What is the place that has grabbed you and never lets go?
I got weak- knee-d gobsmacked like I always do when I drove north from Santa Fe just up beyond Tesuque when the red dirt, blue sky world expands to far beyond either side of the highway. It is like coming up for air. I am humbled by the unexpected way light falls on the skin of the earth, the way light falls on me like I am fortuitously caught in some kind of rapture. I am dazzled by rifts of canyons that cut away from the valley beds of the Rio Grande and Rio Chama that are banked by the spring green of cottonwoods leafing out; cottonwoods with their elegant twisting arms locked in prayer to the sky. The kindred spirit of a random tumbleweed blows by. I nod, understanding its nature.
What if I had never come here? I think it is my 10th time and though now familiar I am still enchanted. ENCHANTED.
I soak at 10 000 Waves on the side of the mountain under pink blossoms and remember it under snow or in fall when the corona gold aspen leaves fall. And a soak at Ojo Caliente, the iron pool, the arsenic, the lithium spring and the soda pool that I always fall asleep in… the hammocks and lounge chairs and the smell of kiva fires and the man who walks around with a sign that reminds us to whisper. We are all here to take care of ourselves as Geronimo once did and all the people before him. The hills behind hold pieces of pottery left over as a reminder.
There is an endless banquet of art, toasted loaf adobe walls with organic curves that radiate heat. Yes please I want red or green chile on everything I eat in this well spent short week of my life. I visit best friends, favorite bookstores, and walk and look and look some more.
I spend a night car-camping near the Taos airport where rain falls in a torrent and I wake up to the scent of wild sage. I spend another night by the Rio Grande where I can see what seems like more stars than sky. I’m not exaggerating.
My first visit was 29 years ago motivated by reading a biography of Georgia O’Keefe and Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. My heart announced that it felt very much at home. I didn’t listen… something I could do later.
Listen to your chile pepper, sage-loving, roaming, charmed heart.
Say yes to enchantment.
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