68 -Found in the Mountains

Tuesday 06/21

Woke up this morning and went through what has become my typical routine since being in Taos: make a cup of coffee and read something (currently, a book of selected works by Faulkner—it’s marvelous). Afterward, I went for a spectacular run/hike from the house to Miner’s Creek Rd, then Rainbow Lake, then Mason Town, and finished with a taxing hike up Royal and a screaming-fast run down and back to the house. This was all wonderful, but that which made it all the more special was the fifteen minutes spent reclining amongst the rocks overlooking I-70 some thousand-plus feet below.

Hiking up the mountain, heart pounding like a timpani drum, lower calf feeling so stiff that one might imagine it could be broken like a bone, I was harassed much of the way by flies that could not be rid of due to my glacially slow pace I was incapable of increasing. Yet, at the top, having espied a portion of the mountain that formed something like a lounge chair, and seating myself in it, sprawling rather languorously, limbs akimbo, luxuriating in the warmth of the sun-heated rocks as a cool breeze skimmed across my skin, they ceased to bother me, or I ceased to be bothered by them. Instead I looked on in amazement as various different winged beasties made attempts at clambering over an arm or a leg but, tripping over the stumbling blocks of hair, struggled to make much progress.

Lying there, like in a hammock, looking down far below, past the pines and contours of rocks, at the cars and trucks crawling along the interstate, and then to one creature or another on an arm or a leg, and then back to the traffic, I could only think how small and negligible humans are rushing about on their daily, various errands and tasks.

Butterflies frolicking in the wind or sunning themselves on an exposed rocky slab, folding and unfolding wings, sometimes in flight blown off course by a rogue zephyr… chipmunks scrambling and foraging; the colors of lichen (pumpkin orange, and the zillion unspeakable shades of green); tiny purple flowers like magic buttons and baubles; a plant similar to hens and chicks, tiny like a baby’s fist, with yellow blossoms; the shells of old trees bare and weather-beaten lying on their sides like shipwrecks off an unnamed island.

In short, an ocean of peace on which I floated like a reverie, my eyes coursing over everything, projecting a world of fascinating beauty and sublime indifference. Peace! Peace! Peace! And the appreciation of a world that for a short while was untouched by anything save the glance of my eyes alone.


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