Plaza in the Sun

Taos Plaza

The pavement, how it thrills

There are places where there is no mud, and this is one of them. Taos Plaza, where Kit Carson and a group of fellow patriots protected the flag from Confederate sympathizers around the clock and did it for a long, long time. If I recall correctly, a post-Civil War decree or law is why the U.S. flag is never lowered here, supposedly the only place in America that has such dispensation. Normally one lowers the flag at sunset. If displayed at night, it has to be illuminated. The next time I’m on the Plaza after dark, I’d better take a look.

On the day I took this photo, the river of filthy slush in the shady street beyond reminded me of other places I was happy not to be, although I might as well have been, so huh. The day before we’d sat down in a coffee shop just off the Hotel La Fonda lobby [bottom right in photo] and had a lovely time. It was mostly very quiet. The double latte I gulped down spun the shiny gears inside my head while we watched the snow come tumbling down. A few tourists moved along the sidewalk, either much too fast or less than confidently. People often dress a certain way to come to Taos, no matter what the season, and you can always recognize them. Long gone native now, I’m spottable myself. In a few stores around the Plaza, I can get a discount just by walking in if there’s a local at the register.

It’s all too easy, and it’s all too hard. I feel at home here, but we haven’t really got one. Something like a metaphor for earthly life, eh?—so I should just relax and have another empanada with my latte. I’ll let you know about the flag.

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