“strung like jewels in the book of my life”

morning mountains

These are the mountains I’ve seen every morning from the balcony by my bed in Baja. We didn’t drive into them but they were always there, mauve at dawn, gilded at dusk. Imagine the sound of the surf. That’s been a constant too. This is our last morning in Mexico and tonight we’ll be sleeping in Richmond; tomorrow we’ll be home.

Last night we went to the Pizzeria el Potrero for dinner. Potrero means paddock and you drive down a dusty road off the highway at Pescadero until you see the trees strung with lights in a fenced paddock  that formerly held horses. A wood-fired oven, tables set under the trees, a few seating areas off to the side where you could linger after a meal, and maybe the best of these were the chairs around a laid fire. By the time we had eaten our delicious pizzas and pastas, had finished our wine, the fire was blazing. What’s the wood, we asked the owner, and he told us it was pine. I was reminded of the pinyon pine fires in our room in Taos in 2014, a scent that I carried home in my sweaters. Last night we sat by the fire and talked under the stars and when we got in the truck to drive back, we all smelled of pine smoke.

So many things to remember, to polish with memory until they can be strung like jewels in the book of my life. Humpback whales in the distance as we sat on a white beach near Todos Santos, dolphins following the shore when Sharon and I walked up the big hill near her home, the curl of waves around my legs as I waded in the surf, the sand glittering with flecks of gold. Bougainvillea everywhere (and I am sort of debating wrapping some cuttings in damp paper to bring back, sprigs of orange and peach and magenta and soft pink), a tiny blue morning glory with succulent leaves, a bigger one cascading over a fence, the tiny geckos coming out from under the beams over the terrace at night, the pair of hooded orioles in the palms by where we drink our coffee, Costa’s hummingbirds with their purple mantles, and the Harris’s hawk that floated over the cardons.

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