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Somewhere in New Mexico

I cannot explain myself to you – nor to me for that matter. But I can tell you, the routine of a life repeated endlessly day after day is now a prison and I cannot settle for that.

Maybe there’s too much tumbleweed in my blood.

Southeastern New Mexico is warm this time of year and the lights of Las Cruces sparkle in the distance - I can just make out the dry Rio Grande and an expanse of farmland and orchards along her banks. A green ribbon in stark contrast to this wasteland of thorns and deadwood we ride.

I tip my head forward then back to the right again avoiding the wind as it blows and eventually we come upon an old water line and a concrete trough, abandoned and empty. I rein the horse around and we follow the empty water line to a narrow drag; the ghost of an old ranch road.

And there we turn north, then to the west, cutting across and around the rise and fall of sand and back towards camp. The horse weaves his way around scrub brush and mesquite as the dogs run aside and ahead. I drop my stirrups and relax, sinking into the warmth of the afternoon.

From here I can see the Sierra Juarez yet this desert knows no boundaries and no walls - instead it flows upward like a river, moving from the Chihuahuan to the Sonoran. From the Sonoran to the Mohave. From the Mohave to the Great Basin.

Yuccas and mesquites give way to barrel cactus and Saguaro, Joshua Trees, and finally sagebrush held together by rocks, boulders, and jagged edges. These things are the backbone of this land.

But here on the mesa the rocks are few and far between and it is quiet today and in that quiet I hear voices, embedded in my mind like broken thorns. Voices from the past competing with the future - itself a voice not yet rooted but only seeded. One I have only begun to breathe in, in fact.

Perhaps I wouldn’t be here otherwise.

Close to camp now the young dog darts off after some jackrabbit somewhere and the horse pauses for a minute turning his head to watch before moving on. He navigates this maze of rolling earth and desert grass as if born here.

I glance up to the sound of migrating geese, a V-shaped skein ever-shifting and then righting itself again and I think they are early this year.


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