Saturday, February 28, 2015

House of Sand and Snow

I won't be posting lengthy musings for a while, since I'm frantically trying to finish a book. And what is a book if nothing but one, looooong, complex, exhausting, ultimately rewarding musing?

I am endlessly fascinated by my new home, and every day I get a sensory jolt that takes me back in time. I lived here when I was in my 20s, when I worked as a newspaper reporter at one of the many defunct newspapers I've had to pleasure to be part of.  (My presence is not completely to blame for these collapses.)

My New Mexico house sits on a ridge at the northern base of a the Sandias, and from my office window I can see the desert side of the mountain range and a bit of the high forest line. The mountain changes color from day to day and often many times within one day. If I get tired of the "Mountain Channel" as my friend Celeste Bradley calls it, then all I have to do is look out in another direction. I've got the mesa to the west,  the Rio Grande Valley below, the Jemez Mountains, the volcanic escarpment known as the Valle Cardera, and the Sangre de Cristos near Santa Fe and beyond. On clear days I can see the Rockies near Taos, and the White Mountains hundreds of miles to the west in Arizona.

We recently broke our weeks-long run of spring weather here, and it's been snowing the last few days. What an extraordinary sight that is -- the snowy desert. This morning, everything has a couple inches of fluffy white icing on it:  the adobe wall that encircles the house, the split-rail fence, the cacti and sage brush. One of the most striking things I see as I write this is the thick vigas (structural wood beams) jutting from the adobe roof, now frosted with snow. If that doesn't scream New Mexico I don't know what does.

I'm lucky enough to have traditional New Mexican fireplaces in my home, called kivas. I've been burning wood like crazy, because I just can't get enough of that scent -- pinon and cedar smoke rising into the cold desert air. I write a lot while sitting in in front of the kiva in the great room. I drag my dog's bed in there so he can sleep and dream next to the fire.

That's where I'm headed now. I'm going to get a roaring fire going, make myself a cup of tea, and sit in my comfy chair and write, write, write.

I'll touch base soon.



1 comment:

Monique said...

I'll trade you for my house of snow and more snow! We are working on our 454 cm of snow since Jan 1 (98")I"ve considered running away from home, but I don't think I could find the airport! This has been a real stinker of a winter for New Brunswick, so I am reading all the books I can find with stories in warm climates,or summers. Especially yours of course :)! Wish I had your fireplace. Keep writing, we're all waiting. I'd send smoochies, but I think my lips froze off LOL