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Feeling grateful for all Las Cruces has to offer

Peter Goodman

Commentary:

I like it here.

Today I just thank Las Cruces? For what?

For watching the Organ Mountains redden and darken as the full moon rises above them, a compelling reminder of Nature’s magnificence. For the eagles, hawks, roadrunner, coyote, and quail who keep us entertained. And for being able to be alone out in nature within minutes.

For more excellent local coffeehouses and small restaurants than I can name here, particularly superb Mexican restaurants. For the Saturday morning Farmers Market, where vendors offer fresh, tasty food – and some are valued friends.

For the creative and mostly successful live theater productions of Black Box, LCCT, NMSU, and others – more than most other cities our size. For the interesting films we see in Mesilla’s historic Fountain Theater, in a comfortable atmosphere.

We have more than our share of talented artists, musicians, photographers, writers, and poets. Thanks to them, and the varied settings where we see or hear their arts. For supporting the community radio station we started, K-T-A-L and NMSU’s station, KRWG. Aside from different sorts of great music, they offer a local touch we truly need, with newspapers and local talk radio now endangered species.

Las Cruces is large enough to be reasonably interesting but small enough that committed individuals can have an impact. Non-profits and volunteer public boards await. So thanks, Las Cruces, for attracting so many citizens who care about community and the marginalized. Thanks particularly for the Progressive Voters Alliance, Instead of some long, soporific speaker, PVA offers a six-minute opening presentation, then lets everyone speak – for only two minutes. No boredom.

Thanks too for being a place where adobe architecture and the Spanish language help us recall always that native folks and Spanish immigrants preceded us, and that we’re in a centuries-old community that ignored borders.

In a small desert city, despite our growth, no tall buildings block our clear sight of natural elements such as the course of the sun and moon and the naked shapes of the mountains. We humans are all intruders in a precious natural world that will long outlast us, even though we’re fast fouling its livability. Those vast skies are huge paintings. Occasional rainstorms not only revive our desert but are compelling light shows. Dry arroyos flood.

Life feels more elemental than in larger cities or milder climates.

I like it here.