Whimsy as an Art Form; She spun a web on my leg

Whimsy is a highly evolved art form, and a vital characteristic in illuminating your true joy. Let me tell you a story..or two.

When I was living in rural West Texas at Madera Hills Horse Ranch I had an extraordinary experience.  I had been transplanted from the lush Northwest to the wilds of the Texan plains. This is a land where a descent sized ranch is 75 to 100 THOUSAND acres. This is a land where havelenas, big horned sheep from Africa, and Saguaro cactus rule the landscape. You will find scorpions in your mixing bowls and hear frogs emerge from the mud after the rain. The grasshoppers are super-sized, and there is a vibrant calm and a quiet I have only also experienced in New Mexico. At night it has the most spectacular starry ceiling you have ever seen.

I was living there with the mythical Kate Vigneron, a Louisiana native who became a Parisian wife and then moved  to her own ranch in this untamed landscape. She took on horse training in her 5th decade, and was one of the toughest, most straightforward and loving people I have ever met; you always knew where you stood with Kate. She had a grand Piano in this home in the middle of nowhere. She felt like the heroines in those epic novels about Africa or Australia; her land feels like  Africa. She and I had been drawn together through the horse spirits and were teaching women’s retreats with her herd.

Madera Hills Ranch and the River Bed below

One evening, during my favorite activity on this sacred land, I was out walking at dusk. The weather was perfect. It was still in the low 80’s, and a t-shirt and jeans were perfect. I was exploring the dry riverbed scattered with sherbert colored rocks; pinks, seafoam greens, lilacs, and every form of yellow, orange and brown you could imagine. It was divine. Water only surged through this wide pathway after torrential rains. I had never seen that.

As I leaped from rock to rock, I was totally blissed out. This land spoke to my soul in a way few places have. It was so vast and foreign and alive. I was vibrating with a quiet peace and contentment. At one point I had the sense to turn around and look to where I had come from. Who happened to be looking back at me, but a little red fox. She seemed to be sizing me up, “who is this creature in my territory, and is it a playmate?” As I stood in awe, she came closer, and closer and closer. When she got about ten feet from me, I said in unspoken language, “you are totally incredible, and I mean no disrespect, but I am new to these lands and do not know all of its ways. I am not sure if it is safe to be this close to you, so can you give me a little more space.” At that moment she leapt up the side of the embankment and disappeared into the brush.

And then she returned…and for quite a long time we played our own version of follow and pursue, each of us leading at different times. She would run ahead, waiting for me, and then I would dash up, watching her leap forward. She led me back to one of the few trees in this land, and sprang up onto one of the limbs rocking up and down gleefully. A bird in the top of he tree paid her no attention, this was obviously a common occurrence. When you enter this liminal space, time becomes elusive. I have no idea how long we played, 20 minutes, and hour?? It doesn’t matter, I was welcomed into her magical world. Maria Yraceburu says when the animals open up to us like that, we are in great harmony; they trust us. I wonder if I shape-shifted into her kin; I am a Lioness.

We had gone down the arroyo at least a hundred feet, and then we went back up where we began. At certain points she would disappear into the networks of tunnels within the thick underbrush of cats claw and  chaparral. She would always reappear, and I wished I was compact enough to follow her there. At one point she disappeared for a longer time, and I assumed our game was over. I sat down on a big rock  in awe, savoring the profound gifts of being invited into her world. As I sat, she came back out to where I could see here in a little clearing. She sat down, and began to groom herself. This level of trust is incredible. I watched as she  licked her paws and stroke them over her ears, tending to her sleek little body. Then she stood up, whipped her big bushy tail around dramatically, tucked her nose in and curled up into a ball TO SLEEP. I am eight feet away. There are no words for this sense of wonder. No words.

This is what we ALL have access to when we open to whimsy and find our places of bliss. She allowed me in because I was so happy that I was glowing. She knew my heart, my intention, my clarity, my joy.

In my divination readings with my Oracle of Initiation deck a consistent theme coming through for clients is to deeply honor and engage in your whimsy. Be textural and tactile with the world in a very kinesthetic and sensual way. Wriggle your toes in the mud; dash through the ocean waves; stroke the nubby stone wall; actually stop and SMELL the roses.  Act like a child, or a dog, or a fox and find glee and delight in this precious and magical world we live in. Become alive and enlivened, awakened through really feeling all that is around you. Live in the creativity and vision by actually meeting what is around you. My sense with this direction from the Oracle  is that a central pathway to reclaiming our inner-passion and expansion is to ground ourselves more profoundly in our earthly existence. To be naive and innocent as a child, to have the Beginners Mind and see everything as a great blessing.

To live this way takes dedication. Most of us have lives where we are responsible to others and our own physical survival. We have children and rent and partners and jobs. We can all get caught up in our “to-do” lists and forget to recognize the wind caressing our faces.

Today, on a whimsical walk with my beloved Azul, I was reminded of how precious and enchanting life can be when we slow down and let go. Azul and I were at our favorite stomping founds, a lush arroyo with a large quarry at one end. With the snow melt here in Santa Fe, the consistently dry landscape was filled with water. All of the acequias were flowing and the open fields had become lush marshes.

As I sat along one of the nourishing waterways with my toes in the mud I noticed a little friend on my leg. A small spider was on by lower calf. I watched as she raised her bulbous torso up and down, wondering what she was up to. Then she climbed up towards my knee and did this movement again. As I watched closely  the sun glinted off her abdomen and I saw the golden thread of a web. She was making a web on my leg! She continued this for a good deal of time as I threw the stick for my canine companion. She would go around the back of my leg, anchoring, and then drop down dangling in the wind, making more of her woven structure.

She came to me because I was calm, I was content, I was in my whimsy and awe. I was resonating the beauty of joy, we were in harmony. This is that sort of experiences I guarantee you the Universe will meet you with if you allow yourself to slow down and allow the magic. Who knows where this all might lead…and the true gift is in the awe and delight of a whimsical life. Blessed be to Grandmother Spider who graced me with her presence today, may you be graced with your own signs and guardians and delights today. xoxxx M

  1 comment for “Whimsy as an Art Form; She spun a web on my leg

  1. Jordan Hoggard
    April 29, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Big breathe smiles like the ‘Big Texas Sky.’ Takes me to remember those skies vividly. Wonderful story! Wonderful.


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