Dear New Mexico,
It’s been 20 years since I landed on your shores, I mean dusty sand bars. And as I reflect on this significant amount of time, I realize that the best metaphor to describe my stay is akin to that of a lover who has been both cruel and ever so loving.
I will be honest and say that when I first arrived to your land back in circa 1998, I was in a bit of shock for nowhere else had I experienced having to give the right of way to a tumbleweed the size of a VW Beetle. My appreciation of vast ocean views slowly replaced by those of an immense blue sky.
During the first two years of my stay, there was no other thought than how I would make my way out of this tenuous relationship. But over time, something shifted and roots began to take a stronghold. I became part of a larger community that would provide so many life-changing teachings.
Although I myself have uttered the words, “the land of entrapment,” there’s something so much more to this and something the quick-visiting tourist will never understand. It’s until that particular New Mexican golden afternoon light delicately kisses your skin that you will begin to understand its medicine and some of its healing power.
I recognize that I did not take my first breath upon this land and believe me even after 20 years I’m not allowed to forget this fact as proud Nuevo Mexicanos make it a point to remind my Californian born self que no ero de aqui. Lately I find myself wanting to make a point of clarification – I wasn’t born here, but, I have 4 beings who were. 100% Burqueños y que!
As time passes and the work continues, my attachment and commitment to this land have grown stronger. So much so that the possibility of having to leave its embrace for another causes such dread and utter sadness, even if that other is my own City of Angels.
With every brilliant sunrise and sunset, a deep breath leaves my being in a form of a prayer and I continue to express my inner thoughts and desires to the New Mexican universe – I don’t want to leave you.
New Mexico you have simultaneously been so damned loving and so horribly hurtful. I have grown with you and you have seen most of my development as a human being and educator. You are the source of so much of me and my existence and to think that I might soon be without you causes such an indescribable pain and void.
Ay Nuevo Mexico, te quiero con todo mi ser. Maybe, just maybe, those murmurs will be heard and the days will not be counted.