Strip of Crimson

Santa Fe - Vignette
That first morning, the altitude scorched my attitude. Coffee lifted me some, but it took another 24 hours before I could announce that I had truly landed in Santa Fe. Our landlords, I'm sure, thought I was some kind of unhappy, jaded, citified Californian - worse, a Californian from Los Angeles. Our first conversation, if it could be called that, was all small talk; "oh, what a wonderful guesthouse" and "Why in the world are you renting it to perfect strangers?" (not my business) and "We are so happy to be back in our favorite place!" - as if we didn't have another favorite place or two.
As our attitudes tempered, our senses heightened and what we loved most about this place came into clear, pristine focus: transparent air - thin, dry, clean. An unavoidable sky, at times filled with clouds of all varieties and qualities - and sunsets like these:

That first dynamite sunset! We forgot about altitude, about attitude and everything else. We were here. We were lighthearted and content and ripe for adventure.
From that point our spirits lifted us into ethereal realms - we took off in all directions, not once turning back.

Then we returned home - a hard landing, a thud. But, home is home and it is where we thrive and survive, until that future time, when home is there and not here anymore.

Quote from Willa Cather (1873-1947), U.S. novelist. Death Comes for the Archbishop, book VII, ch. IV (1927). The archbishop and an Indian guide travel through the desert toward Santa Fe.

''The sky was as full of motion and change as the desert beneath it was monotonous and still,—and there was so much sky, more than at sea, more than anywhere else in the world. The plain was there, under one's feet, but what one saw when one looked about was that brilliant blue world of stinging air and moving cloud. Even the mountains were mere ant-hills under it. Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky. The landscape one longed for when one was away, the thing all about one, the world one actually lived in, was the sky, the sky!''


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