Colorado is in our wake. Two weeks beneath the big mountains on a farm, among friends and dairy cows and a new kind of adventure: cooking for a crowd. Do you travel around cooking for permaculture classes? one student asked. Until now, no, but I think it would suit me just fine.
Harvesting weeds for dinner: amaranth, purslane, quelites. Harvesting weeds for medicine: comfrey, yarrow, plantain. Kids tan and happy and grown three inches on fresh milk and forgotten hats and mama’s gaze turned elsewhere. Papa playing the strings nearby. Spinning wheel always ready, and the yarn flying onto the bobbins in various degrees of beauty.
I felt like an unfaithful wife coveting every green pasture, every ditch or stream filled to overflowing. We could live here, I said to my husband every time we crossed a puddle. This would do.
And so it was really something to roll back into New Mexico late one night and feel my heart burst with true love. Moonlight through broken clouds, road wet with rain, silhouette of beloved hills, speckled with black piñon shadows, and that smell, that smell of this land well watered and fragrant as only it can be.
As if I could ever leave this behind.
The lights of small villages twinkled every now and then along the highway, a reminder that though our landscape is wide open and dry and not conducive to what Wallace Stegner called America’s addiction to green, it is fertile in its own way. Food has been grown here for a thousand years. Take heart, desert people, this land is good land. We’ll find our way to adapt to its changes, just like everyone else in the world will do in their places.
Came home to a garden lush and big and dripping wet from rain. Full water tanks. Our young chickens laid their first two eggs. Buffalo bone broth is in the stockpot, dusting done, beet seeds in the soil, beet roots in the fridge. There are library books to read, poems to write. The page in our own story turned, a new chapter beginning.
Home, you are such a sweet place to be.