I am presently lucky enough to be living for a month and a half in my home to be…my trail’s end home. I’m not sure if it’s just that my partner and I are both off at the same time, the fact that we’re not around the usual landline telephone constantly ringing and expectations that involve our other home, or if it’s the magic of this amazingly peaceful place and the incredibly friendly people we have the honor of knowing, but this must be heaven.
Some days we have entirely to ourselves in the house, I am obsessively writing songs and revising songs and recording songs, with little rests to read, crochet rugs, learn about Rock and Roll in my Coursera course, and weed whack the yard. My partner is obsessively working on a new graphic novel, with rests to play her cajun accordion, study Arabic, throw the ball for the dog, and play candy crush on her phone. Other days we take a little drive with our three happy dogs (happy to be anywhere as long as the two moms are there), and meet new friends, check out our favorite galleries, and have a little food at the cafe. Every day has good energy all the way through it, and good sleep at the end of it, with a night so quiet that I can hear the crickets or the rain or the far off coyotes. If this isn’t the best medicine for a (formerly) cancerous body, I don’t know what is.
I hardly even know what to say here, everything feels so mellow. One day we met someone from the marshall’s department, 82 years old, doesn’t make very much an hour, and lives in a camper, because his home is 100 miles away. He works all different times of day, and loves his job, and knows about everyone around here. He says he grew up in D.C., not a good part, and there is nothing that surprises him, including a lot of things he tried himself when he was young. With an 8th grade education, he’s been through 3 police academies and many interesting jobs and had plenty of sorrow as well. He’s been retired 9 times, but just keeps getting called back to work. He is one of the people we’ve been acquainted with around here, that just love this place, and plan to enjoy it as long as possible. That is how we feel, so meeting others that have a commitment to the “magical-ness” of this area gives us a feeling of camaraderie. There are a lot of things happening here that are causing people to move away and businesses to close, and sometimes I fear the little village is just going to up and die. But when I know that these people exist, I know that something so good cannot just disappear.
We also have a new habit of visiting some beautiful land once a week, huge sky, amazing vistas, within view of a volcanic cone where supposedly lots of spaceships have landed, and the most peaceful quiet there can be. It is full of the healing kind of magic, and is really our first experience out of the towns and the main roads. My partner and I collect crystals and other interesting rocks, mostly volcanic in origin. I found some pumice today. We only take one rock each, with permission from the owner, to remind us of our spiritual experience for it is just that, like going to church. I’ve always believed that church is in the earth and the trees and sky anyway, so this is perfect. We sit and talk, we have a ceremony, we hike and explore, we spend a lot of time just looking in amazement at the beauty. The first time we went we saw a jackrabbit and 2 large elk. This time I saw a lion in the clouds, and when we came back home it had rained in this drought- ridden village. The back yard as well as the hills and mountains we passed are turning green right before our eyes.
My newest (developing) habit is to walk around town in the evening before the sun goes down. This was not something I could easily do the last couple of years, partly because of health, but also because there are a lot of dogs that just roam the streets, and they are dangerous. So I always take my two substantial walking sticks with me as protection, but it is so much better these days. That is because of a wonderful woman who runs a rescue project, and she has made it her business to make people accountable for their dogs, get them fixed, keep them contained, and she and her staff have worked hard to take the street dogs off the street and find them homes if possible. We got our two chihuahuas from her, and we thank her in our hearts every day. But this is a new thing to thank her for, because I love walking, and we have also seen more of other folks walking the streets.
I think that if I had a tourist’s eyes, I might wonder what was going on with this village. There are many abandoned buildings, and falling down houses, and not really much of a downtown. The fences are often patched up and kind of a ragtag mix of materials, and there are structures that are hard to figure out what they are, and there’s all kinds of equipment, and stuff around the yards of many of the places. There is a mixture of adobe houses, mobile homes, and modified combinations of the two with big and small yards, fenced or not, sometimes horses, goats, little rabbits running around, and I’ve even seen a small aviary of turtle doves. There’s an old and tiny jail still standing, and old schools abound in this village. Some are used for storage, some as art studios, some as both, some are empty. There are a few paved roads and many dirt roads, the street signs are pretty much gone, so you just have to count the streets as you go up towards the mountains from the highway to know what street you are on. But there are views of two different groups of mountains, plenty of sky with incredible light both at dawn and sunset, and I realized I feel a lot of affection for this little town.
So I think that there is no place I’d rather be, nowhere I’ve ever felt more creative and alive and rested, and even with all the politics and small town issues that abound here, it is the best place on earth for me. This summer we are staying the longest we’ve ever stayed, and that gives a whole new dimension to what we can and want to do while we’re here. There are many places left to explore, but we are in no rush. We don’t have to be tourists until or unless we want to be. We have a lot of freedom because just “being” here is our biggest goal, one which we accomplish every day.