Sunday at 7,500 Feet

Mountains north of Taos in fall color

Changing scrub oak thickets light up burned over mountain

For the last nineteen years, I’ve lived within 30 miles of scenes like this. Could have been doing something else, I guess, but hey. To me this kind of space and clarity comes close to peak existence. It ruins you for ever moving to a city, though. We ate our sandwiches at a pristine picnic table looking out at a 90-mile view and there was no one else around. Yes, I say that a lot. But I mean no one. Not another person or car. There wasn’t even a single fly. Air temperature around 75°F, very dry, no wind. Silence. It’s just completely stupefying. I never want to leave. It’s like the landscape of my soul. You want to watch people who say things like that, of course. They end up sucked into the void like moths in a tornado.

My wife is suntanned now and probably doesn’t know it. I see it in her, though, a touch of golden color on her face and arms. But the lady ain’t no moth. Followed me like birds migrating, joy and purpose all the way.

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John Hamilton Farr lives at 7,000 feet in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore tells it, John is “a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” This JHFARR.COM site is the master writing archive. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page. For a complete list of all John’s writing, photography, NFTs, and social media links, please visit JHFARR.ART  

  • Duncan Nebbe September 17, 2018, 11:52 PM

    Really awesome!

    My wife and I try to escape the city as often as we can and disappear into bush in the Kruger National Park.

    Sadly though, as a result of commercialism and the fact that this park is one of the most desirable tourist spots in the whole of Africa, the main thoroughfares now often jammed with traffic resemble the highways which surround our cities.

    But for us this has not always been a bad thing since it has forced us to turn the Jeep’s nose onto roads less traveled, those small dirt roads meandering through the bush, which have lead us to wonderfully isolated, but beautiful spots, devoid of people or other vehicle.
    Places where you can just sit quietly and absorb the soul soothing sounds of the wilds.
    Like the rasping sound of a leopard only feet away from us on a recent visit.
    Such a primal sound not only gets the baboons in the neighborhood screaming and running for cover, but also reaches into the primitive depths of your soul causing your heart to hammer in your ears.

    Yes, this is the landscape of my soul, and I don’t care who looks at me askance for saying that either.

    • JHF September 18, 2018, 10:55 AM

      Excellent comments. If you’d included a photo, I might have trashed my post and put up yours! You get it. Thank you so much.

  • sally September 19, 2018, 6:16 PM

    Gorgeous… for the soul….that’s what New Mexico is to me.

    • JHF September 19, 2018, 11:01 PM

      Nothing smooths me out more than being in quiet, wild places.

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