We are the birds of Concho, Arizona. We returned on April 3rd to find that the hills had so much wind that our mouths quickly filled with sand. Roaming dogs sound off in the background. The mood then shoots away into the rising roads. Federal signs for highway consumption give direction with numbers, but it is still hard to figure out where we are. Bill knows; I don’t. The sun; like a God, magnifies in the car and I hold his hand. Now, during the drive to Escudilla Mountain, I get quiet. The latitude lulls me into active meditation. I am here but I am in the dream as well. The full moon in New York City had in the past stopped me in my steps. It pulled me into it as the thinking of its power to all humans who saw it above, and I would numb out on the realization that every human on this planet was impacted by the moon.
But, not here in Apache County: This is a visit to a forgotten land that remains exquisite in its mountainous chippings and shadowed cliffs. We hang onto the road before us as the movie of historical events from time and nature delivers delicious trees and suspicious elk. There is a hollow to the mountains. You want to rest your shoulder in its fur. You want to run toward the mountain and run up it and hike without even one break for water even though it is 80 miles away.
Clouds have turned this desert on the mountain cold. On top of the plains looking toward the sky, a hole appears and the sun funnels through. The tomahawks and their spirits – the nails that pained with waking spots of day light – gives shape to the mirage. I am cold in the heat. We fly into the air with the visions in panorama and surround sound. When we stop the car we step into dirt. Our feet sink into mud that from the car looks like marble. A contrast in dimension that changes color according to distance; up close, everything changes. We want the nest. We want each other. The plan of our dream unfolds and we buy land together. We want more land we want to buy all the land on the street and in front of us and behind us. We want the lots with broken shacks and broken cement. We want the lost places where someone else had a dream and an outhouse: Where the spurs are buried from wandering Mexicans who saw Concho as not half empty but half full as the Escudilla Mountain was named after that vision of a filled cup for eating. We will grow lavender and nurture the Juniper bushes that weep from fungus. We will discover grape vines and sweep cactus from our path.
We get a mid morning start and the snow begins just as we pull out of the driveway. A Christmas card view unfolds in the White Mountains. Bill loves to look at the woods. He notes how beautiful they are. It is a no passing zone. He points out a ravine below to the right and then Cedar Canyon. The snow in the valley and mountains is endless. We are traveling on 77 south. A world of snow and mountains stare back at us. A walk out from the car after we park on the side of the road; the soft ground and thorny bushes reveal themselves. I have turned the inside of my feeling stomach over to him. I abandon a part of me and who I am on a road toward a mystical future; on board for a changed life in the tiny spot of a snowflake and the broad future of a boulder.
Salt River Canyon is around us. Rocks and trees provide a curtain for the snow: Knuckles and implants of seeds that nestle into us a new life. An Apache cement mount with graffiti for an Apache head that I want to stare at forever. I am out of my body with experience. Everything turns into something else.
Today, we bought our first acre of land in Concho as a married couple. The 2 lots are wild with cactus and juniper bushes; sticky thorns attach to our clothes like splinters lost in the memory of a horses hoof. Bill holds my hand. We take chairs out of the car and sit in the wind and the dust and share a diet coke. I want to move in right now. I want to live on the land as it is