Home, a Tarantula

A tarantula crossed our path as we hiked up to Dripping Springs. As big as a hand, and furry as a caterpillar. Surprisingly it was just trudging along. I actually found myself thinking it was kind of cute. There was a dead pair of black widows stuck in a presentation case that looked like the real nightmares.

I recently read an article from a marine biologist about great white sharks, praising their importance to the ecosystem and their misunderstood, serene nature. If there's an animal that strikes more ironclad terror into my heart than a great white shark, I have yet to find it. All my life I've thought that if I ever have to face one animal, let it not be a great white shark. I would've felt similarly about tarantulas until I met this fellow on a gravel path in the Organ Mountains.
Something about the sky in New Mexico makes me feel calm, at home. The sunset, painting the mountains rose-red, then purple, then charcoal. The sunrise "check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light”. It's ironic, because at night you can see further away from home than anywhere else I've been. You can lie on your back, a fridge magnet stuck to earth, and watch the sky reveal itself as simply a view of the rest of everything. I saw the Andromeda galaxy, ghostly, with my own eyes. It is two and a half million light-years away. And yet, it makes me feel at home.
Home is mutable, though; where you've settled down; a familiar place; where you were raised; nature; the arms of your partner; where your family lives; an imaginary place. These can all be a home. Home can be a song, a smell, the shape of someone, the sound of the road. It can be the taste of a meal, a pet, or a stuffed animal. It can even be a belief, a ritual, a book.

I felt home in the sky in Las Cruces. I'm also going home to the Northwest, but I'm always home with you.