Racing Into the New Year, Eyes Wide Open / by Alison M. Newcomb

Driving in from the north, the property looks empty—nothing but soft-rolling hills covered in dry winter scrub grass, backed by granite mountains. Northern New Mexico in winter is hauntingly beautiful, wide open and stripped bare for all the sky to see. Yet, when covered with just the lightest dusting of show, she transforms into something magnificent. 

We have never stayed at this particular property, but I noticed a peculiar glint of sunlight out of the corner of my eye, coming from this land, on our last trip through New Mexico. It seemed too intense and persistent for the sun’s low point in the sky that late afternoon. I actually thought I was experiencing a pre-migraine aura because, when I looked in the direction of the light, I could see nothing but grassy hills and the mountains behind them. 

I later learned, on AirBnB, that this property had quite literally caught my eye because of the glass-paned pyramid that sits on its acreage. And that this pyramid, though itself difficult to see from a distance, is the only truly visible structure on the land. At least until you get up real close. 


Right now, I am writing this from the passenger’s seat of our car, as we drive towards what will become our off-the-grid home for the next week. I still cannot see it but, according to our booking, we will be coming upon our earthship home, any moment now. It is built deep into the dirt so that nearly all of the building's structure, except its front-facing windows, are made up of nothing but New Mexico clay. Like a cave-house, just with floor-to-ceiling solar panel front windows and a chiminea in every bedroom. 

We will pack our first few days with outdoor activities—skiing and snowmobiling with friends who live nearby. We have board games, and books, and Star Wars battle drones to fly above the pyramid someone felt inspired to build here on this land. 

But then we plan to retreat back into our cave for the final days of the year. Each of us has come prepared with personal items to put into our 2017 time capsule and bury here in the ground in a state in which we do not live. We will bury it Sunday at sundown before kicking off a quiet (yet glow-stick-and-sparkler bright) celebration to ring in the coming year. We are hopeful 2018 will bring along with it just a little more grace—into our lives, to the lives of our family members and friends, into our world.  

Here’s to a bright and shiny New Year!

~ From our family to yours