The true secret of New Mexico is the sun. No need to tell this fellow (?) about it, obviously. The sunlight pouring down at 7,000 feet is strong and full in the clean dry air. You instantly understand those photos of skiers standing around in their shirt sleeves. The sun just changes everything. Winter is transformed.
There used to be a thing called S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder). Maybe it was real, or maybe it was one of those invented problems, an opportunistic naming of the obvious and universal. (You know, when it’s cloudy all the time, you tend to get depressed.) People love to do that, decide they have a real disease instead of going deep inside themselves and following the clues. Back in Maryland, I used to buy brighter light bulbs for the winter, and we’d leave more lights on than we needed. I wonder if it helped us more than it did the power company.
There’s something to that, though. Even here, with well over 10 months of sunshine every year, the Christmas lights we still have up make a major difference in my mood. If that’s the case, imagine how much psychic benefit all that actual sunlight brings! But it’s addictive, too. Living here has changed me. On those rare mornings when I wake up and don’t see the sun, I feel instantly disturbed. Something’s wrong! Where am I?! How do I go home?
“Home” being where the golden light is, surely.