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10 Peaceful Images to Take Your Mind Off the Coronavirus in New Mexico

John Ghost

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We are indeed living in strange times. The coronavirus has made its way into New Mexico and because of it, we’re all dealing with a bit of anxiety. When it gets especially bad for me, I like to step outside in the cool spring air and feel the wind caress my face. My mind then wanders and begins visualizing all the amazing and wonderful natural landmarks throughout New Mexico. My sense-memory connects me to the natural world and I think of these places. I think of Chaco Canyon and the White Sands National Monument, and how they’re still there, and they’ll be there a year from now, 10 years from now, even 100 years. The world will go on. We will survive. And all that we love will continue to exist.

There is more good news too… we’re all in this together. No one is above another. This affects us all and we share our fears and anxieties. But let’s now take some time away from the coronavirus and relieve our minds as we remember some of the most beautiful places in New Mexico.

1. Chaco Canyon

Chaco Canyon under the Milky Way. The beauty of this natural place eases the mind of the coronavirus in New Mexico.
Chaco Canyon at night | Image credit: John Fowler via Flickr

This image of Chaco Canyon under the Milky Way reminds us of how vast our universe is. This area has also been home to ancient humans who survived many difficult times. They passed their stories onward into the present. These stories and the ruins these ancient people left behind have immortalized their existence. We can be reminded how far we have come and how much farther we still have to go. Take this moment for yourself and realize how strong and resilient we really are.

2. The Taos Pueblo

The Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years. After the coronavirus leaves New Mexico, people will continue to inhabit this area for thousands of years more.
The Taos Pueblo | Image credit: Cameron Woodworth via Flickr

You’d be hard-pressed to find a place more breathtakingly beautiful than Taos, New Mexico. The Taos Pueblo also adds to the beauty of the area. People have been living here for over 1,000 years. A lot has happened in the last 1,000 years. Many pandemics occurred throughout the world. Native Americans suffered through horrific plagues. But we all made it through. And in comparison, these pandemics were much more severe than anything we’re facing today. Remember this fact: the Taos Pueblo has been continuously inhabited for over 1,000 years and will continue to be for thousands more. The coronavirus in New Mexico won’t even make it past the summer.

3. Be at Peace Like Santa Fe Plaza in the Fall

Santa Fe Plaza in the fall.
Santa Fe Plaza in the fall | Image credit: Jim & Robin Kunze via Flickr

Sometimes our minds go wild with thoughts of suffering. It’s perfectly natural to fear the unknown. This fear keeps us alive and helps us thrive. But we have to remember to take the time to relax. Think of how beautiful the leaves look during autumn in the Santa Fe Plaza. The peaceful transition to winter is a change that is necessary for life to continue. The winter is coming, and though it may be cold, it will also have its beautiful qualities. And before we realize it, spring arrives and returns everything back to life. The coronavirus is our winter this year in New Mexico, but it will pass, and life will be sweet again before we know it.

4. The Organ Mountains

Sunset over the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, New Mexico.
Sunset over the Organ Mountains | Image credit: Bureau of Land Management

The Organ Mountains stand tall and stoic amongst the desert landscape like a beacon of hope. Sometimes incidents in life happen that require us to be a little more stoic than usual. There are things we are able to control. We can control our behavior. We can decide not to hoard necessary goods knowing that others have little or nothing. It’s our duty as a species to take care of each other. There are those who are more susceptible to getting sick and they need what a lot of us already have. Realize that we must try to take the moral high road and extend our hands to those who are less fortunate.

Together we will make it through. The Organ Mountains still stand tall. We are the hope we need. Now is the time to be the better person we know we truly are. Let your true colors shine through.

5. White Sands National Park

The moon rises above the White Sands National Monument in New Mexico with blue and pin pastel colored skies.
Moonrise above White Sands National Park| Image credit: John Fowler via Flickr

The pastel colors of this picture are incredible. When the moon rises at the right time over the White Sands National Park, for a short time it’s like you’re in a 1980s dreamland. Actually, the White Sands are dreamlike all the time. The serene desert landscape is like no other on the planet. I can feel the cool breeze brushing past me and the sand caressing my bare feet. Everything will be fine as long as the moon rises each evening. And the coronavirus won’t prevent it from doing that.

6. Carlsbad Caverns

Inside Carlsbad Caverns | Image credit: Mathieu Lebreton via Flickr

The pitch-black and serene stillness inside the Carlsbad Caverns asks us to stop for a moment and embrace the now. Thousands of people visit these amazing vast caverns every year. And for good reason too. The exquisite beauty of our natural world is eternally on display here within the Carlsbad Caverns. This place will wait for our return after the coronavirus leaves New Mexico, which will happen soon enough.

7. Kasha-Katuwe (Tent Rocks)

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument| Image credit: Bureau of Land Management via Flickr

New Mexico has many photogenic landmarks that find their way onto desktop backgrounds and large prints. One area in particular that will always stimulate human imagination is the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks. Take a field trip with your mind as you sit still listening to the wind blow and birds sing. These giant structures have witnessed eons of changes to the planet’s climate and landscape. They power through all change and stand tall and wise amidst any strange occurrence. They will be here waiting for you to visit them again when you’re ready.

8. Shiprock

Shiprock in the Navajo Nation.
Shiprock | Image credit: US Geological Survey via Flickr

The inimitable Shiprock landmark rises above the high-desert plain. Photographers from around the world flock here day and night. It’s another example of the beauty of the Navajo Nation. It watches over the world as it has done for eons. It’s said that Shiprock is a geological structure left by the timeless “star people.” Shiprock is the subject of many more spectacular legends because of its unique shape and commanding presence.

9. Aztec Ruins National Monument

The Aztec Ruins National Monument | Image credit: Woody Hubbard via Flickr

The Aztec Ruins National Monument is another example of how ancient Puebloan people survived in the sometimes harsh and difficult desert lands. Let these Puebloan ruins remind us of our history on this planet and how time always moves forward.

10. Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

Image credit: Jerry Huddleston via Flickr

Passengers aboard the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad get to witness the majestic and profound beauty of the Colorado and New Mexico border. The 64-mile expanse of track covers some of the most gorgeous landscapes in the world. Hear the train chugging in the distance, see the black plumes of smoke rising above the trees, and allow the train to pass. This railroad represents the passing of all things. Sometimes in a serene place, something arrives quickly. And it may seem scary. But the more we look at it, the more beauty we see in it. Even this scary coronavirus in New Mexico will pass us by and allow the natural beauty of our place to return to serenity.

I leave you with this. It’s a passage from a poem Winston Churchill wrote during an influenza pandemic when he was just 15 years old. Churchill’s words continue to aid us in times of confusion and change. Enjoy.

For though it ravaged far and wide
Both village, town and countryside,
Its power to kill was o’er;
And with the favouring winds of Spring
(Blest is the time of which I sing)
It left our native shore.

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