Friday, July 1, 2011

Taos Day Last — On The Road Again

Dawn's Early Light -- 1 July 2011
The Los Alamos fires continue to burn. I could see them last night from my bus, faint, sparkling incendiaries in the distance. The laboratory and city of Los Alamos appear safe but other areas, including sacred native lands, are threatened. This link is worth the follow if it is still up.

Morning dawned crisp and clear. I am packed and soon will be heading south to Truth or Consequences. But first a few words about my host and friend, Shelley, and her house, Casa Tolteca.

A few years ago Shelley was walking a beach in California. She saw a discarded ski lift pass. She picked it up. It spoke to her. In big bold letters across the top it said  Taos.  She had not thought of Taos before. She did now.

An array of solar panels supplies power at Casa Tolteca
She contacted a real estate agent, sold her house in California, and bought a new one here on a mountainside 14 miles above Taos with a formidable western view. Today that lift pass sits framed on a bookshelf, a reminder of what got her here.

What is wonderful about her house, aside from the comfort of the house itself, is the technology that makes it work. An array of solar panels furnishes all the electricity. And plenty of it. Water is funneled from the roof when it rains and stored underground. It is pumped through a series of filtration steps to a holding tank in the house as needed. Cell phones and satellite provide communication and Internet access.

None of this would have been possible a generation or two ago. Today it is. The world has opened to ways of living out of the mainstream without the privation of Thoreau's cabin. The American dream of change and renewal is alive and well.

Last night she and I had a farewell dinner. We talked. In the city you wear opinions like armor and wield them like weapons. In the desert the desert laughs at opinion.. The cycle of life teaches acceptance and contentment.

And there is urban energy nearby as well.

Fourteen miles away  the city of Taos has its seasons. Cool spring and mild, summer. Brisk fall and winter skiing. Tourism. Bustle. Music. Plays. Concerts. Restaurants. Parks. Museums. Shopping -- including Cid's, class act organic grocery store.

Had Shelley not found the ski pass dated 2-15-06 on the beach and paid heed its whispered advice she would not be here today. And I would not have had the chance to see the sun rise over the the Sangre de Cristo mountains and set behind Brazos mountains in the west. Nor have met such a friend as Shelley

Time now to push south.    JNR

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