One summer I had been traveling for a few weeks. While I was gone, it rained every afternoon as is common in my favorite season, our fifth season, Monsoon Season. Upon my return, I was showing homes to a lady from Georgia. As we drove around town, I kept commenting on how green everything looked due the rain over the last few weeks. The medians were green, the open space was green with wild flowers popping up in between the grass and even the distant mesas had a green sheen. The lady from Georgia didn’t really engage in my green comments. Finally, at the end of the day and after one more exclamation from me about how green everything looked, she turned to me and said, “Honey, you and I don’t see green the same!”
We laughed and talked about how everything comes down to your reference point. Admittedly, the green I was seeing everywhere was celery green, which as compared to brown, looked green! She was used to the verdant Kelly green of the humid climates of the south, so celery green did not seem remarkable to her.
What WAS remarkable to her however, was how far she could see into the distance. Due to the lack of humidity and the mountainous terrain, she could see those “green” mesas that are more than 20 miles away! She could see the distant blue mountains of Santa Fe and the Jemez Mountains which are 60 miles away! Though I see those things every day too, they are part of my normal. We enjoy clear air, blue skies and vast vistas almost every day of our lives here.
People new to the area often say about our landscape, “it is so BROWN”! I always think to myself, well, it depends on where you look. As I mentioned above, when the reference point is brown due to the desert landscape, New Mexicans see color in subtle hues sometimes, or color captured in unexpected moments depending on how our amazing sunshine spotlights a pop of color. That sunlight we enjoy 330 days of the year is what drew artists like Georgia O’Keefe to New Mexico to capture those amazing moments of color and light on their canvases.
Starting with vivid sunrises, my days take me all over ABQ and the surrounding area and I delight in the special discoveries of color and light. I see distant views and close up landscape vignettes tucked into courtyards and corners, and I know we are so lucky.
Brown – yes, it is brown here, but only as the neutral background- the canvas you could call it – for the dramatic beauty of the High Desert.
Each and every day closes with the finale, the most amazing gift we are given – our sunsets.
I love it here – this is my Vista Encantada-Kurstin Johnson