For behold! From deep inside the dried mud cave with windows—look how thick the wall is in the doorway—a brief report on July at seven thousand feet. The cat, you see, has been outside, where it’s a little over ninety. Not inside these old adobe walls, however, and that is where she rests. The cracks in the concrete stucco are from water damage. Not so bad here on the floor, but consider what happens with load-bearing structures. Dry adobe expands when it gets wet, and as it dries again, a portion collapses into powder. Repeat this process over and over until the stucco is all that’s holding up the wall, and then the ceiling falls into your lap. Over the years preceding this inevitable end, the finest dust you ever saw sifts secretly over everything you own.
But all is cool and quiet here just now. Through the open screen door I hear doves and magpies—if there’s a breeze, the rustling of the elm tree leaves.