One of the prompts at the Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild free write this morning was “What do you miss when you’re away from home?” I realized that a week from that moment I would be on a plane heading for New Mexico, so it seemed like an appropriate topic for me.
When I am away from home, I miss normalcy, the spaces I know, my couch, my kitchen. The ring of my phone, the slam of my front door. Next week I will travel to Taos, New Mexico. There is no ocean there, no skirt of foam rolling in with the tide, no constant rush and whisper of the surf. I won’t see gulls or sandpipers, or those pale sand crabs that burrow into the wet sand as a wave recedes, leaving a tiny hole behind. Last evening’s high tide carried in dozens of jellyfish, transparent creatures the size of dinner plates or Frisbees. Always surprises. I will miss them.
Next week I will drive along the highway that borders the Rio Grande running narrow between rocky gorges. I will sit in the shade of cottonwood trees that canopy over the patio of the Mabel Dodge House. There will be adobe walls and curved doorways, turquoise window trim and thinner air. I will smell the sage bushes that grow along the fence and hear the drumming from the evening ceremonies of the Pueblos. I will look up to the snow-capped top of Taos Mountain that watches everything below. I will trade sand and blue ocean for the fire colors of a land baked by the sun. There will be surprises. I will treasure them.