Monday, March 2, 2015

The Land That Enchants Me

The land that enchants me (c) 2015 Lif Strand
New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment. I have no doubt of that. I knew it the first time I visited many decades ago, and I knew it when I came here, finally, to stay forever. Like a seed blown far from the flower, I have set roots here in New Mexico, planted my heart and soul firmly in the land.

Rural New Mexico is what I mean. I'm not a city girl. Being out here in the middle of nowhere is not for everyone. Rural New Mexico can be a hard place to survive physically and economically. Rural New Mexico is technologically behind the rest of the world. In many places it is culturally behind the times.

But so what?

Sometimes being in the right place at the right time is worth whatever price needs to be paid. While New Mexico can be a slower, kinder, artsier, red-or-green whimsical kind of place, here in the outback you risk all that enchantment running you over and stomping on you for good measure. But I don't look at the brutal winds, the spiking temperatures, the aridity (and the dust and the pollen) as negatives. I don't think of the lack of economic opportunities, the slow internet, the dicey cellular coverage as true problems. They are simply part of the chiaroscuro of the place.  They contrast with the breathtaking beauty, the wonder, the magic that fuels my soul.  Those other things ground me and provide the extreme contrast that pumps life into life.

Nobody said enchantment was all sweetness and light, anyway.

I have come to learn that susceptibility to any magic is directly proportional to the willingness to dive in and embrace it all: the good, the bad and the ugly. I would say I had dived in, except that I think it's more that the place snatched my heart from me, and laughingly teased me into jumping in to get it back.

I love being enchanted.

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