Baptism without the rain

Welcome to New Mexico 

Now you may think that it's dusty
You may not notice it's beauty at first
But I hope dear friend after we spent so much time in the cold together that you can also see the beauty beyond snow in these dry lands

Certain people think that the desert is always a biblical metaphor representing a culture of scarcity.

But in this land, I found abundance. So ignore the grime, though it too is part of the culture and I find beauty in it and this dust as well.

Look to the star speckled skies on the range, scattered by sagebrush and distantly the smell of juniper trees from tijeras. hope you see the beauty in it

I hope you get a chance to swing dance in the heights. Those lovely Tuesday nights. Swing jazz and pop fusion. And then head to frontier or sonic in your 50s dress then stay up to late on a school night and cross the sewer tunnels underneath UNM

Have you seen the faroles as they light up those early December nights? And tasted the posole while singing carols with your friends?

And then the wisdom that is here? Have you met all of these people? From Yale to sunflower lane?

What do you know now of water if life and the marigold parades? What do you know of banned books? Religion and politics? Something if you’ve seen the murals?

I hope you wonder at the trumpet vine scattered across the barb wire fences. And when you wonder at the weeds of the bosque: morning glories silver leaf nightshade and cottontail as too. Have you sat under the keva laced with wisteria. Or smelled the patchouli incense in the wind?

I’m thankful that you came with me on this journey, and for the people who’ve already been on this journey with me. Because I can never explain nor tell you. Just how meaningful this land is to me. I have felt more love here than I have found for most my life.

In the lavender skies there Sylvia lies. Do you gasp at the sandias elm trees and desert roses and ponderosa pine. I hope you see what I see when you gaze upon the range. I hope you melt as the red sun sighs upon the hot horizons lines

Beyond the blue mountains, in the distance, I’ve found a home.

An accident of destiny drawn to dream in the enchanted state

My friends joke that I say I’m from everywhere. It’s true. I believe that places imprint upon your soul and that we have homes in many places. Everywhere I go, I always say I’m coming home. But in New Mexico, it’s true. I will always keep returning to New Mexico. Maybe, it’s entrapped me, maybe it’s enchanted me. I found love here

Lands often overlooked. Yet the fabric of dust wisteria and pollen is woven into the sinews of our communal souls.

NM doesn’t have the oceans, lush green forest nor giant cities to attract.
We have impoverished mural painters, beaders and street singers. The equestrian suburbs in peralta and bosque farms

Odd southwestern city with your unmistakable summer sunsets. From above, the lacey brown topography looks like mars with some green polka dots.

When you look at the sagebrush and palo santo. there’s a spirituality about it in the pink clouds clear skies heat lightning and vespers.

Elm trees Douglas fur oak and evergreens ponderosa pines and juniper the smells the tastes the spiciness of it all the chili peppers.

Have you been to Santa Fe? Seen the art and watermelon mountains? Heard the grito and loud guitars and flamenco dancers in the plaza square? Now as much a New Mexico tradition, as it was foreign, far from here?

Have you been to Carlsbad? Beheld the caverns and the batts?

Have you been to bosque farms and seen the horses run: cholla, Zia Ozzie and serenade as the roam across the fields eating alfalfa by the rio and then trot across the county square?

And maybe I’m trying romanticise it; but I can tell you the ugly too. That’s easy to see. Rather, I hope you see the beauty. When you hike the mountains and walk the sandy trails through the desert grasses do you notice all the colors all the colors within? Do you see how many shades of green and brown there are? Did you ever notice before how beautiful brown and green could be? How wonderful and how insane that we are taught that deserts are a metaphor for scarcity. New Mexico to me has always symbolized abundance
New Mexico casts a spell upon us all and as long as there is love here, I will always return to the land that returned so much to me.

I left the songs of the Windy City for the desert when I was just a fragment of myself. New Mexico made me who I am

Emaciated and barren I walked onto seemingly barren land. A hundred and ten pounds. I walked through the doors of these Pueblo homes

How odd this architecture! How odd all of it was.
But now as I drive down these roads, dust and grime and beauty. Memory roams.

Dear friend, I’m so thankful that you came with me on this adventure. Returning to the land that made me who I am. I’m so grateful that I get to share this part with you of me. This part of me that you had not met yet

We met as girls. Here I arrived, ignorant and humbled, I became a woman. You met a girl who is strong, resilient and fierce in her own way, but one that was trickling away.

From an aerial view this land is full of cracks from above. We joke that it looks like it needs hand lotion or Mars for all it’s craters.

I was a girl, a hundred and ten pounds, skinny little thing, I’d pass out with the rain.

So how can I explain to you? How can I tell you just how much these people and this land means?

Dirty roads, but love so freely give. Didn’t cost me a quarter nor a ring.

You can’t understand me without understanding the places that I have walked and those people I have held.

So welcome to New Mexico the land that heals. The land that healed me

The place that held a fading child and brought her to her knees

The people that I’ve met have taught me so much of love. I can never tell you. I can never explain

A baptism without rain

Baptized by the dust. This land that means so much to me

A baptism without the rain.

Baptism by the dust.

Published by Silent Singer

The Silent Singer

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