Why have New Year's resolutions when you can have New Year's hallucinations? I know I did. Driving over a rocky, twisting road to a Mexican ranch, I glimpsed terra cotta tile roof surrounded by a sea of golden corn rows. Green squash and black beans grew in the field. Pirul trees, some with pale yellow pollen and others with bright orange berries, hung lazily over a small pond, while nopal and maguey dotted nearby hills and distant mountains.
I walked across the rutted cracking earth. A black puppy with white paws cavorted happily before me as a gray burro followed behind and nuzzled me with cautious affection. Such loyal, life-burden-accepting creatures. Red, pitted, volcanic rock jutted diagonally from the soil, where I spotted some peyote underneath.
Journalistic research time. Gently pulling out the pimply blueish top and woody brownish root of the cactus-looking, mushroom-feeling plant, I headed back to the house. The rest of my botanical pilgrimage appears in the upcoming book Fresh Wind & Strange Fire. This travelogue promises to be more than just your average trip.