Dust billows and rolls, behind the only car to be seen for miles, as we race the antelope toward home. Slow rumble, rattle, and shake over dirt road that snakes over the far horizon. I see famed “Purple Mountain’s Majesty”, backdrop to the aqua sage-brush sea that lies shimmering beneath a blue cathedral sky. Coyotes scurry as hawks swoop and dive, chasing the same prey, but quick jack-rabbit disappears into the ground. Red-tail hawk dips and in disappointment, soars away and coyote collapses in a heap on the warm sand, in dismal-dismay. A Walking-Stick Cactus army marches across the high desert floor, in full-blooming rose array; columns ending where the tree-line begins, the changing of the guards. Cactus soldiers give away to twisted, wind-sculpted Cedars and slow-growing, desert-feeding Pinyon, infiltrated here and there by a lone, Ponderosa Pine. I hear the Meadow Lark’s joyful song, as wings of Rocky Mountain Blue Birds flash like pieces of falling desert sky. Still the road rolls on but in the distance I see the old gate and the faithful, spinning windmill that identifies mi hacienda, mi casa, the old family home-stead. Now it sits, empty and long abandoned. My eyes fill with unexpected tears.
The old Territorial adobe house, speaks of a simpler time that echoes deeply, within my soul. This formidable land that most call empty is wonderful to me! Nature is not nothing! What people build crumbles to nothing! What God builds remains and reclaims itself, when man gives up and moves to the city. This high desert mesa called, Glorrieta, fostered its strength and beauty in me. Though my journey through life has led me far from her, the lessons she taught of independence, hard work, and dignity walk with me through life, guiding me. The wild desert is me and I am the wild desert; this is the dust from which I was formed. The dust of New Mexico’s enchantment forever, blowing in the relentless, west-wind. Someday, that fierce, west-wind will roar and I will fly from the land of my mother, to be with my Father, in that land which lies above the high-vaulted sky. Heaven, mi cielo azul, is the final destination of my joy road home.