all the way home

I’ve arrived home. After a glorious detour to Houston for a couple of days, I’m home.

Pieces of my heart remain in Taos and Houston. I’ll surely return. This night it’s good to be home.

There were some stunning views outside the plane window on the flight this afternoon.

And a best-effort sunset on the drive to the mountains.

“Sometimes I need only to stand wherever I am to be blessed.” This Mary Oliver quote beautifully describes how I feel tonight. I was blessed to be in Taos, blessed to be in Houston. And now blessed to be home.

half-way home

With the recent snowstorm in northeast Georgia, I’m taking a detour home. It’s a great detour, as I’m traveling home to Houston for a couple of days. Home is relative, but my friend always makes me feel comfortable, so I call it home for a time.

Leaving at dawn, we enjoyed a spectacular sky light show on the way out of town.

A stop at Taos Coffee Apothecary, with a short chat with our familiar barista, and it was time to say goodbye. For now.

I’m letting the moments of these past six days sink in, nourish me, remind me of care, kindness, joy.

Of simple pleasures. Of slow travel. Of reunion.

Of beauty made by God,

and beauty made by God’s children.

And now I find myself in Houston. An unexpected gift.

day is done, gone the sun

But not the fire in the kiva.

A last sighting of the sunset outside the casa.

I’m in for the night after a lovely Sabbath day.

A quick trip to town.

A walk down the road to see the llamas. Stacey, Hilary, Kamala and Dawn.

A visit to the Harwood Museum. Our friend, Abby, met us there. An artist herself, and a long-time resident of the area, her insights about much of the art on display enhanced my experience of the works.

Donald Judd’s seating cubes in the Agnes Martin room.
Abby and Beth discussing Shamu. Just kidding. This was my impression alone.
Gus Foster’s landscapes.

Now home by the fire, eating what’s left over for dinner, soon to pack for the flight to Houston tomorrow.

That’s right. I’m going to Houston because I can’t go home as planned. The mountains are covered in deep snow, and my ride (Evan) can’t get in or out. So I’m having another travel lark!

Following Mary Oliver’s words, to “open my eyes and my hands”, I feel I have done just that this day.

winter wonderings

I’m sitting in front of a fire I built this Sabbath morning. I find it needs intentional tending in order for it to continue to burn. Not doing so allows the fire to “die down” and trail off to silence and an incomplete burn.

So I’m sort of vigilant, but easily distracted. I’m thinking about how to be more intentional – about the fire, and of my life—-

where I find myself this particular morning, as the night ends and morning begins;

how to spend this day with no missed opportunities or regrets;

to look up more often;

to take say yes to invitations;

to chase a sunset like a bird;

to spend time pondering; wondering, sharing;

to share my bounty with others;

To see what God has in store for me, and to say YES!

Mary Oliver writes in her poem I Don’t Want to Live a Small Life, “Open your eyes,
open your hands”.

This day I shall open my eyes and my hands.

where is what i started for

This morning I was sitting on the couch, next to my best friend, seeing – and hearing – a beautiful fire in the kiva fireplace.

It was 28 degrees, and outside the windows was a beautiful New Mexico sky.

It’s quiet and peaceful here. Peace-filled.

And yet, I was caught up in the anticipated major storm coming to my hometown, with the fact that I can’t return home as planned. Plus I’ll miss the snow beauty the storm will bring.

My friend brought a book of poems for me, and we’ve been reading a poem each morning. The book is titled Poems from the Pond, by Peggy Freydberg. The poem this morning was But Where is What I Started for so Long Ago, and Why is it Yet Unfound. In it she writes: “What is so wrong? So much of what I’ve wanted, once gotten, has been replaced by other wanting.”

Oops. That was me, alright.

Of course I want to pay attention to the moment and moments in the place where I find myself. I’ve longed to be here. Today, and for the next few days, I’m exactly where I wish to be.

With this reframing, I set out to be present in this day in this place!

We journeyed south this afternoon to Pilar. It’s long been a favorite of mine. From Pilar we drove several miles west alongside the Rio Grande River. It was a “pull over now” ride for me. So much beauty to try and catch in a photograph.

The drive back to Taos was spectacular.

But wait, there’s more! Just north of Taos, the sun was showing off its setting.

So yes, I’m right where I want to be. No doubt about it.

a settling in day

It has been a dibs and dabs day as we settled in. Travel left me with quite a bit of pain so we stayed close to home.

Our favorite coffee spot is currently take-away only, so we got our cuppas to go and drove home to enjoy coffee by the kiva.

A brief shopping trip to town reflected the reality of increased presence of the corona virus.

A late afternoon visit to say hello to Hilary, Kamala and Stacey – along with the newbie, Dawn.

Around dusk we drove to a spot we picked out during last May’s trip for prime sunset viewing. Oops! We didn’t factor in the earth’s changing rotation and it wasn’t a prime spot after all. Still, the muted colors seen ar day’s end were quieting.

A lovely ending to a settling in day.

return to the land of enchantment

It’s always wonderful to feel the aircraft’s landing gear touch down in New Mexico. This enchanted land beckons to me often. My friend and I have traveled here so many times we easily settle into the rhythm of the place.

It’s about a 2 1/2 drive from Albuquerque to Taos.

Sustenance first, at The Range Cafe.

From there the interstate highway north leads to a state highway which then carries us north alongside the Rio Grande river.

Colors change as daylight wanes.

And just before nightfall, there it is. My tree.

A short time later, we are home.

epiphanytide in taos

Thanks to vaccinations, boosters and rapid-tests, travel to Taos for the annual January trip is possible. With a sigh and a yay, I am on my way.

Before I could leave, however, a rapid-test the day before departure was necessary. The red line says it all.

A year ago my friend and I missed our annual Epiphany trip due to lack of any form of disease protections or testing. But after receiving our two vaccination jabs, we were able to travel to Taos in May. It was Spring gorgeous!

Now we return. Still, with Omicron cases increasingly on the rise, it has felt like a long slog to this departure day.

If also feels celebratory!

And freeing!

After what feels like a long time of wondering, are we or are we not going, I’m going!

Traveling mercies.

thanksgiving gratitude

I’ve been reflecting on my recent Thanksgiving trip to Texas. What strikes me most is the Gratitude I feel….

~ for my son and daughter-in-law who met us in person at the airport, and then took us to a local, legendary place for burgers;

~ for the welcome to their home, and all the preparations made for our visit;

~ for my grandson who drove me to Starbucks every morning, where we shared coffee, chai, and conversation;

~ for my granddaughter who shared stories with me about her work and play, and introduced me to her boy friend ;

~ for bow ties and barbecue;

~ for the annual pumpkin roll;

~ for the delight in observing the feeding of geese and duck visitors;

~ for gathering around the table to enjoy the bounty of Thanksgiving;

~ for an unexpected visit with my best friend at the airport as both of us were traveling home;

Indeed. Amen.