I stood in the tiny Albuquerque Sunport, catching my breath after an early morning dash from my apartment. It wasn’t how I would have chosen to part ways with this town, but maybe it was better this way. No time for maudlin shows of regret, suddenly insincere nostalgia or cleaving to the bits of life that had to be pruned away. The airport there has enormous windows that let in the desert landscape–Sandias in the east and the monogenetic extinct volcanoes rumpling the western horizon. I paused, surrounded by my carry-on bits and pieces, coffee in one hand, and drank in the dawn light pouring through the plate glass.
It was the light I would miss most. While I could count the number of times it had rained since I’d moved to Albuquerque four years ago, the light was a daily source of wonder. This place seemed to parade itself under that light in so many different ways, I never grew tired of looking. At that moment, the Sandias were black, silhouetted like torn paper against the slowly growing day. Dawn spilled across the landscape, the sky pink and gold in the east. Night still hunkered like a purple dog over the west, and I saluted both before turning to board the airplane that would take me Home.