Serious Daring

Seven years ago today, Aug. 15, we landed in Taos after a 2,000-mile drive.

Our inspiration: We didn’t want to continue what we were doing for the next 10 years. Why not move from Western Massachusetts to Taos? Deep history. Three cultures. Creative energy. Sunshine in the winter. 

Our adventure required adjustments. Hank and I had money from selling our house but no jobs. We were used to living at 1,000 feet. Now we were at 7,200. We knew a total of four people.

Before I left, my co-workers at the newspaper in Northampton gave me a silver bracelet with this engraving: ALL SERIOUS DARING STARTS FROM WITHIN — EUDORA WELTY. I wore it every day for months to remind me. I’ve started wearing it again.

So what has happened?

Two daughters are married, and most recently we have a granddaughter. Our children are no longer children but young adults finding their way in the world.

We bought land with a view of the town, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the sage-filled mesa. We built a small, passive solar house of pumice-crete, a material I never heard of until I moved here.

I worked first at a gallery, did freelance for the local paper, then was hired as its copy editor, and for the past five years, its managing editor. As the editor I aim to give our readers information so they can make sound decisions about their community. Sometimes people don’t like that.

I’ve written three novels. Two are for young readers — The Twin Jinn series. I am working on the fourth. I let go of one agent and found another who says it’s a matter of finding the right editor of the right publishing house at the right time. I believe him.

I have read countless books and loved many of them. Ditto on the art.

I am used to thinner air and drier conditions.

I have a robust garden I managed to build from horrible soil.

Hank has replaced half of our furniture with wonderful pieces he has created.

I’ve become accustomed to hearing coyotes even during the day, seeing bird of prey circling the mesa and tarantulas.

I can’t even count the number of people we now know in Taos.