In this, the last of 3 posts about Wally, a Mexican-American friend of mine while I attended New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico in 1968 and 69. I knew he was a neat guy alright, but I did not yet know where he gained his nourishment, where his roots were. In my short visit to his home in Cuba, New Mexico, I found out. I cherish the memory. Now, in this third and last post about the weekend, shall we continue (sticking with the tree metaphor) where we left off from my last post on what we can learn from Wally:
I must tell you about the bed. Have you ever experienced a massive feather mattress with multiple feather quilts lying on top? I hadn’t. We climbed in and sank, only to be swallowed up by this hungry bed. I mean, you don’t lie on a bed like this, the bed’s feather mattress shallows you whole so that the feather quilts lay perfectly flat on top of the bed. There was absolutely no evidence that anyone was actually in the bed, and forget about rolling over. We were like mummies all in a row.
That night I heard the pack rats. I gazed at the stars glistening in a clear black sky…framed by the missing shingles of an old roof. It was cold and the feather quilts were most welcomed; I had never experienced anything like this before. I was a “city-slicker” now in this poor mountain environment, with this awesome family; it was wonderful! I felt really blessed. The next morning, we had snow, which had no trouble finding its way into the cabin, piled upon our feather quilts. Snow! No plumbing…I had to go to the bathroom! Everything was a new adventure.
The rest of the short weekend visit was as the first part, awesome, what a family! I reflected on what an experience I just had as we drove back across New Mexico to Las Cruces. This, the poorest family I had ever encountered from a monetary point of view, was actually the richest family I had had the good pleasure to experience. I found out why Wally was such a good guy, such a warm spirit; it was that his roots which had found nourishment in his family and in his faith. His mom and dad clearly were fine mature trees, having the proper structure and root system. Wally was a good tree from which I had received beneficial shade and shelter on a wonderful weekend.