Tesuque, New Mexico, where I've lived for thirty years, means "village of the narrow place of the cottonwood trees" in the Tewa language of the native pueblo just across the highway. I love the road through our little community, which is shaded by overhanging cottonwoods and reminds me of the great oaks and elms I grew up with in Des Moines, Iowa.
This land is high desert, frequently snow-covered in winter and sometimes hot in the summer. There is rarely enough rain, though we do have frequent thunderstorms during the summer that make the earth smell raw and clean. Visitors to the small pond outside my studio's window include coyotes, foxes, rabbits, and a variety of local and migratory birds. I keep binoculars and a bird book on my desk. Often, when I need a break from the computer, I sit outdoors in a weather-worn redwood chair, feel the sun on my face, and gaze up at the Santa Fe ski basin to the east or at Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains to the west.
I feel fortunate to live where I can walk out of my yard and hike for miles up into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the southernmost subrange of the Rockies. Listening to bird-songs and being sheltered by mountains on both sides is a comforting reassurance of stability on an increasingly unstable planet, and walking is a soothing antidote to the distractions of technology. When I want cultural activity, Santa Fe with its multitude of options—concerts, gallery openings, literary readings, theater, dance, and film―is only a ten-minute drive away. I'm always struggling to balance the outdoors and the arts, home and travel, work and family. Living in New Mexico helps me do that.
Home includes my husband, Bernie and, not too far away, one of my sons, his wife, and two grandsons. The rest of our extended family live elsewhere but return here for frequent visits. At this time we have no pets, since we travel frequently. If I need to clear my mind and open my eyes, a one-day drive in any direction will serve my purpose and provide photographic opportunities. It's exciting to travel to places as unfamiliar as India or Antarctica, but home is always best.
Copyright © 2013 Joan Myers. All rights reserved.