My Happy Place
By Terri Lynn Cummings
Eyes closed. Seeking its spicy aroma, my nose twitches in pleasured remembrance. Mind’s eye turns to the source. Endless fields of yellow flowers, clustered on top of silver-leaved bushes, permeate the thin air of spring and summer.
When seasons retire these sagebrush fashions, woody scents take center stage. White tree trunks soar before branching delicately overhead. Their fall apparel shimmers in vivid yellows, oranges, and reds. A gentle breeze moves nature's wind chimes, the rustling layers of leaves, which decorate slopes on high desert mountains.
Below the aspens, plateaus afford wide-open playgrounds for antelope, romping at the foot of the city. Chimineas or chimneys burn pinion wood, exhaling their scented breath overhead. A deep blue sky vividly frames the outlines of terracotta homes and buildings.
Wintertime often brings snow, blanketing the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and dampening the sounds of the city. Ice crystals sparkle from light reflected by luminarias or farolitos. Candles are placed carefully in the sand inside brown bags to provide a warm glow on cold nights. They decorate pathways and line the flat rooftops of homes, churches, and buildings during the holiday season.
The peaceful city is steeped in culture and history. It was founded by Spanish missionaries before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. As New Mexico’s capital city, it embraces numerous museums and art galleries. Historical baroque churches of adobe are scattered throughout its heart.
My soul mate proposed in the downtown park, 24 years ago this month. Our sons grew up vacationing in this area. I crave blue corn chicken enchilada’s with green chili whenever I hear the name of my happy place. Have you guessed its location? Why, Santa Fe, of course!