Almost lost in the holiday goings on, this time of year marked some significant anniversaries for Mrsfabp and I. To name just a few, November 12th marked the first anniversary of beginning our move to New Mexico. We did the old farewell tour as documented HERE and did some great sightseeing as mentioned HERE. November 22nd marked our arrival in Las Cruces, one day earlier than we had originally planned for. It also marked the start of a frantic search for living accommodations. Finally, December 7th marked the closing on our home and with the delivery of our U-Haul Boxes, the great unpacking. All in all, a whirlwind couple of weeks, to say the least.
Sometimes I find myself saying, I can’t believe it has been a year already. I look around and see things, not with a tourist’s eye or even new transplant eye, but rather like an old comfortable hat kind of eye, with everything fitting into place. We drive around town and see something that we researched before we arrived (like a condo in the Branson Street area) and it seems so strange to understand where it actually is now because then, we had no concept in where things were. We originally planned to look at homes in the Pines area but knew within a few weeks of arrival that that would not have worked out. It is too far out of town for us, mainly because we are really enjoying having things so close by.
I think back to certain areas I wanted to see, like the Alamedia neighborhood, Mesquite Street and even Mesilla Plaza and realize just how close to perfect each is in its own way. I remember going to the Bosque State Park here in town the first time, a warm, sunny February day, sitting in shirt sleeves near the plaza fountain and coming to realize just how great a place it was. To this day, whenever I arrive there, I am overtaken by the awe of beauty, solitude and grand views. Maybe the best view is of the whole Organ Mountain range, and I never tire of seeing it.
Two things that I was told about this mountain view have proven to be undeniably true. The first is that the mountains look different every single day. The light, the angle of the sun, the sky, the clouds, even dust in the air, all manage to make subtle changes that are very noticeable. The second word of wisdom was that Las Cruces gets 4 different sunsets every single day. First you face east and see the sky colors of the setting sun reflected on the mountains. If the light is right, it is a vibrant purple that you will never forget. Then you look west as the sun begins to dip below the horizon. If there are any clouds whatsoever, the colors are spectacular. Then you face east again and see the sunset sky colors on the mountains, shadows, textures, colors, all blended together. Then finally you face the west again and see the afterglow on the horizons edge, a time when you often times are left breathless.
Sometimes I am so comfortable here that it seems like it has been a lifetime already. The friends we have made, the places we have gone, joining the camera club, volunteering at the State Park, becoming involved with the Friends group at the park, all seem to be anchors that hold me in place. I remember when we moved from NYC to Massachusetts, how lonely I felt in the beginning, filled with self doubt and even some regrets. It was several years before I felt real comfortable there. Las Cruces and New Mexico in general have been different. I felt right at home from the first day, settled right in and began searching for the adventures I promised Mrsfabp that we would look for.
So, what have we found? Contentment for sure. The warmth of friendship, absolutely. I have found things that help me feel creative, that bring feelings of accomplishment and reward each and every day. I feel like I am appreciated for the things I do and talents I have and have been willing to share. I have learned about the culture and traditions of this area. But most of all, I just feel like I fit in and that may be the best feeling of all.
One year has gone very quickly. I’m sure someday we will say 5 years have gone by in a blur. We are getting to see the growth of the community and feel part of it. But most of all, I feel like I have found my place and what a great place it has been and continues to be.