Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Palms for Pinyons
This year, I traded palms for pinyons.
Instead of fleeing winter for beaches and sun,
I embraced the season, relished the chill.
In the mountains, they know how to do winter.
My choice was rewarded by sixty-degree days;
I wore nothing but a t-shirt and jeans,
walked along the country road,
breathed the crisp air at five thousand feet,
felt the sun on my arms and face.
My grandmother lives far away;
a forty-minute train ride,
As we traveled, I felt a complaint
rise up within me,
Why does she have to live all the way out here?
my tired brain whined.
In the morning as I looked out the window
at the sunrise over the mountains, I knew.
I ran out on her porch in my slippers,
climbed up on a bench to get a better view,
my heart full, eyes brimming.
Is there anything that compares to a sunrise
in a big, clear Colorado sky,
the familiar peaks tinged with rose and gold?
Dogs bark, and a coyote yelps in the distance,
their chorus bounces off the mountains,
the sound traveling far in the thin morning air.
The mayor of Chickasaw--
a black Newfoundland named Bear--
holds court in the valley.
Most of the things in Bajee's little house
were created by her hands.
"Beloved pots," paintings, sculptures, dishes and clothes.
The smells have never changed:
pine-laden mountain air,
clay and paint,
No elaborate, fancy getaway was this,
but simpler and more refreshing;
with nothing to distract me from drinking in beauty
and reveling in relationships.
Listening to stories of a fully-lived life,
and learning a little about where I came from
to help me imagine what's yet to come.