Thursday, June 18, 2009

Flight to New Mexico

Ma and I arrived at the DFW airport, which is literally the size of Manhattan, early enough to get turned around in the clover weave of terminals and not be late for the flight. We finally reached my terminal and I checked my guitar and backpack right on the street. I bid farewell to Ma and went on through Security.

As my Smith Corona passed through Security, the woman screening flagged me down and asked me to step aside with her. The guy behind me joked, "Whatchu got in there? Samurai swords?"

"Yeah, not too many people use these anymore." I replied.

The Security personnel were friendly and curious. "What is that? Oh, a typewriter? How do you open it? Are you a writer? How old is this thing? Do they still sell ink ribbons for these things?"

It passed the time as they wanded it for potential bombs and bullets, all the while the intercom's insipidly pleasant female voice warned of the High Terrorist Threat Level. "All unattended luggage will be confiscated by Airport Police." The disturbing reality of this Big Brother in airports is always surreal for me.

By the time I was finished with Security and reached my Gate, they were already boarding my group. We buckled in for the flight and the soothing female voice on in intercom stated that we would be landing in Albuquerque in about an hour and forty minutes with the lovely temperature of 64 degrees. Having dealt with the first rounds of near 100 degree Texan weather, all passengers in the plane, including myself, sighed contentedly.

Indeed, the clouds were gentle and cool, with Albuquerque subdued and surrounded by blooming desert mountains. The Century cacti are in full gorgeous bloom. On the way to Candy Kitchen, my brothers and I stopped for a while at a rock shop called Mama's Minerals. Shevy had to pick up jewelry supplies, so we spent a good while browsing. Max and I talked him into getting some hand-carved skull for amulets.

The drive home was pleasant and rainy. They have a new wooden sign at the corner of Sunburst Lane. The gardens that I helped plant before I left in the late spring are sprouting up. I met the new kitten, Aspen, who is a little adorable terror. Shevy made beef fajitas and they caught me up on the latest country gossip.

The pop-up camper is Queen Squishy Cat's abode now, which pleases her because she no longer has to share a trailer with two other cats. She slept with me all night and was very satisfied with getting absolutely all the attention.

This morning we ate fresh bread and jam for breakfast. I stepped out of the trailer with my mug of Yuban coffee and smelled the juniper and sand, sagebrush and wild flowers. Fiddles and lilting voices floated out of the trailer, recalling ancestors from across the Atlantic.

Shevy said in earnest that he missed me and Max gave me a Finntroll shirt, his form of affection. Love welled up in me like blood from a mortal wound. More than any place I've been, this place feels like home.

The wind whispers tales from across the Divide through the pines. The wolves howl at night under the piercing stars. Beetles crawl through the shadows of the gnarled trees, through scraggly orchards and rock-lined beds of kale, cabbage and spinach. The flaming wildflowers are firing up all around the rock shrine circle, erected by my brothers for the ancient Norse deities.

Shevy just made me an amulet strung with leather cord out of one of the skulls and fossils he got yesterday.

Tomorrow I go to Zuni to see the house and family where I will be care-taking a garden, a cat and a dog for the next month.

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