by Amy Hautman Bates
I am settling in after a year of New Mexico life. Before this, I lived in Minnesota and North Carolina; both much greener, wetter and predictable than this. Since moving here, I have heard many wonderful stories of strange events in the “Land of Enchantment”. I haven’t seen an alien (yet) but a sense of the mythical and the magical is very much alive here. There seems to be a willingness to fall into graceful moments and enjoy the beauty of life. When people here describe some unusual encounter, like seeing ghosts or conversations with little green men, others just smile and nod. Curiosity comes before judgement. I appreciate that.
I don’t have anything remarkable to report, but many things are just… different. At first, the bands of wild horses lingering in our yard was shockingly strange, but it has now become quite common and beautiful. The raccoon eating our garbage the other night was not unusual, but seeing the coon and a coyote sharing the bag at the same time was wild indeed! I often stop and ask myself “Is this real?” Yesterday, we were watching a tarantula navigate the terrain near our back step, when we were interrupted by a sudden dark storm cloud that pelted us with rain and blew cushions from the patio chairs. By the time I rescued the cushions, the spider and the rain were gone and a double rainbow appeared in the sky. It was nothing, but it was everything in that moment.
I sometimes feel like I am in a movie where the set changes are fast but seamless. And I don’t have to do a thing but sit back and smile. At Southwestern College, I am learning to do just that. And it is enough. I am enough.