. . . I've been told that I write novels for email messages. Perhaps this is the way to go. I'll try to make each entry, or Gemstone, a "precious" one. On mediocre days, all I might be able to produce is a "semi-precious" entry. In any case, an entry might be a "neat" Gemstone--something that is uniquely mine.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Land of Enchantment

As I mention in the "About Me" section of the sidebar here I moved from northern California about 9 years ago almost to the date.  I now live in the "Land of Enchantment".  Other nicknames for my state are "The Cactus State", "The Land of the Delight Makers", and "The Land of the Heart's Desire".  Pretty descriptive and pleasant names for a state that is supposed to be the desert southwest of ugly brown landscapes and flat topography.  As a California-centric person, that is what I believed until I first came out here.  Those who created the nicknames did get it right--New Mexico is definitely enchanting, decorated with flowering cactii, delightful, and desirable.  There may not be a lot of green here, but there is beauty all around.

I live in the northern part of the state in the area called the Upper Rio Grande Valley.  Now, when I first came to this area on a house hunting weekend, I was totally unimpressed by the Rio Grande.  "Is that it?!!" I wondered?  It was not as grande as I thought it would be.  I was imagining something along the lines of the Mississippi, but it was more like the Sacramento River, only shallower and browner.  But it is like a lifeline in the region, providing communities with water and recreation.

I am up on a beautiful plateau at 7,200 feet in the shadow of an ancient collapsed volcano and have incredible views of the Rio Grande Valley.  Not from my house, of course (I only see neighbors) but just a short walk out of my subdivision are awesome scenes.  The air is clean up here and the skies are absolutely blue because there is no pollution.  At night, the stars are so bright and you can see the Milky Way.  There's not a lot of traffic, either and it is pretty quiet.  There are well-maintained trails to walk on amidst the pine trees and small-town parades and events happening at least monthly.  

Although I might miss a lot of my home state sometimes, my new adopted state and town has become a home that I don't ever want to leave.

<3 Neat


Mr. Ree said...

Beautiful blog on a beautiful state! I've been here since 1985 and I could never go back east after living here. On my infrequent visits back east, the traffic and crowds are overwhelming and I wonder where the sky is. I like the turquoise blue sky and mountain views we have here.

One year, my brother from California came out to visit and he thought the area looked like a desert. Maybe he came during a drought or maybe he just didn't look closely enough. This was before the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000 and the area was well forested.

You perfectly captured, in words and pictures, the charms of Nuevo Mexico and Los Alamos in particular!

Neat Rox said...

We came from California and have the same experiences when we go back. The traffic and crowds are so overwhelming to me now. Plus the pollution chokes up my lungs!

No, it is not as green here as in California, and there is unfortunately no beach within a few hours' drive, but NM is beautiful, isn't it. I feel bad for people who can't see the beauty here.

I didn't even cover the charms of NM's culture! That could be a completely different post with photos of pueblos or churches or ancient dwellings.