Well, today was another
no-show for me. I had stayed up too late watching Monday Night
Football. This morning I didn't feel like taking an early walk.
When I finally did go out, about 9:30, I had to laugh at myself
because of the hard time I had given my neighbor about being
a warm-weather wimp and taking off for Palm Springs, California,
after just one early-morning walk with me.
When I got to the
Plaza, even that late in the morning, there were very few people
enjoying the beauty of our city. I remembered that a couple
of weeks ago I had strolled through the Plaza after lunch, in
search of a Christmas present for one of my nephews. Snow was
falling then, and though there were people around the perimeter
of the Plaza, no one was in the core. I couldn't believe I was
looking at all this beauty all to myself, and no one was sharing
it with me.
Through the snow the sun was shining. Because of the suns
heat the flagstone was melting the snow. But the spaces in between,
sprouting grass, were covered with the white stuff. This created
a complex puzzle pattern that only nature could have put together.
Its beauty held me spellbound, almost talking to myself, as
if I felt there were another someone within me to share nature's
The Plaza is beautifully
decorated, with little white lights on the deciduous leafless
trees and Christmas tree lights on the evergreens. The buildings
surrounding the Plaza have their parapets covered with modern-day
farolitos. Farolitos are little brown paper bags partially filled
with sand, with a lighted votive candle sitting on top of the
sand. Because of fire danger from the burning candles, many
people now use a brown plastic bag that goes over the top of
the clear Christmas candles.
As I walked through
the Plaza I was thinking that very few places are as beautiful
in the night as in the day.
I often sadly think
about those who have never had a chance to visit our fair city.
For those who have been here and are not here now I feel even
sadder, because to have had a chance to experience something
so beautiful and then not have it is devastating. For me, just
being in Santa Fe (and I must add Taos) is Christmas present
There are those who
have lived here and gone on to another city and are happier
there. For them I am saddest of all, because somehow the magic
that is here escaped them. Somehow this paradise wasn't enough.
Somehow the turquoise-blue skies, the cotton-white clouds, the
historic Plaza, the Palace of the Governors, the spire of the
cathedral, the interesting people, and a thousand other things,
didn't grab their souls. There are some people who pass through
life and somehow never see it. I hope these people are few.
For the rest, I hope they come and visit soon, so that they
can understand my feelings.
Because I started
very late this morning, instead of going all the way around
the federal building, my usual course, I walked slowly around
the Plaza several times. The slow pace didn't do much for my
cardiovascular exercise. But it did wonders for my soul. I didn't
even stop for my usual coffee and pastrypartly because
my heart was full, and that made my stomach happy, and partly
because my neighbor wasn't here to share my joy. Or distract
me from it.
Have a great day.