Mirage

I love it when I read something that stays with me. An image. Something unique and different, something I’ve never heard of or read about, but I absorb the words and my mind creates a visual and it becomes part of me and I smile every time I recall it and I want to experience it, too. That happened a few days ago, while I was reading Jeannette Walls’ Half Broke Horses.

The family had just moved to a ranch in the Hondo Valley, south of the Capitan Mountains in New Mexico.

“The next day, while we were unpacking, Dad hollered for us to come outside. I’d never heard him so excited. We ran out the door, and Dad was standing in the yard, pointing up at the sky. There, floating in the air above the horizon, was an upside-down town. You could see the low, flat stores, the adobe church, the horses tied to the hitching posts, and the people walking in the streets.

We all stared slack-jawed, and Lupe made a sign of the cross. It wasn’t a miracle, Dad said, it was a mirage, a mirage of Tinnie, the town about six miles away. To me, the mirage seemed nothing short of a miracle. It was huge, taking up a big hunk of the sky, and I was mesmerized watching those upside-down people silently walking through those upside-down streets.

We all stood staring at the mirage for the longest time, and then it got all fuzzy and faded until it finally disappeared.”

Isn’t that nice? Just lovely. And I won’t ever forget that picture.

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