On a morning, sharp with winter, fresh with cold, I rise and walk on mesa paths,
red with longing-mine, red with loving-mine.
In slivers of air, here and there, smells of sage come and go. But their memory always lingers.
Bluejays dart through juniper without even a hello. But ravens stop and chat.
From the tops of topmost branches, they say: one day, you’ll understand our conversation.
And it maddens me. By which I mean, it gladdens me beyond belief. Or rather, into it.
For I do believe.
I believe in the trinity of piñon, sage and juniper.
I believe in the holy ghosts that live in yellow plains, drained of green but not of life.
I believe in lavas that bind mesas so they do not yield, not easily, not yet.
I believe in rocks that I know by name but that don’t know me, not now, not yet.
(One day, they will.)
I believe in birdsong that persists through winter and heartsong that keeps the land beating through droughts, rains, snows, love, loss, betrayal.
I believe in immenseness, space and a spirit I have found again, by another name,
in another guise.
I believe. Finally, I believe.
Shebana Coelho is a writer and documentary producer. Her work has been broadcast on National Public Radio, The Discovery Channel, and BBC Radio Four. She received a 2007 Fulbright grant to Mongolia to experience and record life in nomadic communities. Shebana was born in Bombay, India and is currently living in geographical limbo.