“There is a voice in the desert, a whisper from the spirit of the west, and they say he rides an alabaster chariot…”
Oh, I do so love that Life is filled with surprises, and along the way we – if we allow it – can hear the whispers of the wind, beaconing us back. Sometimes that means a complete about-face … whipping our heads around so fast, it gives us whiplash. Then, all we can do is laugh and ride that wind!
Today begets a HUGE change in plans for this journey – but one I am tremendously and ridiculously excited about, and one that in many ways is the proverbial dream come true for me: I’m moving to Taos NM! Yes, moving there. I know, I know … say what?? I can hear the thoughts and all of the jaws dropping … but …. but … “I thought you were on your way back east?” Yes, yes I was, and I’m writing this from what was to be a short stop in OH on my way back to Upstate NY. But as those of you who’ve been following along know, last winter I stayed for a while in Santa Fe NM … a bit south of Taos … and while I was there, I grew to love so very much about the entire area. As a young woman, I began to dream about “living in the west” – collecting and pouring over dozens of picture books, flipping through pages of colorful desert photos, falling to sleep dreaming of mountains and trails filled with the scent of sage and ponderosa pine. And the time spent along The Ride last winter in Colorado and Santa Fe, and then this spring in Utah, solidified that dream even more. The landscape defies easy description, the high altitude air is clear & crisp, the slower pace of life is sweet, and I feel welcomed and at home in the wonderful blend of Native/Mexican/Hispanic culture, art and people. Many times I thought about settling down somewhere in southern CO or northern NM after the Ride was supposedly done, but could never find a reasonably place to live (remember, I’m living on what little savings I have left) – and I’d pretty much given up ……… until the other day. On a whim (intuition, perhaps??) I checked Craigslist for the umpteenth time, and up popped a perfect way to begin a new life – a furnished room-share in a big house – at a very nice monthly cost. A flurry of email messages and phone calls later, I’m in!!
Taos is an incredibly beautiful place … the weather is fabulous – dry warm days, cool dry nights, it’s bordered by the Sangre de Cristo – there are mountains and deserts and forests and wildness all within a very short distance. And it is a perfectly, wonderfully artistic place for a writer/photographer to be. There is indeed a spirit of the west. Maybe, just maybe, there WILL be a book written.
So, after a short weekend visit with some dear old friends here in OH, the tired little Subi and I are turning around and heading back west yet again. Yes, it means another long, hot 4-5 day trek … oh but so worth it. Upstate NY will ALWAYS be my ancestral home – no question – the Seneca blood & waters will course through my veins as long as I draw breath on this earth, and I’ve long said that I’ll probably die there … but for now, the Great Spirit of the West beacons me to go back once again. Perhaps there is something yet I am to do there. One of the unquestioning lessons I have learned on this journey is to always be open to the heart and to the calling of the spirit. To be open to change, to listen to the joys and desires deep inside, and to dance in delight with them. This Journey here is too short to do otherwise. Ah yes, the Ride of Life continues……