"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stormy memories


This old adobe cabin in the Truchas foothills breathes memories of vanished families and friends, of stories told in romantic Spanish around a fire in a back iron potbellied stove, of flashing white teeth in laughter, of meals of frijoles, of nights under woven wool blankets and the smell of stacked wood and woodsmoke, kerosene lanterns giving off flickering light, as the long winter sets in at more than 8,000 feet and the high Truchas peaks bring in storm after storm.

It may look vacant, but I agree with the Pueblo Indians speaking of the ruins at Chaco...they are still inhabited. Why did people build here on a dirt road, far from the village? There was laughter here, but sadness too, of broken dreams, of lives and friendships lost, of the sorrows of every day life. In such a place time slows down, governed by the weather and the seasons and the sun. People live in present tense here because work is hard, and hands are calloused and faces weathered and life is short and uncertain like the decaying mud adobe walls. Memories are here, and more, despite the storms. If only we will listen.

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