Boca Negra Canyon-Albuquerque, New Mexico

My father had been telling me all about New Mexico throughout my childhood. When he was a free spirited bohemian writer, he had spent seven years there. As the back seat of my van slowly turned into a sauna..I was beginning to lose touch of the glory behind his stories. The sun. The heat. My sweaty ass. The warm water. These were the things I could think about. But when I stepped out into the welcome center at Boca Negra Canyon in Albuquerque, New Mexico…my journey had begun. I climbed up the rocks and could put my hands on ancient drawings from lives so far removed from mine…it’s difficult to envision. Scraping away at a rock for the purposes of leaving a mark that will last…this scene plays out in my head as I climb higher. Up at the top of the ledge, I could see Albuquerque. A beautiful city. Despite the desert. Walking down the path back to my van, I saw a jack rabbit. I had never seen a jack rabbit before; but I instantaneously knew that THAT was what this thing was. Leaping before me, looking just like a dog sized rabbit, it dawned on me that I was at the mercy of nature in a place like this. Nature and history.

By: Elizabeth Seward


3 thoughts on “Boca Negra Canyon-Albuquerque, New Mexico

  1. It sounds like you connected to your humanity/mortality/history and “heady stuff” like that, but it also sounds like you connected to your father and his stories. Is he still alive? It would be awesome to hear more about your connection to him and his stories, and if you feel like you’ve seen the same New Mexico. Awesome job!

  2. You’re very right, Meg! That trip to New Mexico for the first time really helped me to envision what my father’s life was like back then-when he was closer to my age. He IS still alive. He still speaks so fondly of NM all the time, but my mother hates it unfortunately. But I remember hearing him speak about writing at little cafes there while buying soup for a dollar, etc. All of this was definitely on my mind while on that trip. I uploaded pictures every day and had him view them online as to see what I’m seeing and it seemed as though, through our exchanging of stories, that not much had changed. Which, honestly, is kind of great. Thanks!

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