I think this may have been the first time I’ve set an alarm (a timer actually, the way I like to do it) to wake up this year. It is one of my keys to good living I suppose (if you put any credence in my opinion on this,) no alarm clocks.  That got a little harder with the modern cellphone, yet I still choose not to use it.  Oddly, there are times that I have.a great circadian rhythm, such as most of this year, and there are times I do not, like this week in Jal.

English at nine am, Spanish at ten fifteen.  Last night I said I may go to both, yet the greatest truth there is that I would only have that choice if I made it to the first one on time. Hence, the alarm.  Showered last night and slept in my clothes inside my mummy bag inside my car, I just needed enough time in the morning to brush my teeth, use the bathrooms, and walk around a bit to wake up.

St. Cecilia Catholic Church is the most beautiful New Mexican church I have ever seen in my life. It is a small church.  Very small really, by most standards I would think, about the size inside as the church out on US twelve where Rose works. Its light red brick exterior open through a set of symmetric doors to a small vestibule then directly to the nave. Maybe a dozen sets of pews front to back, room for eight on either side of the aisle down the middle.

I had missed the entrance hymn, yet I entered, genuflected, slid into a pew, knelt for a brief prayer and rose for the entrance rites. I met him afterwards, Father Christopher that is, the officiant of the celebration.  I hope to meet him again.  During his homily, he asked out loud a question, the book from which the first reading had come (Leviticus.) In the silence he left, I could tell he was waiting for an answer to come, yet it was not coming.

Leviticus I said, a bit louder (I had answered the first time under my breath instantly.)

“Who said that?” looking toward the back.

The mass was sparsely attended, maybe only ten people on my side of the church between us.  I raised my the first fingers on my hand, acknowledging my words.

“I ask questions for my students here in the front, yet you did not know that, and I forgive you.”

After mass, I had to met him and ask his name (above, as I mentioned already) as in his homily – not only did he teach the gospel – he lived it in action.  And the exact part of the gospel he was preaching on.

He had been talking about not taking offense and turning the other cheek.  Forgiving others (our enemies) for their actions against us, encouraging us to pray for them, and often in such discovering the burdens in their lives too.

With my answer from the back of the church, he was visibly offended for a moment- I could hear it in the sharpness of his question as he turned to look “Who said that?”.

Yet in a teachable moment taking the moment it was offered him, he explained the questions for his students in front, and forgave me quickly before moving on.  I of course had no idea I had sat so far out from the student section (isn’t the whole church there to learn?)

Ha! I kid, as I am a bit older than the students he referred to.  The were lined up after mass, each with a paper awaiting his signature or mark to indicate their active attendance at the mass.  The ages varied, so it looks like weekly mass is a requirement for their entire catechesis.

As he was busy with his line of students I only asked his hame, apologized for my intrusion into the lesson he had dovetailed with his homily, and told him I hoped to see him again soon.  A handshake, a smile, and I will stop to see him again before I leave Jal.

I had seen Brandon on my way out of the the park this morning, yet his yellow car was gone by time I returned. I’m not sure if he’s begun his next fourteen day tour in a sand dump truck, yet he has not been here at all today.

I did get a visit at my vehicle from another one of the regulars here at the city park: a City Police Officer. Another very nice office, gently tapped on my window (I hadn’t even noticed him pull in and park behind me.)

He thanked me for visiting their park and let me know that they had a three day limit.  Of which, I was on day five by his dispatchers count. I explained my attempt to leave Jal two days prior (on only my second free day,) the accident (as I pointed towards the front of my car) and these things- he listened to, yet I could tell had absolutely no effect on the information he was telling me (and the result he wanted from me.)

Yet then I pulled up my two tickets as I finished telling him I intended to stay one more night until the magistrate arrived in the morning.  Knowing the importance now, he quickly countered, “You could go and come back.”

As plain as day I looked in his eye, and simply said, I’m from Michigan and once I leave Jal I may never come back again- I’d like to stay one more day and take care of this business first.

My point of view on city police officers (and all of law enforcement) has changed a great deal in the last five years (and twenty before too.) He was person doing his best in his mind to clear this call by delivering the message from dispatch: time to go.  Yet, not much he could say to my respect to his own process.  Within a second or two he replied, “I’ll let dispatch know. you’ll be here one more night.”

I can’t recall his name now, hispanic fellow, very fluent in English, yet obviously his second language. I tried to get a little more detail of how soon a person could come back after the three day limit and told him how much I liked the park – especially the adult play structure.

I may have mentioned my council experience by way ensuring the fullness of my compliment, this was a real nice city park- contgratulations to your council I told him. I don’t think he was expecting that and he responded well and proud.  I could tell that he was proud of his city park too. If I had to guess, he’s local here.  A few comments on the history, then he pointed to the construction to the south of the park. Next, new basketball courts and a roller skating rink.

I could probably roller skate before I could surf.. hmm…

Did my tour of the play structure tonight, it really is fun.  Each time I can feel stronger doing the steps.  Today, what is this my third or fourth visit to it? And I could do the step box (both feet together, left foot up and to left on step, then right foot up and to right on step, then each back down to center) without holding the hand grip bar.  I really like this, and my leg really like it too.

And it’s a step.  Granted, I haven’t seen a lot of stairs since I left Michigan, yet I can’t let myself think that this structure is utterly unique.

I do love it, I want to stay here for it, yet I can’t.  I can find a step, or a box, or a log, or a rock, somewhere else. I have pictures of the equipment and picture of the instructions. And this will be the basis of my PT I suppose, as least I have a basis now.  The last year has been just doing the ADLs. (Activites of Daily Living). Just walking and moving, feeding and pooping, and cleaning. And camping, I suppose.

Yes, I still do many of the stretches and exercises I learned in PT last year, yet I don’t think it was enough. Or maybe it’s more about the timing, because also, I could not have done this play structure two months ago, maybe not even a month ago. Yet now? I really want to do it more than I’m letting myself- yet when I do go do it, I do as much as I can (aka, trying not the half-ass it.)

Okay, now I have to set another alarm.  I have a nine am court appearance to clear my name in New Mexico courts.

Time to rest.


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