A Post in Pictures: Why Albuquerque?
Nearly every afternoon during summer, storm clouds crouched on the Sandia Mountains, and then sprang upon the valley in the evening, hurling lightning bolts and sometimes hail.
This autumn rain we've experienced this week, though, is just a persistent drench with no drama, like a sourpuss who stands around looking gloomy, bringing everyone down without saying a word.
Yet, the fall colors on the trees are heightened by this moisture, and that brings me again to a realization I had soon after we moved here:
I love Albuquerque.
Ironically, I believe I'm happier to be here than my husband is - and he was raised here!
It was a surprise to me how quickly I embraced this region, how easily charmed I was by the novelties and the enchantments that drew me in and helped me feel at home.
When I first had an inkling we would be moving to Albuquerque, I began to question it almost immediately with some anxiety. I wondered why God might want us here. I couldn't think of a soul who needed us - whereas there were other places in which we could be useful.
Why did I assume it had to be about necessity? Though it isn't deserved, perhaps it's about Providence and these blessings:
My husband really likes his new job in town, and there are far more opportunities in his current company to grow than there ever were in his last place of employment.
My children see their grandparents almost every weekend, and their aunts, uncles, and cousins often (something that was missing for the first many years of their lives). They have all made new friends and gotten involved in their schools.
As for me? I am just plain happy. Sure, I worried when we first arrived - about good friends for my children, about finances, about how I could best serve my family and the larger community.
But even if someday we roam again, searching out a new place to call home, I will forever be grateful to Albuquerque for one beautiful thing: here I finished my book, a story based on a childhood Christmas. In Albuquerque I accomplished a long-held dream; I was successful.
What are the other reasons I love it here? Why is it "The Land of Enchantment" (New Mexico's state nickname) for me?
We moved from Phoenix, so you can only imagine my awe and wonder when I was able to sit outside all morning until lunchtime quite comfortably, reading or jotting down ideas in my writer's notebook. It felt miraculous not to be chased inside at 8 am by terrible, rapidly rising heat.
The Balloon Fiesta
There are few things that can enthrall and make one recapture childhood joy as swiftly as a hot air balloon gently riding a wind current. Early each October here in Albuquerque, the city hosts its annual Balloon Fiesta, and people come from all over the world to pilot these lighter-than-aircraft or to watch their colorful shapes fill the expansive southwestern skies in the early morning. I stood outside in the street and gawked unabashedly.
The Autumn Colors
It has been a very long time since I lived in a place where I noticed the change of seasons, because Nature alerted me so dramatically to their passage.
In Phoenix I strained and searched to find one tree that hailed the fall, and if I spied even the slightest change, I applauded it. But Albuquerque trees put on a parade of hues as the weather cools: plum, red-gold, burgundy, orange, and even florescent yellow. It thrills the soul. I had forgotten the splendor of autumn.
The Sandia Mountains
I've seen these mountains before while visiting my in-laws for Christmas and never really cared about their majesty. But things have changed, and they are there before me every day as I walk my Yorkie friend Taz, and I'm in love. I've come to stay, and they will always be there.