It’s Christmastime, and in New Mexico that means the night is full of glowing paper bags. The streets of Old Town are lit with luminarias, candles in bags that are somehow transformative.
New Mexico is my fourth state in a decade. I’ve lived in Missouri, midwestern and self-conscious; northern New Jersey, its traffic snarled under the spires of the country’s greatest city; and central Virginia,pastoral and historic and preening. New Mexico stands apart. Maybe it feels different because it belonged to a different country until just before the Civil War. Maybe a place that actually gets mistaken for Mars (and is used to study Mars) inevitably feels different. But throughout my short six months in this state, I’ve enjoyed feeling like a stranger in a strange land that is still familiar enough to feel like home.
It’s luminaria season in New Mexico. When New Mexico was New Spain, Spanish merchants brought the tradition of paper lanterns from China . Something as simple as votive candles in brown sacks dates back centuries. And it’s as beautiful as ever to behold.
Here in central Virginia we’re in the bull’s-eye for winter weather today. Maybe I’ll go out and snag some new pictures; in the meantime, here are some old snowy scenes. Here’s to hoping the power stays on; the low tonight is in the teens!
Here in the mid Atlantic, last week’s snow melts and compacts on the ground. It looks great when it falls, but it grows messy and treacherous quickly. But it is February, and the days grow longer. Soon they must grow warmer too. But in the meantime, this time of year, I like to fondly review photos from warmer places.