I missed the sky. Not desperately, not completely knowingly, but in the way that you miss food when you were so busy you forgot to eat all day. The sky of the desert, the sky at the top of a mountain, is soul food. There is nothing like it, and you may not know that you were starving until it is spread out before you, and you have the sudden, overwhelming desire to attempt to consume the whole of it.
Living beneath the sky of the city, and living in the sky of the desert, is like living on two different planets. They are not the same sky, not the same moon, not the same color, stars, or sun. D.H. Lawrence claimed that Taos has the best sky in all the world. I can understand that statement now. The sunsets alone are qualifying. Forget the nightly arrival of the Milky Way and it's bazillions of glittery friends. The sunsets are an every day event. There is no 5 minute blot of orange haze here. The sky becomes every painting, and post card you've ever seen. People stop in the streets, locals compare them to others they have seen, people pull over on the sides of the road to take pictures even though they've got at least 20 others already. In Taos the sunset is impossible to miss, and when the night finally falls the darkness that follows is complete. With no light pollution and no smog, the inky blackness absorbs everything, and headlights go only half as far. There is nothing in the world to stand between you and the stars, which I swear to god, actually twinkle and shoot through the sky.
I missed the sky.
I missed the people. I missed the slowness, and the pervasive energy which tells your entire body to relax, release your shoulders, breathe, soften your tummy, and just be. I missed the people who were asking who knew when you'd be back, the five who stop you in the store to talk as if there is nowhere to be and nothing to do. I missed the ones who can stock the shelves while somehow capivating you with their work history. I missed the place where lawyers and engineers sling bacon at the diners, where chemists unpack boxes of flour for the shelves, and doctors prescribe massage therapy and hand out referrals to herbalists.
I missed Taos. We all did. By week four we had an epic list of the things which we all missed. Twelve hours in to our two day trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and we were so crushed by ugliness and unconcious people, that we were ready to cry.
It is good to be home.
Our population is going to triple for a Mumford & Sons concert (I have no idea who that is!) tomorrow, and we can't decide if we're going to park at a friends and gawk at the spectacle, or stay far far away, but Taos is going all out. New paint on the streets, stores open late, fairs and food carts, and main streets turned into sidewalks... it should be interesting.