Friday, September 10, 2010

A Month Back in the Mountains

High speed travel is such a strange thing to me. Tuesday night I walked home in the grey Portland rain and today I woke up to a honeyed sunrise over the blooming Zuni Mountains. On the way back from the airport a full double rainbow graced the valley and my friend Genevieve and I laughed because it was so beautiful we could hardly believe it. The black volcanic rock, wildflowers of every color, the golden light of the dying day, all of it was overwhelming. It was that familiar time warp when you feel like you're coming home, that years have passed and yet no time at all. Coming home. That's strange because I feel like every place I've ever been is home.

Much to my delight, Hummer the llama remembered me. He was excited to get his neck rubbed and kept giving me fragrant kisses with his buck-toothed mouth. The alpacas are so adorable I can hardly stand it. For the next few weeks I'll be cooking out of an outdoor kitchen under a netting. It's so very amazing to have the view of the valley from the propane stove, past which in the cliffs contains ancient ruins that I'll get to explore in the coming days. The Cadillac hearse that will serve as my water vehicle is even more pimp than I remember it!

It's good to see my family here, to see the "Mansion" on the hill hung with skulls, to look through the old chests of letters and keepsakes, but most especially, to see the universe at night and hear the wolves at dawn. Already I can feel the static of urbanity unraveling its tangles into the dry air. The woods quietly shuck it off of me like dead skin. Yes, a deep calm sense of home is here more than any other place I have been.

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