I realized I hadn't been in New Mexico in over a decade ... maybe even a decade and a half! Yet last Friday when the plane dropped closer to the ground and I caught a glimpse of the desert resting at the foot of the mountains, I breathed a pleasant sigh.
(A good last whole breath, too, since I was about to land in the high altitude that was guaranteed to take my breath away and constrict my stomach muscles into tight knots throughout the weekend.)
Once again New Mexico delivered ... a tram ride to the top of peak that overlooks Alburquerque, hot air balloons seen through the open roof of my buddy's convertible and chased from ascent spot to descent in the early morning hours, a tour of one of the oldest residential pueblos led by a chief, great food, horses (for looking not riding), and fun and games.
But the biggest intake of breath I reserved for the sun. Rising or setting, it commanded my attention. As the mountainside caught a glimpse of its splendor, it followed the lead and changed colors right before my eyes -- first pink and then a purple so rich you could almost believe the only true way to honor it was to bow before it.
I love this country.