Winter in Taos, by Mabel Dodge Luhan
Two of Mabel Dodge Luhan’s books recently accompanied me to Taos, including Winter in Taos. In 1974, Lawrence Clark Powell described it as “a beautiful book.” Mabel Dodge Luhan’s “love for Taos,” he wrote, “was deep, abiding, and true.” “No one,” he continued, “has written better about Taos.” It remains a book that pulls me into the landscape and seasons of Taos. While Edge of Taos Desert describes Luhan’s first months in Taos, Winter in Taos finds her settled into both home and landscape. Readers follow some of the details of her home life — dogs, cats, birds, family, guests, and the routine of her days. She writes about her garden and the views from her windows. We travel with her to nearby places — the village, Taos Pueblo — and, occasionally, beyond Taos Valley. The seasons and weather can be felt, from winter’s cold to the spring’s beginnings, the profusion of summer and fall’s harvest.
One lives from month to month all year round, forgetting the future and what it will be like; then when it comes, with icicles and iris, sheaves of corn or violets in the shade, one’s eternal recognition meets it with the same wonder and surprise. There is nothing so new in all eternity as this old earth, reborn every day like ourselves, and never twice the same, impossible to remember out of season, yet intense with premonition. — from Winter in Taos