The evenings in New Mexico are spectacular.....The whole of the western sky seems to be
on fire with a sunset rich in oranges and reds, with just the faintest hint of pinks and blues,
topping it off is a wash of purple........I've taken 2 and a half lines and yet I have yet to touch
on the essential elements of the high altitude (5,000+ feet) sunset. How could I? I am,
after all, not drawing on beauty that is right outside my window......I speak from 30 year old
memories........ One day, I shall write of such sunsets as they are seen outside my own
window. I'm afraid that I took them for granted when I was there........
It is easy to get lost in the mind numbing beauty of such sights....A sunset, there, is, after all,
no small matter. It takes up one third of the sky. In its last moments before the inky blackness
of night claims its whole domain, there is the orange-red afterglow to remind us of the beauty
that has been.
For the people who shake their heads and remind me that "You can't go home again" To
some extent, I must agree......My last sojourn on the Texas Gulf Coast was an unmitigated
disaster.......Between Mary's death and Hurricanes I have little but bad memories.
Albuquerque is the place my heart calls home........No matter what bungling bureaucrats
in Texas say. This, God Willing, will be my last move......Fatalist? Not in the least!
Who would want to live outside the range of their family's visits.......Perhaps I will even
have great-grandchildren, one day......I'll spoil them rotten, of course!
I remember, one trip north from Ana-Beth's home to Dulce via Cuba, New Mexico.
There was a strange procession of men and women, plainly dressed walking besides
the highway.......I glanced through the rear view mirror and asked Mary who they might
be......She knew, of course, and proclaimed them to be "Penitents" Priests and Nuns
re-assigned to lonely lives of prayers and fasting because of failures to live up to
the demands of their calling...........It was a lonely and silent group, but in this little place
and time, I guessed that God Himself had put them as close to heaven as He could.
What better place? There, in the wilderness, surrounded by God's beauty, and yet,
somehow not quite in touch with paradise, yet. It seems appropriate, somehow.
The loads of guilt they carry might seem lighter with the promise of ultimate redemption
within plain sight.
Am I then a Penitent, as well? Perhaps in my own way.....More likely, I am more or less
like an old car that has languished in a hostile northern junkyard for 5 years......I have
passed my time feeling neither great pain or great joy........Now, I am being put back on
the road again, not a classic by any means, but I will experience all the joys and anguish
of being alive, again.......and as I hold my 5 foot 11 3/4" blue eyed blonde love close to me,
I will know, first hand, the healing properties God has given the western desert, and I
will rejoice in His Love.
Jerry B. Moseley 8/24/10