adoption, Audubon Center & Sanctuary, Back to the Past, Dealing with Adoption, Expanding horizons, Family trees, Randall Davey, roots, Self-realization
noun: portal; plural noun: portals
a doorway, gate, or other entrance, especially a large and elaborate one.
synonyms: doorway, gateway, entrance, exit, opening; More
door, gate, entryway;
“the portals to the palace were heavily guarded”
an Internet site providing access or links to other sites.
As an adult adoptee, I agonized about not possessing an authentic family tree: biological roots, a list of same-DNA folks to whom I could trace my origins, blood relations. How to invent your own family tree? A forest of trees? A juniper that sends its roots so deep into the earth that it cannot be easily uprooted? Pretend that the whole family tracing mania is a waste of time and really doesn’t matter? No, no, and again no.
Of course ones origins matter. To pretend otherwise is unsustainable. No matter how far my adoptee recovery journey takes me, I’ll wake up every morning and still be adopted. However, the issue no longer causes that dark night of the soul that plagued me for so many years. Life is simply too short to agonize over the past. I’ve decided to transcend the question and open my mind to studying the pasts of others.
Last weekend, I visited the estate of the early twentieth painter Randall Davey, one of the most colorful figures in the cultural history of Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was a prolific painter, son of a well-heeled east coast family who wanted their son to become a lawyer or an architect. Instead, Davey studied painting in New York and moved to Santa Fe to become a full time artist. He bought 135 acres of land at the end of Upper Canyon Road and converted an old mill to his home and studio.
He was a bon vivant, fast driver, musician, married to first Florence and then Isabel. Very much a local character. Davey died in an automobile accident, en route to see a girlfriend, near Baker, California on November 7 at the age of 77. His son William and Kate Cullum (sister of Isabel) bequeathed the property to the Audubon Society for their national headquarters. The Audubon Center & Sanctuary has preserved the home of Randall Davey and opens it to the public once a week. Last Friday I traveled to the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and signed up to see the estate.
A guided tour through the artist’s home transports one to another era. It’s as though Mr. Davey would come back at any moment
Furnishings, paintings on the walls, books, studio and paints – all seem to be frozen in time. The highlight of my August, the Randall Davey excursion was a reminder that adoption recovery allows an expanding of ones horizons. Pondering the pasts of others, I’ve learned, can sometimes prove more worthwhile than pondering ones own!