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  • Writer's pictureRay Lamb

The People We Meet.

Updated: Jul 2, 2021

It’s mid morning in Taos, New Mexico and I’m just coming off a good nights sleep in my camp near a swift moving creek. The creek comes in off the mountains and through a ski hill there and it was a great little place. Now that I’m finally working on a good nights sleep when I pull into Taos to get coffee. It was a small square with lots of shops. I asked the barista for a good place in the square to eat and she suggested I go to the Manzanita Market for something good. So, that was that, I was off to get my breakfast. Taos is an interesting place that has more than its fair share of artists and art galleries and the like. The small square I was in was brimming with different, eclectic things and people, so her suggestion to eat at this place was going to be interesting. As I walked up, there was a group of people sitting outside and I asked, “Are you all waiting?“. And one obviously humorous lady says, “Why, we’ve been waiting for you!“. To which I replied, “Well I’m here! The wait is over!“. With that I got a flurry of bravos and hoorays and a nice round of applause. It was quite funny, actually. After I ordered my food I strolled back outside to wait for my name to be called, The previous group was now talking politics, which was the last thing I wanted to hear or talk about. So, I mind my own business and stay out of the conversation. But I noticed this big fellow sitting across from me with his Native cigarettes and a couple of other items near by. He was also listening to them talk. I was looking at my phone to try to map out my route plan for the day when the group of political talkers got up and left. So, I took the opportunity to ask the man if he was local. “Yes I am!” he said with a smile and a proud tone In his voice. I have been looking at a few routes and asked him which one would be the best and he was more than happy to help me. He also suggested that instead of following through with one highway, that I veer off and take another one and I wouldn’t regret it. We talked about our home states and other things a bit. It was easy conversation and we seemed to appreciate each other’s company. As I prepared to go he said, “I would like to give you a gift for your travels.”. He held up two pictures both covered in cellophane. One was a picture of Buddha and one was a picture of the Virgin Mary. I looked at him and said,

“Really?” ”Yes! I would like to give you a gift. Your kind spirit shows and I would like to help you on your journey.” I chose the Virgin Mary which did not surprise him and, frankly, I was a bit moved. I shook his hand and asked him his name. “Demian“. I looked at the picture and noticed that he had his name on it. I put the picture in my pocket and told him that it would accompany me throughout the rest of the trip. Demian smiled a big smile and seemed pleased to hear that. we parted ways and I walked back to my bike with a new found treasure. I geared myself up and started out of the Square. Demian was still sitting there on the bench, eating his lunch and waiting for me to go by. I got to the intersection looked over, gave him a honk and he waved a big wave with that big smile of his and I was off. What a great way to start the day, wouldn’t you think? And after it’s all said and done, it’s about the people we meet, isn’t it?

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