Inner Peace: Heeding the mountains’ call to move on

    1003829811 Julian spalding inner peace.jpg

    Inner Peace is achieved by following your heart’s longing. I know because my husband and I have made some drastic life changes due to following our inner guidance. Admittedly, I have wondered if our wandering ways are just “wanderlust” or are we truly following our hearts. How could we have left behind the beautiful home we built in the hills of New Mexico 20 years ago? It was intended to be our forever home we would never leave. Yet, when the inspiration struck, we sold our home and 10 acres of wooded land and moved to southern Oregon!

    Why Oregon? Well, Ashland intrigued us and, after all, I was born in Ashland when it was just a little lumber town with a nascent Shakespeare festival. My parents met and married in Ashland and we lived on Mountain Avenue with a cow in the yard. And, after all, my Dad owned a lumber mill, the Sugar Pine Lumber Co., located on the site of the current Bi-Mart and Shop’N Kart. The first time I stepped on the floor of those stores, I was reminded that my Dad’s mill sat on that very concrete in 1947 when he sold it and moved his family to Eureka to open another mill.

    Our 10 years in Ashland/Talent have been wonderful. We have hiked hill trails, attended plays, made friends and volunteered with several organizations, notably Lotus Rising Project, Rogue Rainbow Elders, Ashland At Home, Asante Hospice, Rogue Valley Manor and the new Holmes Hospice House. We bought a home in Talent, created a nourishing sanctuary and invited others to share the beauty of our lives.

    Now, our hearts are longing again ... this time to return to New Mexico, specifically to Taos. Why Taos? Well, Taos Mountain seems to be calling to us. I think it is about the spirituality of the high mountain desert, the ancient civilization that still lives there in relative harmony with the non-indigenous Anglos and Hispanics. We recently spent a week in Taos to determine if we were mad, bad or glad that we are considering leaving the town of my birth and relocating once again to a place where we will need to buy another home, make new friends, find new volunteer opportunities.

    We felt the pull of the high desert, the connection with the land, the sense of proper place. In her beautifully written book, “If Women Rose Rooted,” Sharon Blackie writes, “one of the wounds dealt to us by the coming of the Wasteland is our severance from the land, the rupturing of the relationship between people and their places. The healing of the Wasteland requires a healing of this wound. Our Return, then, requires a place in which we can be grounded, rooted; a place in which our particular gifts and wisdom can flourish; a place in which we can fully embrace the natural world around us, and our part in it.”

    For nearly 40 years that place, for me, was New Mexico. And for 10 years that place has been the beautiful Rogue Valley. And for some unknown and mysterious impulse, the siren call of the mountains of northern New Mexico is calling us home. I never anticipated this move in our 70s. We were here to stay. Yet, our hearts are longing for our proper place where we feel fully rooted and we can flourish. We leave this valley with a mixture of sadness, anxiousness about our sanity or lack thereof, expectation of adventures in a new, yet familiar place and heartfelt longing.

    Terry and I are saying goodbye to the home, friends and place that have nurtured us for the past ten years ... and setting sail for the Mystery of the Land of Enchantment that pulls at our heart strings so strongly.

    We offer heartfelt thanks to all we have encountered here, the cousins we have deepened relationships with, the Oregon land that called to us 10 years ago and the joy of living in my birthplace. What awaits us? That is yet to be discovered as the Mystery unfolds.

    Peace be to all.

    Julian Spalding is a Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant and an enrolled member of the Osage tribe of Oklahoma. He has lived in Talent with his husband, Terry Brown, for the past 10 years. Julian publishes poetry at

    The Ashland Daily Tidings invites residents of the Rogue Valley to submit articles on all aspects of inner peace, including intuition, inner guidance, mind training, courage, fearlessness, forgiveness of self or others, honesty, gentleness, humor, open mindedness, friendship, tolerance, trust, faith, kindness, gratitude, overcoming and/or accepting life’s challenges of addictions, loss, grief, pain, awareness of presence and more. Send 600- to 700-word articles to Sally McKirgan,

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