Monday, October 8, 2012

God Told Me

"Pedernal is my favorite mountain," the famous painter, Georgia O'Keefe, once said.

Robb Carter, Ghost Ranch guide
"God told me if I painted it often enough, I could have it." 

O'Keefe instantly fell in love with
New Mexico when she first
visited, in 1917. Eventually, she made northern New Mexico her 
permanent home.

My first visit was 18 years ago,
and I have been returning on and off with a love and fascination for the land that develops with increased potency,
each time I

Georgia O'Keefe's small adobe on 8 acres at Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu', New Mexico

 Riding horseback among cliffs and painted desert flats, we curve around cactus and delicately cross arroyos where sands and gravels are left behind in abandoned river channels.

Earth dirt and pastel-colored shales; gypsum and limestone cover embedded dinosaur fossils, millions of years old.

Named Ghost Ranch; this is a place of bones.

Whose bones?

The skulls of dead steer, wrangled in the searing

Or the bones of the legendary red-haired,
six foot tall "earth babies" that howl late 
into the night?

The ghosts of men fill these canyons.  

Men killed in battles between sheep and 
cattle ranchers...

and outlaw livestock thieves fighting over
a buried pot of gold.

Flat topped mesas, stones that shine at sunset, colors of an autumn bloom...

...the fragile high desert, mountains and mesas are all sacred places to those
who love this precious land.



  1. So lovely. Wonderful writing and pics. Glad u shared!

  2. Thanks, Dawn. I heard Kirk sold off all the horses. It was sure fun riding with Grandpa so many years ago.

  3. Oh Monica, this makes me long to visit New Mexico again. Thanks for the lovely photos and inspiration.

  4. The sky was so blue...every day! You can tell I'm from Alaska, where the light is beginning to fade. Going into a new phase, I need a shot of sunshine to keep me going.

  5. Lovely, Monica. I feel so connected with the desert southwest, too. Like my bones remember the earth there.

  6. Yes, I feel it deep in my marrow! Kathy; are you feeding your blog through FB? Haven't seen it there yet.

  7. I'm feeding it through my Lake Superior Spirit FB site, Monica. Haven't written anything in it for about 10 days, though. Maybe tomorrow!