Starting fresh in spring – The Chieftain Defender

In May, it will be a year since I moved back to the Land of Enchantment.

It’s flown by. The desert sunsets still haven’t gotten old. I doubt they ever will.

I’m New Mexico born and raised, but spent two years out of state until the pandemic made me want to move closer to family. That and I missed the desert somewhere deep in my bones.

My favorite thing about New Mexico is the people, but a close second is the food. There are so many breakfast burrito options, I could write an epic about it. Enchiladas, tamales, biscochitos, all delicious and all easy to find. The endless green chili: on pizza, on burgers, scrambled into eggs.

My least favorite thing is the spring winds, and we have clearly entered the dreaded windy season. Fire hazards are high and allergies are in full swing.

When it’s not trying to blow you away, spring is a time for new beginnings, and I am beginning anew in one sense. I spent the weekend making the shortest geographic move I’ve ever made, from one apartment in Socorro to another apartment in Socorro—a whole four minutes away. My poor little biceps are tired from moving boxes.

It’s always thrilling and exhausting to move. You get to imagine the new possibilities in a new space, and you’re reminded how much stuff you actually own. I own too many books, but at least I have the excuse that I write for a living. I owned too many books long before I wrote for a living.

One of the items I moved too many boxes of are poetry books. Poetry books have the advantage of being much thinner than a novel or a work of nonfiction, making them lighter weight, a real perk when you’re moving. That’s until you get to the anthologies…The anthologies reminded me that I’m terribly out of shape, and should perhaps lift more than moving boxes.

In case you didn’t know, April is National Poetry Month. It’s a great time to celebrate poems and poets, and there are a lot of phenomenal living New Mexico poets worth celebrating: Luci Tapahonso, Jessica Helen Lopez, Levi Romero, Hakim Bellamy. Go read some poems. Or send me your poetry recommendations to add to my reading list.

New spaces always make me imagine I can reinvent my life. There’s something about reconfiguring all of my physical things that reminds me how much I can reinvent myself.

The self is such a weird thing, always shifting, being reshaped.

The worst bit of moving is all of the cleaning. Clean the old place—mop, sweep and scrub those corners that didn’t get dusted quite often enough. Then clean the new place—wipe down those closet shelves, put out some baking soda to absorb any strange smells. By the time you’re done it feels like you’ve cleaned everything twice, because of course you have. Two kitchens, two bathrooms, two bedrooms. One at the old, and one at the new.

I wish there were a secret shortcut to deep cleaning, but I suppose like most things worth doing, there is no magic shortcut. You just do one thing, then the next until it’s done.


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