Letter to Son

Millicent Rogers, socialite, heiress and champion of the cause of Native American civil rights, wrote this letter to her youngest son, Paul Peralta Ramos, just prior to her death on January 1, 1953.

Taos, NM

Darling Paulie,

Did I ever tell you about the feeling I had a little while ago? Suddenly passing Taos Mountain I felt that I was part of the Earth, so that I felt the Sun on my Surface and the rain.  I felt the Stars and the growth of the Moon, under me, rivers ran.  And against me were the tides.  The waters of rain soaked into me.  And I thought if I stretched out my hands there would be Earth and green would grow from me.  And I knew there was no reason to be lonely, that one was everything, and Death was as easy as the rising sun and as calm and natural – that to be enfolded in the Earth was not an end but part of oneself, part of every day and night that we lived, so that Being part of the Earth one was never alone.  And all fear went out of me – with a great, good stillness and strength.

If anything should happen to me now, ever, just remember all this.  I want to be buried in Taos with the wide sky – Life has been marvelous, all the experiences good and bad I have enjoyed, even pain and illness because out of it so many things were discovered.  One has so little time to be still, to lie and look at the Earth and the changing colours and the Forest – and the voices of people and clouds and light on water, smells and sound and music and the taste of wood smoke in the air.

Life is absolutely beautiful if one will disassociate oneself from noise and talk and live it according to one’s inner light. Don’t fool yourself more than you can help.  Do what you want – do what you want knowingly.  Anger is a curtain that people pull down over life so that they only see through it dimly – missing all the savor, the instincts – the delight – they feel safe only when they can down someone.  And if one does that they end up by being too many, more than one person, and life is dimmed – blotted and blurred. I’ve had a most lovely life to myself – I’ve enjoyed it as thoroughly as it could be enjoyed.  And when my time comes, no one is to feel that I have lost anything of it – or to be sorry – I’ve been in all of you – and will go on Being.  So remember it peacefully – take all the good things that your life put there in your eyes – and they, your famiy, children, will see through your eyes.  My love to all of you.