Time is running quickly through the hourglass. Our departure from New Mexico is drawing near and we are beginning the rounds of parties and dinners and meetings to say goodbye to our friends who have in so many ways become a part of our family here. So much of Albuquerque's population is transitory - they come with the Air Force, the national laboratory, the university, and then move on after a few years. But we have lived in this area for nineteen years...long enough to be considered "honorary natives" by a local radio personality. We have accumulated a houseful of stuff and a heartful of precious friends. Saying goodbye is indeed bittersweet and difficult.
We came here in 1987 with our little Ford Escort hatchback crammed with our clothes and a tiny U-Haul trailer tailing behind, its meager contents constituting the entirety of our earthly possessions. Without jobs, without friends or family, without even having visited before, we arrived with a few belongings, great hopes and a healthy dose of youthful ignorance.
Nineteen years later we leave with more "stuff", a circle of friends and a lot of memories. The Land of Enchantment has been truly an enchanting place to live. We have become a part of the culture and the very air and beauty of this place has become a part of us. We take the High Desert with us.
Saying goodbye to the landscape and to our dear friends is difficult. As it gets ever closer, I get ever more melancholy. Though filled with excitement for the future, the present is filled with wistfulness. I don't like farewells. Each party and gathering makes me realize how important all these people are to us, and us to them. It is both heartening and sad.
Parting really is such sweet sorrow.
copyright 2006 Valerie Schneider