Dark nights come soon as the mountains hide the fading sunset light. Out here in our rural community, the only light comes from neighboring porches and the visible moon. At 5pm last night, already pitch night, we started down our driveway, and quickly noticed deer in our way. A few were in the drive, a few by the fence, and as we slowly drove down, in awe we noticed even more. Filling our pasture, were the silhouettes of the herd. Their long ears perked up, the antlers still, and their white tails shining in what little light was out. They all stopped to watch us, and we stopped to see them. Then we continued along our road to see even more. It was one of those magical moments, when you are reminded that we live among wild herds, and that the countryside we love living in, is home to creatures that wait until dark falls to come out. It felt like we were witnessing a secret of the night.

Our purpose for going into town was to visit the annual Lighting Ledoux celebration. Ledoux Street is home to galleries and museums, and on this night the glowing farolitos are set out and lit for the first time. Galleries stay open late, offering cider and cookies, and many light bonfires in their yards, so that people can stop, sit and chat by a fire. The smell of pinon burning, the flicker of the lights and the coldness of the fresh air. 

This is a  Taos tradition which I hadn't gotten to experience yet. Even though I'm still uncomfortable and need to sit, often, it was something I didn't want to miss this year. We had fun, stopping many times to chat with friends also walking the street.

Snow has been falling on the high peaks, but for us in the foothills, we've mostly had rain rather than snow. The rain brings out the brightness in the browns & golds. 

Recovery has gone well, though I've been frustrated many times. Overall though, I've improved and continue to do so. It feels like an accomplishment that I can mostly bend over and that I can walk around without feeling so fragile and unstable. 

I've noticed that my emotions on the tipping edge. Feeling like crying comes easily. This experience has changed the way I view what life is, and what life can be. And it has further cemented the closeness and love I have in my partner. I look at the foothills and mountains, and I have a desire to climb them. And my goal in the next year is to regain my strength, and more so. I want my body to feel strong with each step, not just for climbing mountains but for encountering life, living and the challenges in them. 

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