A fond farewell to New Mexico

IMG_20140517_232220A week from today I will be arriving in Colorado. A different home in different surroundings. New jobs and new friends. A continuation of what we’ve built, but also a fresh start.

Many people have asked me if I will be sad to leave New Mexico. The answer is yes and no.

For me, there is always a sort of bittersweet goodbye when I leave a place, not knowing if or when I will return, and also knowing that if I ever do return the place will not be the same. Places have a life of their own. Much like the living things that inhabit them, places are constantly changing. Cities grow, businesses fold, buildings decay, and entire neighborhoods are “revitalized” beyond recognition. Landscapes shift and transform, always under the slow erosion of wind, water, and time.

As Heraclitus wisely pointed out, you cannot enter the same river twice – next time it will not be the same river and you will not be the same person.

So I will say goodbye to Las Cruces as I know it, the same way I said goodbye to Oregon six years ago. There are many things I will miss. I will miss the smell of roasting chilies in the fall and pecans in the winter, and the awesome sight of summer monsoons. I will miss the horned lizards, mockingbirds, roadrunners, geckos, hummingbirds, tarantulas and box turtles. I will miss the bizarre call of the spadefoot during summer rains that sounds like a baby crying. I will miss the cooing of doves in the morning and the many colors of the desert in bloom. I will miss year-round gardening and free outdoor tennis. I will miss the relaxed culture and friendly people. I will miss our sweet little house.

There are many things I will be glad to leave behind, however. Dust and rattlesnakes are right at the top of that list, along with the sad fate of too many domestic animals here. Like anywhere, you take the good with the bad. But I will readily embrace the newness of Colorado when I get there. I am excited about exploring the Rocky Mountains and breaking out my long-dormant skis this winter. It has been a long time since I experienced winter as most people in this country do, but I’ve already started stockpiling warmer clothes…

New Mexico has been good to us and we have enjoyed our time here, but all things must change. I find that many places, jobs, relationships and interests in my life have a natural ebb and flow. For us, the New Mexico sun is now setting quietly over the dusty western mesa only to rise up again opposite the Rocky Mountains.

I am ready.

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