Thursday, March 6, 2014

Restless Spirit

Restless Spirit

What is this restlessness in me? I feel so unsettled as if I am not where I am supposed to be…

When this feeling hits me, as it frequently does, one thing invades my every thought…move to New Mexico.

Move? Again? Really?

After my last move, which was somewhere around my fortieth move in my life of forty-seven years, I swore I would never move again. When I posted a comment on Facebook about never moving again, a friend asked, “Not even to New Mexico?” I laughed about it and replied, “Ask me in three months!” I had hoped that moving back to Edmond after six months in northwestern Oklahoma would leave me feeling settled and happy. It didn’t.

I frequently post on Facebook that the mountains are calling me. I imagine that some people just roll their eyes and keep on scrolling. But the mountains do call to me. Not just any mountains. Taos Mountain. I see photos of the mountain and I feel the way Georgia O’Keeffe did about Pedernal. It is mine. It is home.
I have tried to understand this pull. I have tried to rationalize it away. I have tried to find every reason why moving to Taos is not a good idea. Yet, when this restlessness consumes me, the only thing that calms me is thinking of being in the high country desert, with a view of Taos Mountain standing like a holy guardian protecting those it has chosen.

There are other mountains that some would find more beautiful than the Sangre de Cristos, but none awaken such a passion in me. There are other areas of New Mexico that inspire me and excite me. But none call to me like Taos Mountain.

My dad likes to joke about my first ski trip to Taos when I was thirteen. He tells people that I told him I was going to find the “love of my life” there. What he doesn’t understand is that I did find the love of my life. But it wasn’t a boy, it was a mountain. That was my first trip there and I fell madly, deeply, passionately in love.
I often wonder if moving there would be a mistake. Would the magic disappear? Would I find myself restless even there? Or would I finally be at peace, feel at home?

I have traveled all of New Mexico except the northwest part. As I travel, I highlight my route on a New Mexico atlas. Each area has its own beauty, its own treasures, its own precious memories. As I travel, I wonder what it might be like to live in that particular part of the Land of Enchantment. I ask the locals lots of questions. But nothing feels like home to me. No place but Taos. It’s that feeling you get when you lie belly to belly with your soul mate. Home.

Two years ago on a solo trip to Taos, I got my one and only tattoo. It is the Zia sun symbol. It is on my left wrist and it means the world to me. It is a constant reminder of body, mind, spirit, and devotion to people. Somehow I feel that those four things might come into balance if I lived in Taos. I can’t seem to get anything right living here. My body is out of shape, my mind is a jumble, my spirit feels defeated, and I have no energy left for devotion to people. It seems as if I can’t get the peace of mind I find in New Mexico.

Most people would point out that when I am there, I am on vacation, so it is natural to have more peace of mind while there. But it is more than that. It is in the air, the light, the energy. There is something about Taos that cannot be explained if you don’t experience it for yourself. You either get it or you don’t. You either love it or you don’t. It accepts you or it doesn’t. For whatever reason, it has a hold on me, one that has yet to let go.

My daughter will graduate from high school this year. My son turns 21 and is already out on his own. Maybe the time to take the leap is coming soon. I have Facebook friends who live in Taos, but no one I actually know well. I would be moving there alone, leaving my friends and family behind. The thought should probably scare me, but it doesn’t. I have always been independent. I have always taken care of myself. And, I have always marched to the beat of a different drummer. Taos may be just what I have been looking for all these years. Maybe in Taos, my restless spirit will finally be at peace. It will finally be home.

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