Fly With The Mourning Dove will be released soon
Monday, September 04, 2006 2:12:00 PM
by Velda E Brotherton
|Creative Non-Fiction story about life on a homestead in New Mexico after WW I. The true story of a family's struggles to homestead in the high desert country.
Fly With The Mourning Dove
by Velda Brotherton
In this, my ninetieth year, Iíve returned once again to the
New Mexico ranch Iíll forever call home. To this day, I get a
thrill out of topping the hill between the sagebrush flats and
the Tusas River valley. In the early light of dawn, the adobe
house waits in the shadows far below, and I hurry to reach it,
the carís tires clattering over the wooden bridge that spans the
Tusas river. I park, get out and move through the yard. Over the
Sangre de Cristos, the sky is splashed with a brilliant glow that
spreads crimson over the mountains. In my valley the darkness
retreats, stirs a breeze that touches my cheek.
If I turn from the rising sun, quickly and without warning,
I see those whoíve left me behindóMom and Pop, my one and only
love Calvin and our precious Ann. The shimmering morning light
offers them, real and alive, their laughter echoing across the
San Juans far to the west. A high desert painting where shades of
ochre contrast sharply with dense umbers.
The mournful song of the doves and the chatter of swallows
swooping in to deposit small dabs of mud beneath the eaves of the
stucco house, speak of another time. A time when my world was
young and filled with hope.
Every spring I come home to cook my breakfast on the wood
cookstove and eat on the porch and watch the elk drink from the
snow melt of the river. Drawn back year after year by forever
memories, leaving behind that little tin can of a trailer down in
Espanola for sanctuary at the only place Iíve ever called home.
Now a deserted ranch where no one but ghosts live. Where cattle
graze the high pastures, raising their heads to glimpse spirit
riders as they pass.
The sun climbs higher, the sloping porch roof casts a cool
shadow that makes me hug myself and shiver. I breathe in the
fragrance of desert air, spiced with pinon smoke from the
cookstove and the spring blooming chamisa, the sage and blue-
balled juniper. And remember the beginning.