Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Louisiana and New Mexico: Sun v. Shade

As I settle into Lafayette, the contrast with Alamogordo is marked, with one exception.

The differences

Alamogordo --> Sun, light, aridity. The Sacramento Mountains on one side, the brilliant White Sands on the other, and the San Andres further west. Two sunrises, two sunsets. A sense of openness, expanse, far-away horizons.

From my apartment, I saw the Sacramento Mountains so close it felt I could almost touch them. The sounds of doves.

Lafayette --> Shade trees, their long, curvy limbs reaching across residential roads toward their sisters on the other side. Moist air. Fat rain droplets perch on the windshield like dew on grass. Dense traffic, narrow lanes, hurry.

From my new apartment, on the second floor, I see rooftops and trees. There is a spectacular tropical plant in the yard next door. The sounds of squirrels. 

Lafayette, Louisiana

A similarity

Since I’ve moved in, it has been cloudy in Lafayette. The cloud cover is close in, so much so that when I saw a plane rise from the Lafayette airport nearby, and then watched it disappear ghostlike, I couldn’t believe how completely the clouds obscured the plane’s body. Just like how the mist and clouds obscure the Sacramento Mountains.

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