Land of Enchantment and a Tattoo
Ah New Mexico is really the Land of Enchantment, one of the most beautiful places that I have ever had the pleasure of living in. It is where I saw snow falling for the first time and where I got my first tattoo.
I was 23 years old when I first moved to New Mexico, I had married a man in the Air Force and we were expecting my daughter. To say that I wasn’t thrilled to be moving to the desert is an understatement, I had lived by the coast all my life and the prospect of having to live in the desert for who knows how long, was not pleasing to me. I hated it from the moment that I got there.
We were getting stationed at Holloman Air Force Base and the only thing I knew of it was that it was a nuclear base, (at the time) and close by was the sight of Los Alamos, the site where they first tested the atomic bomb that would later destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Holloman is the home of the Stealth Fighter and also there were lots of rumors of UFO's and of course the story of supposedly crash landing of aliens. The "aliens" were supposedly taken to Holloman Air Force Base, but of course no one can confirm or deny this. LOL
The only thing that I miss about Holloman Air Force Base is the people that I had the pleasure of meeting there. Some I still keep in touch with and most have gone their separate ways, but there was so much discourse between my exhusband and I during this time that the memories of this place are kind of tainted for me. There were many years there that were like hell to me because of my marriage. But I definitely miss New Mexico and its beauty. I have only been back once with my new husband to visit White Sands and other places.
When I fall in Love
Well just one New Mexico sunset was enough for me to fall in love with the mountains. We lived surrounded by mountains and when the sun set, it would paint the prettiest pictures on the mountains.
When it got too warm during the summers, my children and I would go up to a little town in the mountains called Cloudcroft and we would spend hours hiking up there. It was always nice to spend the day there, we would picnic and then hike. I loved those days and so did my children.
Further up the mountain past Cloudcroft you will eventually get to the Mescalero Reservation. This was the first for me as well visiting a reservation. There is a fabulous casino and hotel there and when I lived in New Mexico it was beautiful but recently it was redone and now it looks like something you would find in Las Vegas. Lots of tourists, its sensational. There is even a legend that it is haunted. Apparently the story is of an unrequited love between a girl and boy and she supposedly jumped from the window and killed herself, and the legend is that on a crisp, clear night she can be seen looking out of one of the windows. Now that the casino and hotel has been redone, maybe the legend or the haunting doesn’t exist anymore, not sure on that one.
One of the places that anyone that goes to this area of New Mexico should see is the White Sands National Park. Its amazing all this white gypsum sand for miles and miles that was created by nature hundreds of years ago. It always reminded me of the beach without any water.
I also fell in love with the Kokopeli legend. The Kokopeli is supposed to be this little Indian man playing the flute and is the fertility deity, depending on what tribe you ask, there will probably be a different story for him but the gist of it is that he plays his flute around the tribe’s women in hopes that it will make them fertile. Of course there are other beliefs behind the Kokopeli as well, but I just thought the look of it was interesting and therefore before I left New Mexico, I left with a Kokopeli tattoo and now that I live in Texas, most people either don’t know what it is or never heard of it. But that’s okay because I don’t regret getting it. It was the most endearing thing that I took with me from New Mexico after living there for 10 years and it will last as long as I do and that’s more than I can say for the marriage.
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