Last night my husband and I were discussing where we would choose to live if money was no object (a.k.a. winning the lottery). We do this from time to time, especially in the winter. Living on the Great Lake (Erie) in wintertime evokes memories of living in warmer climes and easier times. Right now Santa Fe, New Mexico is our choice location. I vacationed in New Mexico when I was a child and the memory of that state (albeit quite romanticized by now) stuck with me through the years. Even the sound of the words, “Santa Fe, New Mexico,” is romantic and evokes images of warmth and color and everything we don’t have in this corner of the world right now. I look out my window at whites and grays and dirty snow mixed with clean snow. The sub-zero temperatures outside my door is a strong deterrent to exploring my favorite parks and nature reservations. Cabin fever stifles me. Oy vey. . . what in the world is stopping us from packing our bags and moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, that warm, inviting, artsy community in the beautiful southwest USA?
I go through this wistful, thoughtful, pondering process every winter about this time. Snow is no longer pristine, pretty, and clean. Bundling up to head outside and shovel or plow our way out of the driveway poses no thoughts of adventure, just drudgery. I want Spring to arrive in the worst way . . . or to move to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The rhetorical question, “Will the snow ever end?” is also getting old. I’ve experience winter over 60 times in my life now, and I continue to ask that same question every year. What a waste. Of course the snow will end.
When winter does come to an end, Spring will burst out in color and warm days will dawn with increasing frequency. And then thoughts of running away to Santa Fe, New Mexico will fade . . . until next winter. I’ve walked this earth long enough to know that this is how it works. Wistful thoughts and changing seasons are as sure as the ground I stand on.
In truth, however, I also see the beauty of winter. Despite the forbidding cold, there are days when I take my camera and head for the woods. I may complain today but walking a forest path and hearing the crunching snow beneath my boots, seeing and hearing the abundant wildlife even in this weather, is a wonderment. In fact, the aging process has served to open my eyes, heart and soul to absolute beauty and magic in each season in whatever climate I find myself. So, we will stay put here on the shores of Lake Erie, and I will endure this cold season–and enjoy its beauty–as I wait and watch for spring.
And I still want to go to Santa Fe, New Mexico.