I wrote "La Jinete" about 2005 in an attempt to describe my kindred-ship to this Sonoran Desert and her inhabitants. Far more than merely a place to build a house with a view, the desert is a living thing who moves into your dwelling and your soul, without permission. One can not live here and be oblivious to her omnipresence. She demands attention and, if not given, she will spit you out. Or worse.
La Jinete is an unfinished work I pick away at as the years pass. There is so much to impart, it may never be all said.
I've been out here since I can remember, since time began it seems
It's the place where my soul finds comfort, here where only God can intervene
Life in the desert trims up your soul, for she's exacting, precise and honest
Lie to her or your own heart, she'll leave you dead. That's a promise.
Don't recall when I came here, for I'm a part of this desert landscape
She's blended me in with the quartz and the sand, for me there is no escape
As wild as the wind in the monsoon, soft as the coos of a babe
Her breath is my life and my solace, her songbirds my hearts serenade
She keeps me here enchanted with the gifts she leaves at my door
She showed me my place in a story, a magical piece of lore
Of spirits unfettered, unconquered, of fierce, unshakeable hearts
Courage, mettle and nerve, and a souls' unbreachable ramparts
I'll tell you that story if you'll hear it. It will take a measure of time
And, you have to hold on tight, for the ride's is over ground that's unkind
But, perhaps you'll understand then, why this place holds my soul and my heart
Just why I stay out here in the desert, in my story, to you I'll impart
Pale blue mists weave and prowl through the pleats of the mesa's skirt
No animals stir, no morning birds sing in my disturbingly silent desert
Then, gently at first, moving up thru the earth... a barely perceptible tremble
Now, stronger, then louder, it soon overwhelms with a pounding, ear filling rumble
My curious eyes scan the horizon for the source of this frightful rampage
Then, they're on me, flinging hot breath and foam as they burst thru the silver sage
They snort and squeal at the sudden stop, bumping, rearing, teeth bared
But, they dare not run past their mistress, who's astride the blood bay mare
The wind lifts her hair as she smiles, and I am breathless to realize
How can it be? She is I, I am her! Those lucid green orbs are mine eyes!
She looks in my face as her horse dances there, her face so calm and serene
And she peers in my soul with a knowing so old, discerning, carving and keen
Then, a leather gloved hand sweeps from her cloak to the obedient herd in her wake
She nods at me and signals a mare who moves forward for me to take,
I rise and drift through the glorious herd of horses this bold woman leads
She watches me, knowing my heart, that her very command I will heed.
I swing aboard a freckled grey back and grasp a handful of mane,
We move out on the breeze of a winters dawn ore a rugged and ancient terrain
My heart is bursting with wonder, like a child I'm carefree and wide eyed
My soul is awakened, my spirit alive as we gallop along side by side
Flying thru sage and cactus, bearing south we gather more speed
Then turn east to the Chiricahuas, a most humbling land indeed
(C) Nancy Elliott Music and Sonoran Desert Sage Pub 2005
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