Early Spring Wind

The spring wind roars over the ever-grey high desert that waits for just the right amount of warmth and moisture to bloom. By gale forces the desert floor is being swept clean to prepare for a new season of life. As long as there is snow on the mountain peaks there will be wind in the warmer valleys below. This old cycle highlights the relationship between the alpine mountains of Colorado and the high desert plateau of New Mexico. This is early spring in the divide between winter-time- grey and the new green that is beginning to fill the river valleys as life-giving snow-pack in the Rockies begins to melt. The rest of the desert remains subdued until the summer monsoon. All animal life of the Northwest Plateau depends on the strength of the Rocky Mountain winter and the snow-pack that fills the rivers and streams.

I am involved in an old romance with New Mexico sunny days beneath a rapidly changing vault of blue sky. I am still enchanted with rosy sun rises and peachy sunsets. I am blessed to watch the Bald Eagle soar over the river, hear the Night-Hawks speak, and be entertained by the bickering drama of the Magpie. As I write, the deer who allow me to share their ancient home-land are just outside my window nibbling on the newly sprouted lilies they believe I planted as tribute to them. They huddle close to the house seeking shelter from the wind, knowing there’s no one here who will harm them. This is home.

I love the Cedar and sage covered hills, the Elm and Cottonwood filled valleys. The ever-changing landscape that undulates from masculine, rugged mesas and cliffs to soft, round mountains and hills that still excite my artistic eye. The utter silence of the desert is the most beautiful sound in the world. Alone in those silent places, it is impossible not to hear God speak. Left with no place to run or hide from self, in the desert one must make peace. This is my Father’s world and in it I’ve been given a place.

Here I am Lord at the foot of your mountains, the source of life giving waters. Here you have hidden me, in the cleft of the Rock, in the midst of a dry thirsty land. Make me ever mindful of your blessings. Help me trust you more, even as the gritty wind roars. As you prepare the desert, prepare my heart for a new season of life.

La Vieja and The Magpie

Way down in old Nuevo Mexico, as the Crow flies, towards the river,

La vieja sits under her Cottonwoods, never-to-mind bickering Magpie!

Contentedly painting images of crows in colorful high-top sneakers;

In defiance! Of Death, Crow is said to bring on a black-winged-quiver!

Small-round-old woman, tough-as-nails, true-blue as enchanted sky;

Worn by west-blowing wind she bends as east-leaning wind breakers,

To nurture, protect life growing in harsh desert; la vieja is a love-giver!

“Mi casa es su casa.” Ancient tradition of welcome for all passers-by;

Old adobe home, sky-blue door open, red chili ristras hung on cedars;

Ojos de Dios watch! Blessed Rio Grande home! Oh, Mighty Life-Giver!

Feast on tortillas, enchiladas, papas, frijoles; No green chili? We cry!

Enchanted by crows wearing sneakers to taunt the continuous Magpie!


Key for Non-New Mexicans: la vieja=“the old woman”, “Mi casa es su casa!” = “My house is your house!” Ristras are red, dried, chili pods strung together that are both purposeful and beautiful. Ojos de Dios=Eyes of God. Tortillas are an unleavened, flat-bread. Frijoles=beans, in New Mexico they are Pinto Beans. Papas=fried potatoes. Enchiladas are a casserole dish made of meat, cheese, and/or beans, rolled in corn tortillas, and baked in red or green chili. Green chili of course, is the staple of life in New Mexico, a common source of good health and happiness!