As I sit in my temporary abode in Santa Fe, I listen to the sound of a lone cricket punctuating the soft air and silence that is my quiet and beloved New Mexico. I love it here—the crystalline blue of the sky and pale gold of the grasses and grayish green of the sagebrush. I love the dry dust and the clear water in the creek beds. I love the warmth—of being here—inside what feels like an immense benevolent space. It is as if I am both in and between things.
Autumn in New Mexico is pure gold. The bright gold of the flowering Chamisa shrubs. The golden yellow of aspen groves among evergreens in the high country, and the all the varieties of yellows in the oak trees, elm trees and of course, the sunshine. The sun shines here more than almost any place I know.
When I come here I relax in a way that starts the moment I even think about my friends Sara and Tom and their spacious renovated garage. They are special people. This is not just any garage—it is a low-key yet unique abode of tranquility. Tom and Sara are warm and generous people. They are also extremely creative people. The garage they have renovated sits at the back of their property and has been lightheartedly and lovingly curated. It is a few steps from their adobe house, up a gentle hill covered with gravel, in the village of Tesuque, New Mexico, a small and charming village about six miles outside of Santa Fe. This simple place is filled with everything I love. First, there is space, glorious space. Space to move, practice yoga, even dance. There is a big table on which to spread out all my books and notepads. There is a yoga rope wall, plenty of yoga props to play with, and many great books to browse through. They have some of their artwork on the walls and on the fridge in the makeshift kitchen. On the floor is large firm futon for sleeping. There is also a strong hot shower. I receive daily visits from their three Chihuahuas and have the simple luxury coveted by most New Yorkers, a washer and dryer!!! It is, in a word, perfect.
I have been sad here, sick here, absorbed here, scared here. And yet it remains a most happy place for me. A place where I can relax and allow whatever arises from deep in my heart and bowels to come to the surface.
What is it about this place? My insides process things here they don't get to in quite the same way anywhere else. Are our emotions wrapped up in a space, in a place? Is our emotional body somehow connected to the very air that surrounds us, that contains us? It's not that I don't feel things elsewhere—but what I feel here is something that is as distant, deep and expansive as the stars in the New Mexico night sky. It is something old—like the landscape itself.
Now there is a bird sound, and the cricket is quiet. This sound of a little bird so solitary in the desert air, marking this timelessness with time—chirp, chirp, chirp. I walk on the dirt and gravel roads listening to the crunching sound of my footsteps on the dry earth and rocks. And here, under all of this, is an odd and familiar feeling.
My mom is living at a distance of about 60 miles due south down Interstate 25. And 200 miles north, in the opposite direction off the very same highway, my dad is buried. And I am here, in between them, in this in-betweenness.
Time feels expanded here, but it also feels slippery. Soft, silent, and slippery.
But it is ok. Because here, right now, in the odd familiarity of this moment—I recognize this as a special place. Because here, again, is the cricket sound. A car in the distance, my feet on the dirt road. The cry of a hawk. We are here, I tell myself. In this warmth, in this space, between each other. We are here.