October 20, 2008

All Grown Up

After an amazing long weekend in beautiful, sunny New Mexico, I'm home in one piece.

It's hard to describe what a great time I had. I've been visiting New Mexico every couple of years since I moved to Austin 10 years ago, but there was something different about this visit.

Daniel and I woke up around 5:30 on Friday morning--both of us happened to set our alarms incorrectly, and my eyes fluttered open in the dark to see my mother-in-law hovering over my bed whispering loudly, It's 5:30!

That's always a bit unnerving.

We made it to the airport with plenty of time to spare, and I was off on my adventure.

My mother always talks about how strange it is to part from friends for long periods of time. As she would say, they stay frozen in your memory as they were when you left them. And it's strange to meet them again and find them grown, matured, older. I think it's been about two or three years since my last visit, so not too many people looked very different since I last saw them. But the changes apart from physical appearance were remarkable to me.
I could hardly believe I was seeing my childhood friends married, having children, being successful, moving on to other places.
It was okay for me to do these sorts of things...but it was just strange seeing "life" happening for other people.
I imagine it was something like a 10-year high school reunion might be. People you had categorized in your mind and made assumptions about (with out any negative intent) you find have blossomed into something you never imagined--or perhaps something less than you imagined.
It was truly amazing to me; I saw the hand of God in the lives of people, working and molding.
But it wasn't only the people I saw that made this visit so different. It was me. There is something changed in me--it may not be noticeable to the naked eye.
I've been in Austin for a long time, around a lot of the same people. I haven't really changed it up too much. But I spent most of this weekend explaining myself. It's quite an exercise: you want to choose the right words and impart the right feelings to suggest you are doing "well" and feeling "happy." One can't help but get introspective after a certain point.
When I first arrived in Las Cruces it sort of early Friday morning. I didn't want to disturb the bride-to-be, in case she was resting up for the hectic weekend. So I drove my little rental car out to the desert, grabbed my camera, and climbed "A" mountain all by my lonesome.
There is something about being on a mountain top, even a little one that isn't really a mountain. It was quiet and cool and dry and beautiful.
I think it took leaving Las Cruces for many years for me to come back and realize what a wonderful place it is. It may not look like much driving through on I-10. It takes time to get to know.
Up on "A" mountain I climbed a rock and breathed in the scent of dirt and cactus. The desert has a pleasant smell, but so dry it's sort of sour. I thank God for the hour and a half or so I spent there, resting, thinking, praying. It was a great way to start the weekend.
I am so glad I was around to see my dear friend Amy in love and getting married. Even though I don't see Amy very often and we don't even really talk much anymore, we slipped quickly into our comfortable, old friendship. It's one of the few relationships in my life that seems timeless in many ways. It felt right that I was there to celebrate and rejoice and help and share.
I came home exhausted physically, but rested in other ways. I feel peaceful and happy, I'm glad to be home in the arms of my husband.

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