Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thankful for Tracks in the Snow

It snowed all night. It sparkled like fallen stars under the moon. This morning I woke up and noticed we had visitors over the night. Dog or coyote tracks on the deck but definitely the four legged kind of visitor.  The dogs usually follow a path from the front of the property where it tends to be more level. The coyotes come from below the ridge. So off went to follow the tracks in the fresh snow.

The sun was still coming up and the clouds were still low. The silent gifts of living on this sacred land are abundant and I am thankful in this moment.

We followed the tracks and it looks like three of them all about the same size went off the side of the deck. They seemed to lead down to the small arroyo so we continued to climb down below the house.

Up and down over the ridge rocks. The path seemed to be leading us to the lower arroyo at the base of the land. 

I was slower than my four legged companion. He sniffed the tracks, left his mark and was in a hurry to find the owners. I on the other hand stopped here and there to get lost in the big blue sky that was emerging from behind the cloudy morning light. 

I couldn't help stopping to take a moment to meditate on the amazing New Mexico blue sky. A sky that inspires poets, artists, and storytellers. What a beautiful contrast to the grandmother piƱon and pines all dressed up in snow. 

I stopped to listen to the wind. Like an approaching ocean wave it reached a crescendo as it passed over me. The wind crossing over the branches takes the snow as a partner and they dance over me. They spiral and swoop up and down and bits of tiny powdery snow falls on my face like a soft scarf.

We both stop to quench our thirst with a bite of fresh clean snow. I notice that the trees provide individual servings like tiny snow cones. I stop, lean over, and hands free enjoy the sweet clean tasting shaved ice. 

Quincy likes his directly in front of wherever he might be standing. He loves the snow and like child and puppy we explore our winter wonderland with giggles and a game of chase before heading back to our mission.

Along the way we spot large snow rabbit tracks like so many we often see after a snow. This time we also spot smaller tracks under the branches now made low by the weight of the snow. The four legged tracks we are following seem to cross with these and I wonder if they met as the snow was falling or if they traveled this wooded highway at different times. Just as we are now.

We followed the tracks for awhile and saw how they led back up the other side of the ridge. At this point I decided to turn back and I discover I am not sure what direction to take. The snow laid out like a new blanket on things has a way of making it all seem like a new place. I search for familiar rocks and trees to figure out my location or at least feel like I know where I am headed. 

I see the mountains and look around and begin to recognize boulders now peeking out from the melting snow. I know I am at the edge of the arroyo on the side of the property. Its where the large creek bed, the one I call the chocolate river during the monsoon rains, wraps around the land. 

The house sits on a rock ridge above a series of small arroyos that surround the land on three sides making our winter wonderland a peninsula of sorts in the woods. All this surrounded by magical views of mesas and mountains.

Untouched paths and trails in pristine snow tell the story of who and what traveled this space. As the sun begins to melt the snow I know our tracks like all the others will melt into the land and be a part of yet another snow story. Again I stop to be thankful.

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