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The Evolution of Elan

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So much of our childhood is spent dreaming of becoming older. Old enough to ride a bike, old enough to go to school…to drive and to go on that very first date…old enough to move out and pay the bills – wait, what? Bills? Oh, to be young again! 


Life’s evolution is full of wonder.  Although the insatiable desire to grow and learn through experience can be quenched in a single moment, it is those very moments that open our journey to change. Change is the key to evolution. And evolution is what moves humanity. 


While shopping at a locally owned hardware store, an elderly man working in the paint department offered his assistance. I explained I wanted to change the color of some old furniture and was looking for fresh paint colors. He asked why I would want to paint beautiful wood. I explained that I was updating my decor to a more serene surrounding by softening the bold traditional look. He smiled and said, “Oh…I see. Well the beauty of wood is that it will always be your foundation, strong and sturdy. Paint is simply an outward expression of your desire for change.”  


The man then looked at me for a moment and said, “I know you. You are the editor of Élan! It’s a beautiful magazine! When my wife brings home the new issue I quickly snatch it to read myself. I know you began as a woman’s magazine, but I am so glad you didn’t leave us men out—I’ve never read a single story that I couldn’t relate to.” 


He shared his connection to Élan with such sincerity. “Your magazine is like your wood, strong and sturdy in its foundation, yet your ability to add a little bit of paint in each issue keeps my mind swirling with possibilities.” With tears in my eyes, I hugged this gentle stranger who validated our principles for change since Élan’s inception—conscious evolution.


Élan has long outgrown her days of speaking only to women. In fact, I’m not sure she ever really did. Our content has always transcended gender. But she has grown to resonate the history, culture and adventure that has brought civilizations to the southwest for thousands of years. Élan’s pages have become a mirror of time reflecting the social change that, slow as it may be, is inevitable for evolution—and what moves humanity.


Élan has left her mark in time…it has been inscribed in history. To honor her indelible past and celebrate her progressive future Élan will now be known as, Etched. Etched Magazine. 


Etched will continue to share the timeless stories of soul searchers, art lovers, adventure seekers and the culture creators. To further emphasize our evolution, we welcome to our pages The Creative, an extended arts section produced through the incredible spirit of Darren Edwards. Darren and his wife Niki’s vision for the arts aligns synergistically with Etched. The Creative arts section brings an authentically personal perspective to the local arts scene, embracing the ‘here and now.’ This addition provides an unprecedented collaboration and editorial mix for our readers and the thousands who get their hands wrapped around our pages. And so it is - welcome to Etched! Indulge. You will be filled with the substance and inspiration you’ve come to expect from Élan - we’re simply giving you more. 


As to being young…I would go back in time if I could take the wisdom with me (and leave the bills behind). Since that’s not possible, I shall continue along my journey, just as our team behind Etched will, celebrating successes and growing from mistakes. Each day will be another opportunity to embrace whatever evolution awaits us. But I will never forget the moments that changed me because of a magazine called Élan.


Darci Hansen, Editor in Chief