Friday, June 20, 2008

Southwest journeying

We are in Trinidad, Colorado for a while. We'll be bracketing the stay with a short time in New Mexico. Mom visiting us, we visiting her. It is great to escape the rain and chill from Hometown. Though I think it has been warming up nicely while we are out, it has felt more like November than June up to when we left.

The last time we went to the Southwest, a large forest fire in Arizona blew smoke into our area and cut visibility to less than 20 miles. This time, it's back to its normal 60-plus miles; you can see mountains at distance as friendly and divine presences at the rim of a great bowl in which Santa Fe and Albuquerque and points between are all contained.

New Mexico's midsummer twilights are true magic. There is Presence overlaid into so much sky you get glimpses of what infinity must be like, and the air feels like a living being. It watches you. You feel very small, and reverent. (Dawn this morning was like that, too, and we did some blessing rituals in its Presence.) There is a cleanness to the lines of the land which you do not get in wetter (and more forested) places.

Trinidad sits in a foresty area (pines, scrub pines, juniper and scrub oak) at about 5700 feet above sea level. It has been hot (80s to 90s) and thunderstorm season is well underway. Trinidad (and other nearby towns) are odd mixes of Victorian time-ravished/haunted places, Spanish-influenced stucco/adobe buildings and gradual outcroppings of up to date amenities. It was actually in New Mexico territory before there was a Colorado. Much here is bilingual -- major Hispanic population. Unlike my chosen hometown in the Northwest I don't see a Russian presence here. (Which is subject for another post -- I'm brushing off my Spanish and learning Russian to help me in my dealings with people on the job).

It is surrounded by mesas and up on the eastern hills you can look over some of them and see a faint line of the Rocky Mountains with some leftover summer snow. A blue and autocratic, distant presence. I've been attempting photos. (When this little not-so-geek figures out how to post them on here, I will.)