The village, deep in snow, awoke like a sleepy fairyland

On the morning after Christmas I slipped away from my son’s house and all the crumpled wrappings and chocolates and people tuckered out from making merry. Careful not to fall on the ice, I plodded down the winding lane, plowed only two days before. Soon everyone would be awake, steeped in the aroma of fresh brewed coffee; but the new day, freezing cold and ablaze with sunlight, could not wait.


Snow veils blew off pinon pines and junipers and skimmed above meadows like ghosts on the wind.

Perfect planes of knee-high snow, a small wood pile and broken wire fence, appeared flawless in the pristine setting; and my fingers stung as I fumbled with my camera.

A snowplow driver smiled down at me, his cheeks shining with cold. Residents had left their fireplaces and toasty woodstoves to help neighbors clear a driveway or dig out a truck.

A woman with fire-red hair offered me biscochitos. Have some, she said. Her friend’s mother had made them according to a traditional recipe, rich with anise seed and shortening. 

Two men in heavy coats huddled nearby, their faces clouded with condensation.  One of them, an elderly gentleman named Mr. Vigil, extended his hand. He asked me where I lived and we drew lines in the snow depicting directions. He’s lived in the village forever, he said.

Here are some photos from my morning walk through El Cedro – a place lost in time and snow in the mountains of New Mexico. I had never seen anything so beautiful.

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