The Bosque Del Apache is void of two leggeds save for us. The world inside the preserve is wild and noisy while greeting the dawn. A sleepy owl sits upon a dead tree, his silhouette picturesque against the rising sun.
Here the plants are similar to ours in Colorado only bigger, more fruitful, with flowers I never knew they had and medicine flush inside their magnificent limbs. Cottonwood, willow, and pussy willow, three powerful analgesics create rows of silent remedies.
A young mule deer stops to greet us before heading down a dappled sunlit path on her way. Large wild turkeys, different than ours, greet and commune. They wait for three who can’t figure out how to cross the river. They walk side by side on opposite sides of the water until the others can cross. Such extraordinary societies animals have. Really, I question who the superior species is. They peacefully meander down the dusty road.
Monarch butterflies flit from sunflowers and cross the paths of magical dragonflies. Swallow and finches, familiar to us, and roadrunners, ever fun to watch, delight us.
Being lost in nature is restorative. We avoid tourist season and crowds for we will not be able to experience the medicine the natural world offers. We arrive with the sun.
When we visit towns we do not typically stay in hotels on the main road. We try to stay with friends or in bed and breakfasts in the midst of neighborhoods. We walk around the entire town. We speak with old timers in the plaza. We ask about the weather, what the winters are like, we visit the farmer’s markets, we see how people live.
We visited Magdalena and roamed the streets gathering odd looks from locals. A convertible Fiat is a sight, I suppose. I gathered rocks I’ll use in ceremony from rock shops owned by locals. We talked with everyone we could. They want us to move up their with our medicines. “You guys would be so busy,” they say. Crumbling adobes interspersed with quaint homesteads, and in the distance large professor’s ranches. A mixture of California hippies that never left and Hispanic families that have been here four hundred years. We are in love. Why we keep falling in love with places that are difficult to farm in, we’ll never know.
We drive through towns with farmland, wild craft herbs for our medicines, and eat chili. Lots of delicious, smoky chili. We are living, breathing, dreaming during our trip.
And tonight we head up to the college for the star party put on by the Astronomy department. We shall go visit the Star people who are incredibly showy here. The dark sky, even in the city, illuminates their glow. A beautiful way to wrap up our trip to Socorro. Tomorrow, Corrales, New Mexico.