To New Mexico, with love
The first time I visited New Mexico I was a senior in high school. Initially unimpressed, I took a side trip to Santa Fe and fell in love with the city’s beautiful surroundings, history, blending of cultures, adobe buildings with bright splashes of color, and citywide celebration of creativity. It was the first place I visited, independent from my parents, where I could see myself spending my life.
There have been small visits: In the fall of 2006 I spent a day riding through canyons and alongside rivers on an Amtrak train in Northern New Mexico, part of a week long train trip that ranks as one of the best vacations I’ve ever been on. It was my first time back since I was a teenager, and once again I felt drawn to the area, unable to tear my eyes away from the lounge car windows. Then this past December I drove down through southeastern Colorado, over Raton Pass, on my way to Texas. It was late at night when we arrived in the city of Raton, New Mexico, and even though I was exhausted after 14 hours of driving and cared about little more than my head hitting the pillow, I was still happy to be back in one of my favorite states. We ate breakfast in a funky little cafe and set out over the snowy mountains, excited that by days end we would be in Houston.
And then there was my trip to Santa Fe last August. Before I left I actually considered cancelling my trip, and when I think about how much I would have lost had I done so, how much less my life would be now, it is almost unfathomable. While it eventually brought about some complicated situations, it completely changed my life, and taught me lessons I will carry with me forever, chief among them that home, for me, is not a house, or a city or a state, but a person.
The cardigan I’m knitting was an idea, vague at best, that came to me while I was in Idaho early last summer. All I knew was that it was going to be a sweater (pullover or cardigan, I wasn’t sure) with eyelets on the yoke. It wasn’t until a lazy evening in Santa Fe, after a busy day in Taos, that it popped back into my head, only this time I knew exactly what I wanted the finished project to look like.
The next evening, sitting outside during the Perseid meteor shower, I drew this sketch. It may not look like much (this is pushing the limits of my drawing abilities, sadly) but it shows a project I’m very excited to finally start knitting.
Everything about this cardigan, from the design to the yellow yarn and blue buttons I chose, remind me of New Mexico, a place that is incredibly special to me. I hope that it shows.