An enormous cottonwood dwarfed by spring growth on trees – photo: Sandi Martinez (Northern NM)

The cottonwood tree in the background you see in the above pic, is enormous. I live on about 4 acres in northern New Mexico. This tree is imposing, old, grouchy, overwhelming, as it shadows and controls the acequia around it. This tree is very old. Unfortunately, I have no clue what its true age is.

The high winds recently, have broken and stopped the fall of old, and dying branches by the other strong and healthy branches around it, cushioning the fall. All trees need trimming at some point. Overgrowth is a reality in everything. The delicate ecosystem of all we walk on, breathe, and use for whatever reason on an ecosystem level, doesn’t stop there.

In my situation, this cottonwood tree is my counterpart. I have known, climbed, and hugged this tree, for 45 years, since I was a kid, and was nimble enough. Now, all dead branches have haphazardly broken, all around this and in, this enormous tree. Some small. Some very big and would certainly cause damage to anything underneath it; most certainly a car for example, being parked underneath it.

A mirror. This tree is a mirror to me. What are the parts in me that are overgrown? Why can’t the dead branches make their way to the ground where they belong? Why are they stuck on other healthy branches? Can’t the high winds make the kick they can, to knock these dead branches to the ground, without breaking a sweat?

While cushioning the effect whether bad or negative, can be a positive, it doesn’t serve the continuum of the exosystemic benefits of this tree to everything around it. Why can’t we let go? If I could, I would take a saw to these dead branches and release them to other new and exciting possibilities.

But that’s just me.

But that’s just me.

Many blessings’ folks, Sandi

Blackbird fly

A trip to Walmart… one full of succinct messages I never expected

Ok folks. To tell you the truth, I was just going to take a pic, post on a few social platforms, and talk about how cute and helpful this blackbird was, sitting on my car as I returned with my groceries from Walmart. I took a few pics, and when I went to make a vid out of it, I noticed the blue and yellow walls in the background.

Well, what to make of this? The horror and sadness of the war in Ukraine, hits me with sadness daily and I have to limit my YouTube time because of the amount of time I will spend scanning through all reputable media for updates. So, when I go to talk about this cute bird sitting on my car, I was smacked hard with the background colors.

I’m sharing this because the blackbird totem, speaks about protection. Protect your family, your job, your home, your friends… your country. Regardless of how painful this is to me, I will continue to scan the news, and pray, pray, and pray more. Will you?

Many blessings, Sandi

Pre-Lenten Challenge: day 2 You are not alone

Pre-Lenten Challenge: day 18

Be the light

A big thanks to Feliz Garcia, who has contributed today’s Pre-Lenten Challenge!

As we move around in this world that is cold, I begin to realize what is important. God’s love is what matters. I believe that we should show as much love with each person we come in contact with. It makes my day when I can make someone smile.

As we are on this journey of life, I begin to search for my life’s purpose. I believe we have been blessed with special talents. Each and every one of us has a purpose in this life. My challenge for you is to pray to God to show you what your purpose is. My purpose is to bring the light when it is dark, my inspiration from the St. Francis Prayer.

God bless you all!

Pre-Lenten Challenge: day 29

Change of heart

Extra change in my pocket: Image credit: Sandi Martinez

The division of wealthy and the poor has never been more obvious. Stats and things like that, are null and void in this entry.

I’m rewinding a bit here. To my day running errands in Espanola, NM. As all the things I needed to do made cartwheels in my head, I saw some people on the streets with signs asking for help. Money. I wondered what brought them there – to standing out in cold weather, with cardboard writing that might bring them some change. Any change.

I thought back to my own demise not so long ago. The things I don’t talk about. The things that feel shameful and confusing. Did this young person do this to himself? Did he bring on demise and suffering to his state of being in his life? His mind? His heart? I’ll say my demise was never intentional.

I made my way to the places to do the things that needed doing. Still, the young man stayed in my mind. He was at the corner of a streetlight when I first drove into town. My brain went over item by item, the errand list that needed attending. When I was done with all errands, I made my way back home, only to find the same young man on the opposite side of the streetlights. My heart didn’t think twice. My mind asked, ‘don’t you need some change?’

I said yes, but so does this guy. No, I don’t know if he’s swindling. Lying. Inspiring doubt and sympathy from all the townsfolk. As if the universe, a.k.a, God, was conspiring for this guy, the lights turned red. I had a few moments to decide if I would give him the change I would need at some point, or, if he could use it more at that moment. My heart won out. I gave him one dollar. One dollar, really? Some of you are saying, why bother? You use that dollar. This guy’s a beggar, a no-good piece of shite. Did he go to the liquor store? The drug lord wherever? As if I don’t have my own stuff to worry about, much less a young- black hooded person who needed some money – anything.

My change of heart to give this person money – had everything to do with my ability, my heart, divine guidance, and empathy. After all, it’s just change.

Wishing you many blessings’ folks. And… will you help out a fellow human in need? Change, a few bucks, or a smile and a prayer? What does it really cost to help others? Sandi.

Pre-Lenten Challenge: day 36 Your map

Pre-Lenten Challenge: day 38


Northern New Mexico sun through trees: Image by Sandi – O’vehlu

Pre-Lenten Challenge Day 70

I’m not a religious person. Nor do I intend on defending my relationship with God.

I think that’s all that is asked of us, by God/higher power/great spirit. The energy that swirls around us every second we breathe. The one we can’t explain.

Breathe it in. After all, it is already a part of us.

Many blessings folks, Sandi

Pre-lent – I challenge you; day 75

God speaks through clouds: pic by Sandi

75 days until lent, starting today, 12/17/21.

Lent starts on March 2 – April 14, 2022. Sundays are not included, which brings the days to 46 technically, but these are sacred dates, and the calendar as we know it, doesn’t quite matter too much.

Last year, I started ‘Faithful Forty’ and diligently wrote for 40 days and 40 nights… without missing one day. Fellow bloggers, and readers, I challenge you to write 75 days straight until lent begins. Choose your topic, but whatever you write, be sure to do so authentically. Ask yourselves how Jesus Christ would do this and do that. Fiction, non-fiction, whatever.

Just bring your whole self to it. When I started ‘Faithful Forty’, I didn’t think I would do it. Somehow, I did. So can you.

Let’s go.


Garbage time

Image by Pete Linforth from Pixabay

It’s that time – throw what no longer serves you in the garbage.

By that, I also mean people. No, not literally. Figuratively. Of course. As I reorganize my sacred living space, I also seem to be losing a few people here and there. I don’t think it’s just about living space. I think it’s about everything. As we decide what works and doesn’t, it’s just natural for things to fade away.

It’s also tricky when the mental/emotional side of things is also out there… waiting to be reviewed, experienced, and judged. What makes us available? What defines growth in all ways? When the help you were getting is useless, demeaning, and supposed to be mental health support of some kind? Really?

Who deems us worthy? What do we deem trash? Things to be sorted and labeled ‘trash’. We all are going through the ringer in some way… shouldn’t we be able to keep things labeled, ‘gold’? Like the support we do have in the people we know we can count on.

The ones who find different ways to say, ‘I’m here, and though I can’t give you a thousand-dollar check, I’m still here. I love you and I just want you to know that.

folks, these are the precious jewels in our lives that we treasure. During Christmas time especially, remember, there’s a gift in everyone we love and the things that do serve us. But can you tell the difference?

Be the gold you are given in thousands of ways to others. That’s enough. It will always be enough.

Many blessings folks, Sandi.