first parents. Don’t think about those years before being “rescued.” If I wasn’t successful in my role, I could be sent back to careless people who never should have been foster parents. Maybe it was fear that kept me from pressing for answers about my
first years.
That said, I had wonderful adoptive parents. They
helped me accomplish and excel in many ways. Striving is
not necessarily a bad thing. I did well academically,
worked at age 16 to save money for college and
graduate school, embraced writing at an early age as
what I really wanted to do. My ambition was boundless. In
many ways, that has served me well.

Hiking up Atalaya Mountain – Santa Fe, NM
Being in nature has helped me shed old paradigms.

The downside is that I never “arrived.” Instead of being
able to savor my successes, I kept raising the bar. Only
now can I relax and quit being an overachiever.
Do I have advice to those who cannot accept their
adoption? I can offer only some thoughts I would like to
share. Knowing ones parents certainly has value, but if
that knowledge must be incomplete or even missing,
SEARCH FOR WHO YOU REALLY ARE. If possible,
avoid people who sap your energy. Vow to do something good for yourself every day, even a small act. Try a week of being your own best friend., and see if you start feeling better, especially about being an adoptee!

Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their  quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or http://www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!

More than a Memoir

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Little Brother by Sallie Bingham

“Again” is even sadder than “was” — it is the saddest word of all.”

— WILLIAM FAULKNER, The Sound and the Fury

Thus begins Sallie Bingham’s latest book, a powerful, poignant account of her younger brother Jonathan, his life and  untimely death. Part of the prestigious Louisville, Kentucky Binghams, the author depicts her family’s life, one of wealth, accomplishment and privilege. Jonathan, adored by his sister, was of a loose thread in the tapestry.

The family comprised a socialite mother, an involved-in-politics father, and five children. The children were well cared for but seemingly not as consequential as the parents’ very important lives. Jonathan was born in 1942. His father, a friend of President Franklin Roosevelt, could not be around when his third son entered the world. Writes Bingham, “The birth of a third son could not compete with the possibilities unfolding for father.” It seemed, as I read on, often moved to tears, that Jonathan became an increadingly shadowy figure, part of the family but not really.

The Binghams owned both the Louisville Courier-Journal and Louisville Times newspapers. Their modus operandi was one of high-powered achievement and forward motion. Jonathan, it seemed, couldn’t keep up. It was at Harvard, his sophomore year, that the young man’s life appeared to begin unravelling. His biographer sister describes him as becoming “destabilized.” Jonathan dropped out of Harvard. When at home, he was moody and detached. He spent hours in the basement. He had, he claimed, “invented a cure for cancer.”

Jonathan was 21 and planning a party in the barn, a Boy Scout reunion. There was no way to have lights in the barn, so he decided to do it himself, He climbed an electrical pole, grabbed the wrong wire, and was immediately electrocuted. He joined what Ms Bingham titles “the dreadful list,” close family members who’d died before reaching age fifty. The deaths, she notes, were often suicides.

Bingham gathered notes and diaries, interviewed Jonathan’s friends, and wrote Jonathan’s story as only a grief-stricken and caring relative could. She wrote it so that Jonathan’s brief time on earth would not be forgotten,

Her book Little Brother will remain with me for a long time. It is a sensitive, loving commemoration. Bingham’s story of Jonathan will resonate with any reader who has a “little brother” relative in the family, someone who is not quite connected. The memoir, in addition to being a poignant and beautifully constructed read, serves as a reminder to pay attention, to be kind, to notice.

SALLIE BINGHAM: A long and fruitful career as a writer began in 1960 with the publication of her novel, “After Such Knowledge”.  This was followed by 15 collections of short stories, novels, memoirs and a biography, as well as plays. She is an active and involved feminist, working for women’s empowerment, who founded the Kentucky Foundation for Women, which gives grants to Kentucky artists and writers who are feminists, The Sallie Bingham Archive for Women’s Papers and History at Duke University,and the Women’s Project and Productions un New York City. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their  quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or http://www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!

Guatemala Gift: Part Two

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CHAPTER TWO-by Kim Straus

Jose steps into his new life

Jose steps into his new life

Remember my saying that we as older soon-to-be dads were not prepared to take on the special needs of a special needs child?  And don’t get me wrong, I’m in awe of those parents who do and I’ve met adoptive parents who have raised multiple special needs children.  Well, we quickly learned of José’s special need.

José arrived in New Mexico sound asleep in his umbrella stroller.  He and Jack were met at the airport by me, Jack’s Albuquerque cousins, and our good friend and my boss, who would later become José’s godmother.  One of the reasons we felt so confident in becoming parents was the support network we had in Santa Fe.  As we went through the adoption process we met other adoption families, including several gay dads, with whom we formed a small support group.  We felt Santa Fe would be a great place to be gay parents and had read a statistic that Santa Fe had the second largest per capita number of lesbian and gay parents in the nation after San Francisco.

Not only did we get support from other gay dads and lesbian moms but also many straight friends, including a number of close women friends.  One of Jack’s former colleagues from his time teaching at Zuni Pueblo lived with us for a year before she bought a home down the street.  We still belong to an adoption group that consists of straight and gay families – and several Guatemalan children.

One recommendation we received from parents who had adopted internationally was of a pediatrician in town who understood health issues that might arise in these children.

We took José to see her a few days after his arrival for a good check-up which proved extremely, I mean extremely, fortunate.  She ordered a blood test and when she received the results, called us immediately.

José had hypothyroidism.  Basically, José’s thyroid wasn’t working at all.  This explained his small size and lack at seven months of some basic early motor skills. It may also explain why our adoption process went so quickly.  We speculate that the doctor seeing José for his check-ups in Guatemala either knew or suspected something like the hypothyroid condition and urged the process move quickly.

All babies born in this country get checked for this and perhaps those up for adoption in Guatemala do, too, but the diagnosis isn’t revealed for fear it would jeopardize the adoption. Most adopting parents want a perfect baby unless they specifically request a special needs child.

Our doctor said run, don’t walk to the pharmacy for medication which José takes daily and will probably for the rest of his life.  Our wonderful pediatrician also connected us with an amazing pediatric endocrinologist in Albuquerque; we all love our visits with her.  José’s development is on the normal scale although as a Guatemalan Mayan, he will never likely be very tall.

I won’t deny that becoming a parent later in life is a real challenge.  You get set in your ways, used to your routines, thinking about a future that never before included diapers, play dates, baseball practice, science fair projects, and PTA.  I admit that tucked way back in my brain was a bit of resentment about such drastic change in lifestyle.  But all this was greatly overshadowed by the joys that happened every day, some of these I think of as miraculous and magical.  When José would fall asleep in my arms as a baby, reading bedtime stories and singing songs, and, yes, going to baseball games.

José attended a pre-school in our neighborhood and every morning I would pull him to school in a wooden wagon made in the Wisconsin town where my mother, who turned 100 last year, was born.  The miracles and joys still happen and I am still amazed at being a parent.

José is thriving, as best we can tell, and so are we.  We are having unimagined

Jose says "Two Dads are better than one!"

Jose says “Two Dads are better than one!”

adventures.  Last year we took José to Disneyland and I did something I swore I’d never to do again  — went on not one but several rollercoaster rides. What we won’t do for our kids!

One last adoption story for now, at least:  When we were going through the process, one of the forms for Guatemala Jack had to submit and get certified by the New Mexico Secretary of State was a doctor’s statement that he was “in good health and showed no signs of homosexuality.” 

Jack’s own doctor requested that he not have to do it, so I asked my doctor if he would sign the statement, to which he agreed.  My doctor was not only a hero in the gay community for his early treatment of people with HIV/AIDS but was soon to retire.  He was not worried about any ramifications.  Besides, the statement read, “shows no signs” and since Jack was not his patient, my doctor could truthfully say after an examination that Jack was in good health and ‘showed no signs.’  As Jack sat in the waiting room for the appointment, he casually picked up People magazine. Then he realized that might be a sign, and quickly picked up Sports Illustrated.

Warmest hugs to all you adoptive and adopting parents from two very lucky dads.

Guatemala Gift

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Guest Post: Kim and Jack adopt José Toxpop

CHAPTER ONE – by Kim Straus

img-207124528-0001Our adoption story may be like many others experienced by two gay men, but then every story is different.  Ours began in 2004, the year José was born.

It was early February.  I had just finished reading the book, Gay Dads.  My dentist, his partner, and their two sons were featured in a chapter.  As I closed the book that evening I turned to Jack and said, “We could do this.”  Well, the next day, Jack was on the internet looking up gay adoption.  When I made that comment I had no idea of the depth of Jack’s feeling about wanting to be a father, about wanting to start a family.  While we’re both from big families, his is very close; mine is not. He had far better role models for parents than I did; I likely always feared being the inept parents mine were.

And, you see, most gay men of our generation grew up thinking that we’d never be fathers.  For us adoption was still a relatively new and uncommon idea.  And when we did hear of gay adoption, it was often a news story involving discriminatory state laws and hateful attitudes.

Nevertheless, despite a few reservations, we plunged into the process of endless forms, background checks, home studies, parenting classes, affidavits, etc.  One of the first decisions we made was that we would do an international adoption.  We knew others who had made this choice and we felt it would be safer.  We’d heard those stories of domestic adoptions that had been reversed by distant relatives of the child.  And, sadly, we knew that there was the chance that a child put up for adoption in this country could have fetal alcohol syndrome.  Jack and I are not spring chickens – he was turning forty and I was fifty-one.  We did not feel we could truly handle a special needs child.  But then all children have special needs.  As it turned out, ours did, but it was something we could handle.

We connected with an adoption agency here in New Mexico that prided itself in helping gay people adopt (the same agency my dentist and his partner used) and we soon learned that New Mexico has one of the best records for gay adoption in the nation.  We examined the countries that would allow a single man to adopt a child  – no countries that I know of allow a gay couple to adopt.  Our choices were somewhat limited.  Fortunately, one of our best choices was Guatemala.  Jack had spent two years in the Peace Corps there.  He knew the people, customs, places and Spanish.  His Mayan dialects were rudimentary.  Because this was to be a single parent adoption at first, it was logical for Jack to be the adopting parent.  As far as Guatemala knew, I didn’t exist; or if they knew about me, it was that I happened to be another man living in the same house.  We didn’t have to hide our relationship in this country.

In August we received photos and a video of a small plump Kekchi Mayan boy named José Felipe Tox Pop from the Cobán region.  He was three months old and living with a foster mother in Guatemala City.  Jack and I were asked, would you like this boy to be your son?  How could we say no!

From there the process became one of Guatemalan courts and lots of money.  We began hearing stories of adoptions that dragged on for months so we figured it would be the following May at the least before we could dream of bringing our son home.

However, in November, nine months after conceiving this idea, we got the call from the agency that José was ready for us (Jack) to come get him.  Wait, we’re not ready!   Jack’s a teacher and wanted to finish out the semester.  And we’d just bought tickets to spend the holidays in Guatemala.  So we asked if Jack could pick him up at the beginning of January and the two of us spent ten days beforehand seeing the country Jack had told me so much about.  I returned to Santa Fe the day before Jack was to meet our son. We thought it best for me not to be there and, after all,  I had to assemble the crib.

I’ve heard Jack’s recollections many times of that moment when José was put in

Family life is a win/win situation

Family life is a win/win situation

arms for the first time.  Scary, exhilarating.  But this man is lucky.  Who should be at the Marriott Hotel in Guatemala City where most of the adopting families stay but a woman he knew who had served in the Peace Corps a year ahead of Jack’s group.  She was there visiting the child she was adopting; she helped with that first diaper change and gave sound advice on bottle feeding and getting José asleep that first night.  As it turned out, José preferred sleeping in the umbrella stroller we had brought with us.

Two days later Jose and Jack were on a plane bound for home.  After a stay-over in Miami they arrived in Albuquerque on January 7, 2005.   One exhausting journey was over; another joyful one was just beginning.

To Market, to Market

A Market like No Other, IFAM attracts tens of thousands of visitors from all over the USA.

The 18th annual International Folk Art Market (IFAM) is Santa Fe, New Mexico’s summertime gem. A global arts and crafts market, the event draws artisans and artists from around the world. This year there were participants from 49 countries, India to Indonesia, Egypt to Japan. The artists display their finest textiles, paintings, pottery and sculptures to visitors and buyers. It is an amazing event, and the best part is that the participants take profits back to their respective countries. In the past, I’ve been an artist’s assistant to an Indian whose collective weaves exquisite shawls and pashminas. My artist had established a women’s collective in her native Rajasthan. All the shawls were created by folks in her village.

The market runs for several days, from dawn to dusk. This year featured a Night Market. When my friend Dorothy suggested that we go, it seemed like a wonderful way to spend Saturday night! It began with catching a shuttle at the campus of former College of Santa Fe. A short journey took us to Museum Hill. After viewing a program of Guatemalan dances and music, we wandered tents full of artistic creations and their makers.

The Folk Art Market stage welcomed performers from around the world. Above, dancers from Guatemala.

Dorothy and I tried to resist buying any of the treasures, shopping with our eyes only. Total abstinence wasn’t possible, however. Dorothy bought a Folk Art Market tee shirt; I couldn’t resist a multicolored silk scarf from Thailand.

Here are some of the wares we admired rather than bought:

Shoes and boots from Uzbekistan

Baskets from Africa, many shapes and sizes.

With the sun going down and another brief rainfall, it was finally time to catch the shuttle bus back home. The perfect symbol for the evening, a rainbow, awaited us.

Join Elaine on Mondays for reflections on the writing, hiking and the outdoors, Santa Fe life, and the world as seen through adoption-colored glasses. Check out her newest novel, The Hand of Ganesh. Follow adoptees Clara Jordan and Dottie Benet in their  quest to find Dottie’s birthparents. Order today from Amazon or www.pocolpress.com. And thanks for reading!