Make of the beauty what you will, it’s awfully cold. This must be what winter looks like, only it’s November. I had to go outside again to get the shot. (There’s a window beside my desk that faces the mountain, but there are treetops in the way.) What I do is climb the driveway to the road and walk about sixty yards to where it goes up a little rise, then turn left into the piñon and juniper until I reach a certain spot. You can’t see the cactus under the snow. A couple of times I’ve picked up spines.
That’s a slice of Taos Mountain to the left. The white shapes at the bottom on the right are burned areas from a major fire the summer my wife moved to Dubuque. Not only was I on my own, there was heavy smoke and ashes falling in the parking lot outside our rented condo. Hot and dirty, couldn’t breathe, I had to find a cheaper rental. Turns out this was where I ended up, a one-bedroom adobe on the side of a hill across from Taos Mountain. She came back a few years later, piled her stuff on top of mine, and we have been here ever since. I don’t know how I got so lucky. Whenever I want to run away, I must remember this. For all my criticism and paranoia, our lives have been incredibly full.
Think of how much more I could have piled in if I hadn’t been complaining.