Mari Gra a begins her account of an adventure that grew out of her desire to withdraw to the wild and that ends with a sense of homecoming and community: "I saw over a rise in a meadow a little stone cabin far in the distance. The landscape of the canyon--the rocky pine-covered ridges, the long wide meadow with the escarpment of Rowe Mesa rising in the background--suddenly became the place I had dreamed about."
Once she had purchased the abandoned sheepherder's cabin on 240 remote acres of land in northern New Mexico, Gra a began the work of making the cabin livable. With the help of local villagers, she plastered the mud walls, installed a cook-stove, and cleaned the rats out of her storehouse. She began to meet her neighbors and to learn the human history of the area. As she became familiar with the beauty, drama, and danger of the natural environment, she also learned about legendary local criminals and ancient land swindles. Writing out of her direct experience of this landscape and culture, Gra a vividly describes a world where the village church comes alive on saints' days and the spirit of Begoso Cabin's builder, Natividad Ortiz, lingers still.