Half a Mile from Taos Pueblo
by Ron Hobbs, Oct 26, 2016
Walking a dirt road about a half mile from the Taos Pueblo I happened to meet an old man who lived there and was walking home. I had a paper bag with two chocolate covered donuts in it, so I offered him one.
As we walked we bit at the sweet treats and talked about one thing and another. But you know how it is when you look ahead of you on a long stretch of road in hot summer and you see the undulations of heat flowing horizontally in the distance? Well I was seeing that and, even though we spoke only of casual matters, I was sensing something from him that was of a similar flavor.
After a good spell we stopped in the middle of the road and talked a little bit more about nothing in particular. We didn't talk likkity-split as strangers might in a shopping mall. The rhythms were different; there were long pauses that came so easily. We didn't even say good-bye or nice to meet you. He just continued on towards the pueblo and I took one of the spurs in the road.
Eventually I came to a large rock and made a sitting place of it. And I was just sitting there like anybody might be sitting on a rock except that I wasn't thinking about anything. Then suddenly I got panicky! The mind got noisy with thought; it wanted to make noise, to be tickled, to have opinions and stuff.
I tried to get back to that place of quiet. I almost made it. A lizard came out from under a nearby rock and looked at me. I looked at the lizard, and I knew he was seeing me, knowing me. So I looked at him again, and he looked at me again. And then I got carried away in the mind and started thinking about how beautiful the moment was—and then the lizard darted away.