Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Staring Down the Mountain


All the birds have flown up and gone;
A lonely cloud floats leisurely by.
We never tire of looking at each other -
Only the mountain and I.

– Li Po


I wasn't a total slug this weekend. On Sunday, my best friend E! and I crawled out from under our blankies, shook off our turkey induced brain fogs, and headed to the top of the Sandia Mountains to avail ourselves of the late week snow. She in her new Redfeathers, Moi in age-old Atlases, we found enough winter white wonder to play for a couple hours at the top of our world.

I love these mountains and am lucky beyond belief to have them at my back door. And to know that no matter where I am in the immediate area, they are always there – looming grandly if I'm west of them, sloping gently if I'm east. They tell my time, herald my season, measure my calm and my storm.

When I was a little girl, I found a fossil embedded in one of the rocks at the foothills – a small, intricate remnant of a long lost sea shell. That was because, my father explained, this part of New Mexico once lay at the bottom of a vast ocean. Which must explain why, whenever I'm up on top of the Sandia's, nearly three miles above what we call sea level today, I always feel like I'm swimming.

So, I'm curious: what outdoor places do you seek out when you want to feel a sense of wonder?


13 comments:

she said...

the forest. the cathedral of green with light filtering through, a million shadows and evergreens whispering. its not the big sky...it is heavy canopy and its never still it is alive. the mountains are green and also heavy canopied...when you step out on the ridges its a shock to see that much sky...but it is never the big sky view you have..it just doesnt work that way.

btw, i saw a movie yesterday and thought of you. a landscape with pitbulls. poor creatures were pawns like all the others. come by the yard theres more.

good to see ya bite!

she said...

moi i just read a piece on the "river pitbull" in no country. he wasnt a "movie dog" so his intention was, er, sincere. i think you will like it even with the outcome, but that part was really movie magic. jus sayin.

Anonymous Boxer said...

Water. Salt water. The smell. The sound. So peaceful to me. I grew up on an Island and I know it's embedded into my cells.

I love how your described the mountains and why you love them.

moi said...

she: Ah, yup. The wilds of Georgia are gorgemous, indeed. You lucky ducky. As for the river pit, if the dawg were indeed sincere, it was a poor sample o'pit, that's for sure. People misunderstand. The breed was NEVER, EVER intended to be aggressive towards humans in any way, shape, or form. To the contrary, pits were always bred to be slavishly lovable to people. Yeah, they can be grumpy with other dogs. So can half the breeds out there. And, besides, as I always say: Dog Aggression is not a gateway drug to people aggression. Two totally different behaviors. Unfortunately, there's a small thug element out there breeding pits not only to fight other animals, but to be grumpy with people. Way not cool. And it's made Moi fighting mad.

AB: Landlocked my entire life, I go bananas those rare occasions I'm near an ocean. Monumentally scary to me, but nonetheless compelling and exhilarating.

Doris Rose said...

I've lived in several other places, big and small cities, 'burbs,houses,apts,tents.
New Mexico is the first time I ever moved because of the state --I love the vastness and the stark ness. Odd because my first love is water--lakes, rivers, ponds, puddles and the ocean,ahhh

Meghan said...

I believe my husband would agree with you. I had to drag him kicking and screaming to the East Coast. He calls the Smokey Mountains hills, and longs to go back and live in the wild and snowy Rockies.

As for me, I'm with a.b. I'm all about the ocean. I'd love to live on an island, with a boat at my fingertips... surrounded by waves and salt-filled air.

A close second for me is a lake surrounded by a forest of green.

the Dread Pirate Rackham said...

I. Am. Jealous.

Why didn't you CAWL me? I'da gone snowshoeing with ya! Alas, there's the two little people I hung out with...

but next time!!

Pete Bogs said...

moi - the landscape is not nearly so interesting here in Florida... very flat... but taking a drive across the bay bridge when the sun is shining and the water's calm can be quite inspiring...

moi said...

Doris: Mmm, yes, another advantage here. Mountains to the west, Great American Short Grass Plains to the East. You're lucky to live at the junction.

Meghan: Another water baby. Your numbers are strong!

Pirate: See my email. Next time, yes! And you can bring your people, too. Do the little Pirates shoe?

Pete: Hey, welcome to Moi's blob! Good to have ya. Yeah, I get the same feeling driving over the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway.

ArtfulSub said...

I go to the secret place where thousands of Turkey Vultures flock to rest at sunset.

Wicked Thistle said...

I have to say that I'm a sucker for the Sandias, too. My recent trip to Denver reminded me how lucky we are to have them just sitting *right there,* rather than 25 long miles away. What joy it is to walk two miles and reach the open space. If I can't throw a rock and hit a mountain, they're not close enough. Not that I can throw a rock two miles, mind you, but you get my point.

On the other hand, while the mountains are my everyday playmate, the ocean is my very special friend that I must visit periodically or go insane. Water, water, water...sigh...

moi said...

Artfulsub: I've been to that place. A bed and breakfast in Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico, where, it seems, every turkey vulture in the universe comes to sun itself.

Wicked: Ooo, I have a lifelong, standing boycott against the Great Fascist City State of Denver. So what, Colorado has more fourteeners? Don't impress Moi much. We got Wheeler, Taylor, the Sandias. And we're free to own what we want and go where we want. Glad you got outta there safely!

Meghan said...

I have a lifelong, standing boycott against the Great Fascist City State of Denver.

Every day I love you more.

Seriously, can you adopt me as your little sister? And, by little I mean short.