It took me a whole day to pack for my trip to Taos. The dogs started to become curious when the suitcase appeared on the living room floor, opened, and piles of underthings and jammies began to fill its emptiness.
Roscoe decided it was a nice spot to sleep and disrupted the packing process; further piles were neatly stacked on the table so as not to disturb his slumber. He nested before he settled down, messing the neatly folded garments into a comfortable nest.
Daisy was not as amused and sulked on her bed keeping a watchful eye on my every movement. She was the one I worried most about. I had dreamt she had died while I was gone a few nights before, and a border collie came to me to tell me.
Departure day came early, leaving at 6 am, I had been awake sine 3, tossing and turning with anxiety of the travel. I was tired, and needed coffee to stimulate my brain into getting through the motions.
LAX was crowded, and we pulled into terminal 5, cars honked in frustration, traffic cops gesticulated wildly moving cars in and out like a ballet rehersal. We finally pulled over to the curb embracing a farewell, the smell of exhaust and those weary travelers who were getting their first smoke on as they exited the terminal filled my nostrils; I hurried inside to avoid this smell, I already missed my dogs.
Finding the TSA line was a bit complicated, I inquired to the couple in front of me if I was in the correct line, “Are you checking bags?” they asked.
“No” I replied.
“Then you are in the right line”, they said as they stared judgmentally at my rolling bag and other fairly large carry on.
The line moved quickly. There was a scent dog working the line, in and around he moved with his police handler. He was brown, looked like a cross between a lab and a whippet, with his handsome working dog vest. I was wondering what he was sniffing for. At that point I was more worried about the salve I had thoroughly rubbed my shoulder with a that morning than the size of my bags, relived I left the jar at home and did not pack it for pain. He passed me by, maybe he was looking for explosives.
It had snowed the day before and as I drove from the Alburqurque airport into Santa Fe there was still snow, along the side of the road and in the wells of the trees that were shaded from the bright sun. Clouds roamed the sky as if looking for the right spot.
As I began my ascent into Taos which is at over 7000 feet, the mountains came into view, majestic and welcoming. I teared up as they appeared, like a lost lover that had once caressed me and held me in the night, gone from my life yet I can still feel their touch.
Coming back to the mountains was always an emotional experience, after living in them, they were a part of me, they sustained my being. I once told a man that I was married to my mountains and I would never leave them. Life changes, and sometimes those decisions are not ours to make, so perhaps not regret, but sadness and yearning for that lover who embraced my total being.
And here I was back in the mountains, feeling coddled and loved once again by their presence. Watching over me as I sleep soundly.