Sunday, July 16, 2023

Nothing Short of Magical

As we bid farewell to Santa Fe, and prepare to return to our beloved Oaxaca, Mexico, our hearts are filled with gladness. We carry with us not only cherished memories and experiences but also the kindness and love of the friends who have embraced us throughout our journey. They have touched our lives in profound ways, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts, reminding us of the power of human connection and the beauty of genuine relationships.

Not once in our month sojourn did we have to stay in a hotel or rent accommodations. Friends provided everything we needed and ensured our comfort.

Amy's mural

I have many life experiences associated with Santa Fe, having lived in “The City Different’ for over four decades. Amy too, but especially the nearby city of Taos where her family ancestry goes back four centuries. This return felt invigorating, especially stepping back into a very clean world with all the amenities and opportunities that do not exist where we live now. 

We went to Taos overnight. It is where Amy spent many years and is the land of her ancestors. While there we visited her enormous mural on the side of a wall at the University of New Mexico. Amy then went north—to Minneapolis-St.Paul for two weeks to visit with family and do some work. After she left, I had the opportunity to see my beloved daughter Sarah who lives an hour away, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We went to the zoo there. The day was so hot that most of the animals were hiding or resting lethargically in the shade, but we enjoyed ourselves and rejoiced in our togetherness. 

I had an opportunity to experience the annual Santa Fe Folk Art Festival that draws artists and craftspeople from all over the globe for one weekend. It is a celebration of cultural diversity. 

Santa Fe has a vibrant summer music scene and many nights are alive with free concerts for the community. We discovered the joy of dancing to music alongside fellow residents, joining in the celebrations at free venues located in the charming rail yard and lively plaza. These moments of shared revelry were a testament to the unity and camaraderie that define this city. Traveling bands come from all around to play. While Amy was gone, I went alone to hear the music and often ran into people from my past that I had forgotten.

Sarah at Albuquerque Zoo

I had time for walks in the National forest in the mountains above Santa Fe, and to drive into the Rio Grande Gorge and follow the river for awhile. The days have been exceedingly hot, so it was cool respite to find a stream where I could sit in a pool by boulders under cascading water.

Generous souls have donated art supplies for us to take back to the children we serve in our pueblo. We have two suitcases full of materials and projects.

During our time in Santa Fe, we embarked on various endeavors that required our attention. Among them was the task of selling items we had been storing, which provided an opportunity to declutter and move forward with renewed purpose. 

The time in Santa Fe, New Mexico, has been nothing short of magical. The kindness and love of friends, breathtaking landscapes, the vibrant community, and the invaluable moments of reconnection have shaped this chapter of my life into an unforgettable tale.  In parting, we acknowledge the true spirit of reciprocity and gratitude, for our dear friends have bestowed upon us gifts to share with our neighbors in our humble pueblo in Oaxaca. As we journey back to our Mexican abode, we carry these offerings as a symbol of the interconnectedness we have fostered during our time in Santa Fe. It is through the act of giving and sharing that we can create a ripple effect of kindness, extending the love we have received to those around us.

With my friend Paul White on left

As I bid adieu to this remarkable city, I am reminded that it is the people and the relationships we cultivate that truly make a place feel like home. Santa Fe will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I carry with me the lessons learned and the love shared as I embark on the next chapter of my fairytale life.

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