aloha every day

aloha every day

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Nuevo Mexico

Last week I went to New Mexico...
...where I was raised...
...where I met some of the most wonderful people in my life...
...which has the most spectacular food on the planet...
...where the skies are larger than life... 
...where I didn't appreciate fully until this trip.

For most who have moved away from the city in which they were raised, the common sentiment is: 
"How did I come out of this place?"
Perhaps I have been shaped by the experiences in and cultures of the places to which I have traveled.
Perhaps I never actually related to the culture in which I grew up.
Perhaps time away from a place (or person for that matter) yields a fresh perspective..."fresh eyes"  fully appreciate the present...view, person, taste, smell...

Growing up, I thought it was "cool" to be from New Mexico.
People in other states had many questions for us, such as, 
"Do you speak English there?"
"Is it an ACTUAL state?"
"Do you live in a teepee?"
Smart Americans.
Once, while visiting Washington D.C.,
I was in a gift shop in Monticello.
I tried to pay with a traveler's cheque...
and was initially denied the use of such payment from a country outside of the U.S.
Another time, at an Office Max in Honolulu,
I was told that they couldn't call me on my cell phone because the area code (my cell is still 505...haha) was from outside of the country.
Despite these seeming ignorances,
I have always felt very novel having originated in the 
Land of Enchantment.
Another commonly shared sentiment of travelers is:
"The place I grew up was a great place to grow up, 
and a fun place to visit, 
I'd rather not live there now."

I relate
my curiosity and adventurous spirit
are everlasting,
and predictable. 
I moved to Arizona for college, 
and to Hawai'i shortly thereafter...
always in search of a new frontier.
I recently had an urge to return to my "homeland." ;)
I had been away for long enough that the separation gave way to that aforementioned curiosity,
and I wanted to adventure back
into my childhood,
into my memories,
into that land that I no longer claimed to be home.

So I packed my guitar and a duffle and headed out!
First stop?
Camping with my dad.
We hadn't done that since I was in middle school.
We are great camping buddies.
Note the flaming marshmallow above...
he and I are the ONLY 2 people I have YET to meet that like to char the mallow before adding the graham.
We played guitar, sang out loud, hiked the surrounding forests,
and just flat out
reconnected... each other... nature... ourselves...

I took this self portrait 
as I was enjoying the warmth of the morning sun,
 playing music to soothe my soul,
 completely at peace with who I was at that moment...
...a girl who grew up in New Mexico...
...the 47th state in the United States of America...
I promise it is.

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness."
-John Keats

I happen to really like the number 8.
I like that, when you trace it, it never ends.
I like that if you flip it on its side, 
it becomes the sign of infinity...
the infinite thoughts in our minds...
the infinite scope of the universe...
the infinite places to visit on this planet.
I found this number 8 tree!
Officially in love.
With a tree.
In NM. 
One of the United States.

We also went to a winery close to the campground.
I'm one for a good glass of wine.
Or 2. 
I'll stop there.
I'm also a sucker for an old truck.
Paint this guy sea green?
I'd take it in a heartbeat!
Sorry 2006 Ford Ranger,
how I've loved thee,
but you are not nearly as stylish,
as smooth,
as cunning,
as this old truck.
"Age is just a number.  It's totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine." 
-Joan Collins

I also explored many a wooded area, 
found this little stream,
and acted like a little kid...
trampsing across fallen logs,
running through piled pine needles,
bending down low to observe the fairies in the tall grass.

This is where the Queen of the Forest is supposed to stand...
so I stood there. 

This is the post office in the little town surrounding the campground.
Better not ship your IKEA bedroom set there... 

I also captured many, many views of the NM landscape.
These views are in my memory,
somewhere in a far back drawer,
for which I have lost the key.
Luckily, I now have an excellent camera, 
and a refreshed perspective...

What is a trip to ABQ without a stop at Hanselmann's pottery in Corrales?
No one works here.
He makes the pottery,
puts it on the shelf,
leaves the doors unlocked,
and trusts a whole bunch that people will follow the rules posted on the computer paper scotch taped to the shelf.
I like to go there
I like to feel trusted.
Bonus: The pottery is well-priced and beautiful! we're on to the wonderful friends I saw while there.
I hadn't seen this kiddo since he was THREE!
What a terrific kid!
Nicole and I have been best buds for well over 10 years.
This was our first time REALLY connecting in many years...
and as good friendships always do,
it seemed like no time had passed.
I serendipitously "ran into" Mahad...another of my great friends from high school who I hadn't seen or connected with in ages.
I can say "ages" now, because I am officially not in my 20's anymore.
Again, like no time had passed, we reconnected...thanks in large part to the fate of running "smack dab" into each other.

I also had the pleasure of seeing a few other friends and their beautiful families,
and for some strange reason,
didn't end up with pictures of them.

I do have some on my phone camera.
I just haven't figured out how to upload them.
Did I mention I'm no longer in my 20's?
Technology is not so easy for us geezers, okay? 

just figured it out...days are the phone camera pics:
 Did you know a dog can photo bomb??  It can at Candice's house!

 This is my lovely friend from childhood.  We hadn't seen each other in 12 YEARS prior to this day.
(pictures taken by the aspiring photog, Esme)

And so ended a wonderful trip back "home."
I look back and see the beautiful smiles of those I love,
smell the unmistakable scent of the pines trees,
hear the wind as a crazy storm blows through,
and feel the heat of the sun, never too hot.

 Mahalo, Thank you, Gracias
for reconnecting me to that back drawer of memories that has been locked up for WAY TOO MANY years.

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