The rhythmic sounds of snoring lap the cold air of the yurt like waves on the beach. One after another methodically escapes Piper’s stopped up nose.
I love the sound. It means the beautiful soul I was given to love is close by.
We found ourselves navigating the backroads of New Mexico yesterday, following explicit written directions from our AirBNB hostess on how to find our weekend adventure lodging.
There is no cell phone service out here, so our GPS is useless.
The roads were narrow and curvy as we drove deeper and deeper into the mountains. The smell of pine mixed with a cold rain was what heaven must smell like.
It’s a good thing we packed layers of clothing and coats for our weekend adventure trip. There is snow on the mountains around us and the temperature is around 40°. As night approaches it will dip even lower. ￼
We turned off the paved road onto a private dirt road and down a steep, muddy path leading to our primitive accommodations. We had no idea what to expect, and as we were greeted by our hostess, we were immediately put at ease. She was very natural. She was warm and friendly. Like an old friend, she offered her hand to me...seemingly unaware of the health crisis in the country. I reached for it and grasped it tightly.
Connection. It is at my very core and she met me there with a single gesture. I was at total peace.
She began the tour with showing us the outdoor kitchen. I had absolutely no intentions of cooking while I was here. But in the slight case I did, we were told that one section was rodent free because it is built completely off the ground, and one section of cupboards “needed to be wiped out before using” due to the fact that rodents share the space at their leisure.
Next to the outdoor kitchen was the privy. When I booked this hidden gem I did not realize we would be facing the wild rodents and coyotes if we needed a restroom during the night. Truth is, that might have made me choose differently, so I am glad I missed that fact. I feel this place is a Divine Appointment.
For those of you who are not familiar with a compost toilet, you would be joining the club with me. But the fact that there is a bucket of moss and a handy scoop nestled in the top of it to “cover your business” is a clue on how this works. It brings a whole new meaning of “back to nature” for me.
Next to the compost toilet was an antique cast-iron claw foot tub and I immediately noticed the floor of the makeshift bathroom was dirt, covered with pebbles and a few slabs of limestone. It was primitive, yet sufficient, and all wrapped up in a heavenly package of serene.
The chickens and roosters were already tucked into their safe beds for the night. Sitting on the porch steps was a metal bucket filled with all colors and sizes of eggs. Breakfast, she told us.
We entered the circular living quarters with its wooden plank floors and old wood burning stove off to the left. A pile of kindling and split wood waited for the Girl Scout skills that neither Piper or I possess. We better learn fast or we are in for a cold night.
After many attempts and almost using up all the kindling, the fire roared and the cold air turned toasty. The sound of thunder rumbled over the mountaintops and the rain splattering on the plastic roof was mesmerizing.
We giggled. We got a bit silly. Piper headed to the bathtub and I drifted off to sleep, waiting for the coyotes to begin their evening song.
I think the rain must have had them hunkered down somewhere because the night was quiet other than the weather.
Somewhere in the night, the fire extinguished and the thought of getting out from under the down comforter seemed impossible. I pulled the cover over my head and let my breath warm my cold cheeks. I hope Piper is warm enough. I uncover myself and pull the blankets up to her chin. That’s better.
Mustering up the courage to escape the warmth of the bed, I again attempt to find the fire starting skills I never learned, and after about twenty minutes of crumpling papers and building kindling “teepees” I hear the popping and crackling of sustained fire. Warmth is coming.
The roosters say a cock-a-doodle-doo to my stirring. And though it’s still dark outside, I know morning is close by and I will have another opportunity to live, love, laugh and explore this thing called “life.”
I am reaching for it.
All of it.
Life, that is.
And just like my hostess reached for my hand and connected our souls together in a brief moment in time, I’m stretching mine out towards this moment.
This moment is all I am guaranteed.
Paula Estelle Jackson. Written 3-14-2020 somewhere between Santa Fe and Taos in a little yurt on a slice of heaven.
HUMOR-IST (is that a word?) I can find and expel (the word expel makes me think of passing gas) humor in most moments of life