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 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.