"The Emerald in the Rough" Corrales by peachitish
Corrales Travel Guide: 14 reviews and 25 photos
Corrales, named by the Spanish who settled in this cultured state, remains home. When most people picture New Mexico, tumble weeds, dust storms, a certain number of famous cowboys and a couple of direction challenged aliens usually make dramatic entrance in the stages of their imagination. Most would assume that there would never be any trees or anything that might resemble the color green and the closest thing to a plant would be a cactus or those sad little brown bushes in a Wiley Coyote cartoon. Corrales, however, dares to defy the imagination.
When I talk to most of my friends now, tales from building complexes and suburbs are the traditional response. It seems to just be the way American culture settles. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with living an a suburb-they are close enough, a closed, safe environment, where one can be surrounded by friends without living in a high cost city, as far as anything goes, there is no problem with that.)
Imagine if you will, a warm breeze wafting lavender to your senses. Cotton dances on the air like a thousand tiny fairies. Out n the porch of the house, we have acquired about a million toads. Each has his/her own name, and the fatness of their belly usually is the defining character to each. In the evening, my mom turns on the porch light for the moth their dinner to swarm to the light. She often tempts them with mealworms as a savory appetizer, serving them fresh with a pair of chopsticks. Hmmm, good eats! On special occasions, she will collect the June bugs (a flying, hissing beetle about the size of a radish) and feed the to our amphibian guest. Days are spent walking the many trails in the Bosque, a lush green river valley filled with cotton wood trees and other nature life. Horse back riding, ballooning in the morning, concerts at the zoo, and other fun adventures are the usual in the little town. There are also many festivals that go year round including a lavender celebration in mid summer.
The native architecture mimics the many pueblos scattered through the state, ornate vegas and adobe walls baked from the New Mexican sun. Even the heat waves from the ground are spiced with the New Mexican culture.
If there is one special time during the year, Christmas takes the cake no contest. Each year, the community comes together for a traditionally unique celebration. Every house lines the streets, roofs, sidewalks, yards, and walls with luminarias (a brown bag with a bit of sand and a single lit candle inside.) Chile ristras hang from the doors, and Spanish guitar versions of “Oh Holy Night” can be heard from the corners. On Christmas Eve, all the families tour the village to marvel at the candlelights; on that day, thousands of strangers become family.
I can still remember when I was a little girl, my whole family would gather to sing Christmas carols. As we walked in the rundown neighborhoods of the city, we were received as long friends expected. The fondest memory remains the old lady and her loving husband. She stood at the door and said in her thick new Mexican accent,” mi hitos, how nice to see you, come in come in. ayyyy your getting so tall (where an appropriate cheek kissing and admiring gaze followed.) She would always cook a huge feast of pasole and cornbread and everyone was served endless amounts of Mexican hot chocolate and bisquichitos after the festive serenade. This was our family, not the long distant 3rd cousins twice removed that I have never met in my life (thought they count too.) My family is the old lady at the end of the street, with a thick Hispanic accent and cotton floral skirts. The grandmothers of all the children in the community, our familia.
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