I woke in the wee hours of this morning from a particularly vivid dream. In it, I was interviewing a man who was living with his family and friends in an abandoned storefront in downtown Aberdeen, where there had recently been a nearby structure fire. I guess the fact I was interviewing someone in my dream is testament to the fact that I do miss the news-papering gig … I have always loved talking to people, hearing their stories and writing them down.
Anyway, while we were talking this guy uttered a line that struck me: “My soul has never felt at home in Grays Harbor.” I was so struck by that line, and I was scrambling to find bits and pieces of paper to take notes. It being a dream, other events ensued that kept me from talking more to this guy and having him elaborate further.
As I came back to consciousness, that line stayed with me. Unusual for me, as I don’t often remember my dreams. I believe it’s because a variant of his words (really mine because it was my dream, right?) is what I have been feeling lately as I go about the daily business of living: My soul feels at home in New Mexico.
I first recognized that fact during a brief visit here when I was 23. One year later I came back and lived in Albuquerque for a year. I then embarked on several years of traveling and living in different places in this country and abroad, then managed to land in Farmington, N.M., for seven years. Then, several decades more traveling ensued
Yet, throughout all the time and places, where I often found great beauty, and less frequently great ugliness, I always yearned to be back in New Mexico.
I have finally made it back, and am quietly ecstatic about that fact. I love the pleasant weather. I love the commingling of cultures living together mostly harmoniously. I love hot springs and hot green chile and the sight of hot air balloons in the early morning hours. I love the warmth of the zia sun. I love the haunting call of coyotes while taking a twilight hike through the bosque. I love the landscape, from volcanic desert to the granite giants that guard Albuquerque’s eastern flank.
I love the mountains that, when conditions are just right, glow deep red in the setting sun. Everyday as I drive to work I enjoy getting closer and closer to these mountains, and seeing the ever-changing face they present to me.
I love the sight of a thick blanket of fresh snow on red adobe walls, accented by a deep blue sky. I find the old Catholic churches and the ancient pueblo ruins wonderful to explore. I love the sight of a roadrunner racing around on seemingly urgent business, always hearing “Beep Beep!” in my head.
I simply and deeply love the people and the place, all the things that make Albu-quirky.
So, my dreams gave voice to the feeling that has been pervading my life recently:
My soul feels at home in New Mexico.