Lands of Enchantment
I live in New Mexico. It is often referred to as The Land of Enchantment. The enchantment for me has been the color of the desert landscape; the mauves, umbers, ochers, turquoises, and golden hues of mesas and mountains tops.
Many years ago, my husband Ralph and I, travelled to Seattle. We took my seventy-something father along since he had been there before and knew all the special attractions like Pikes Place Market, the Space Needle, and the Museum of Pop Culture designed by Frank O. Gehry to name just a few.
One cloudy morning we took the ferry to Bainbridge Island laced about with quaint houses, shops, and restaurants. Still teaching at the time, I could not pass up a visit to the Calico Toy Shop (https://www.calicotoyshoppe.com) and their wild and delightful collection of toys for young and old.
After a wet but wonderful day, now damp and cold from the light rain which had begun falling mid-afternoon, we boarded the ferry for our return. Both my dad and husband chose to remain inside in the warmth, but I chose to go out on deck and watch as the island shrank and the city skyline grew.
Only one other woman had braved the cold and wet to watch the passing shoreline.
A necklace of heavy green trees graced the water’s edge. I had been told the forests of the Pacific Northwest contained more evergreens than almost anywhere in the United States. And evergreen it was! Having grown up in New Mexico nearly all my life, so much green was too much green. I did not understand how anyone could live here with all these green trees.
I asked the woman near me if she were a resident here. She said she was. She asked where I was from and I told her. I also told her how unaccustomed I was to so many trees.
“How do you stand it?” I asked boldly.
“Stand what?” she asked.
“All this green!”
To my surprise, she started to laugh.
“Oh, but this isn’t just green,” she said, “Look at all the shades of green. There’s blue in there and yellow and purple too when the light is right. Look at all the textures and the different angles and curves in the ridgelines. I love it,” she said, “It’s not brown like your desert.”
Though I could have corrected her about my “brown” desert, I smiled politely and turned back to look, really look at the shore.
She was right. There were as many different shades of green as there must be stars in the sky. In the remaining ten minutes I stood in the wonder of it and came away with a new understanding of a sense of place in a land covered in trees which was just as enchanting to its residents as the far distant view of the horizon in the desert.
This world is filled with wonder and there are many colorful enchantments to be found when we open our minds and hearts to a new view.