Sunday, October 05, 2008

Enchanted by New Mexico

I work in Albuquerque, for the most part, and live in the east Sandia mountains. Sometimes I find myself pining for the East Coast and the beaches and huge amount of activities to be had there, or for the Northwest and it's green and lush landscapes, but for the most part I am more than content to remain here.

I can say this from the point of view of someone who has moved away for many years at a time, living everywhere from the Chicago area to Texas, from Virginia to Colorado, Mississippi to Connecticut, and even spent three years living overseas. I haven't lived everywhere, but I have had a good taste of it, and while there is a great deal to say about those places I have lived, New Mexico has an charm of it's own that I missed every moment that I was away.

My mother tells me repeatedly how sorry she feels for me that I live so far away and have to make that long drive home, despite the fact I reassure her on a regular basis that I love every minute of it. Even the drive itself acts as a time where I can wind down from whatever daily exasperation's have plagued me; the drive through the canyon from either direction never fails to wow me.

Albuquerque and her surrounding areas reminds me of a elegant woman with a wild-child-side. Offering so much in the way of culture and entertainment (more every day, every week, every year) within an easy afternoon drive. She's beautiful, well balanced, and always right there ready for whatever comes her way. Home to both the past, present and future, Albuquerque is a great place to be if you want to be part of what is current in the world.

On the other hand, it still retains that small town feeling. It's a small enough community to be able to see people you know everywhere you turn. Networking and making friends can be a fairly easy process in a place like this, where you can meet the most eclectic variety of personalities I have ever seen anywhere.

Are there problems? Sure there are. Everyone has them. But I get the sense that people here are invested in their community, and want to see good changes occur, while being willing to pitch in to make it happen.

When I came back to New Mexico about eleven years ago with my two small boys I was excited to give them a chance to grow up in the richness of this place, just as I did. And they both love it here, proud to be members of the 505 and all that this embraces. And so am I.

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