Land of Enchantment (part Taos)

God is so huge and His touch so tender that I see God’s hand just about everywhere I look, every single day.

But changing my scenery always makes me open my eyes just a little wider to His wonders and my own tiny heart. The Land of Enchantment was my new horizon a few weeks ago and I'm still wide-eyed over her.

I do love a good rusty, riveted bridge that has seen a lot of travels and this one low over the Rio Grande had stories to tell. We went down to the river beneath this bridge and chose a few stones from the cold brew water to take home. I chose two white ones and two that reminded me of speckled bird eggs. Only when I was back home, did I realize I had chosen four stones of remembrance.

My last day at her cabin, Leslie and I headed for Taos. I was intrigued by the Rio Grande Gorge she had pointed out on our drive from Albuquerque to Red River. I had a secret hankering for a great iced coffee. She had little shops to show me and we both wanted to visit the studios of her favorite artisans.

First stop, the bridge across the Rio Grande Gorge. Two things happened here that mark the spot. Out of the blue as big as the enchanted sky, we got a message from Mary, our other college roommate and proud taffeta wearing girl. She had just taken her youngest daughter to her first day of college and thought of us way back when. When we all lived together at the University of Texas at Austin, first in the the Sweatbox (hot!) and then the Nanner Manor (yellow!). We always named the places we lived and the cars we drove, just what they were. Leslie had a red-orange Subaru wagon named Felix (the wonderful Cat) and I drove an ironclad Delta 88 dubbed the White Whale.

This is us circa 1983. I've said it before and I should not have to repeat myself. But y'all, "High waisted shorts rule!"

Back to 2015 at the Rio Grande Gorge, we heard from a Mom Heart friend worried for her sick baby. Leslie and I prayed together on the spot, at the center span of the bridge over the gorge 800 feet below. Maybe that is why I love bridges. If we listen, they have stories to tell. Besides being feats of engineering, they span and cross and hang over great deep divides; like my faith, like Jesus.

First stop in Taos was the Overland Sheepskin Co. where we touched everything like little children, buttery leathers and boots lined with shearling. We lunched outside in a field of wildflowers, butterflies and copper wind sculptures spinning against the mountain backdrop. We made point to take it slow, to savor those popcorn clouds. Contrary to life back home, we weren't in any hurry. We lingered over iced tea and watched the wind work her magic.

Next stop was to meet Marion Moore of Taos Tin Works, a metal artist who pierces sheets of copper and tin, each hole punched by hand! She creates pressed metal mirror frames and light fixtures that shine in tiny points of starburst light. Leslie said there's a spot at the end of her hallway back home just perfect for one of Marion's tin sconces. New light in your home is always a good dream. We followed Marion, in her well-worn leather boots peeking over the top of her knee, back into her workshop while she put the soldering touches on a stack of tin sconces.

Meet woodblock artist Angie Coleman. Here is the beauty at her work table. These colors will become layers in the press. The one she was working on while she spoke to us had fourteen layers of color individually applied. She was warm and welcomed us right into her work in progress, beauty and mess of color singing on her wood table.

She works right along the window wall of her gallery with a view of the sky.

I wanted to be like her in this, without my life all cleaned up and worked out before you come to visit, brave enough to invite you into my beautiful mess. I'm not always sure my own mess is beautiful, but that's henchman talk and well expose them later.

I have to show you her latest painting still on the easel. But my favorite sight was her original sketch of what she saw out in the field. See it on the floor below? She brings sketches back to her studio to paint the scene and cut the wood block.

I brought home Angie Coleman's "Mountain Trail Aspens" to grace my writing table.

I will look at this and remember a day in Taos, a fourteen layered day of friendship, bridges, a cold brew riverbed, stones of remembrance, the Rio Grande Gorge, a middle bridge prayer, Marion, her boots, hand pierced copper & tin, dreams of light, Angie, her working table of colors, raw sketches and copper garden flowers whirring in the wind. All beauty in the making. All stocking the pond. All filling up my reservoir from where a poem will surely spring. I feel the bubbles already.