This morning was
definitely a harbinger of spring. Not only was the temperature
reasonably warm, not only was there plenty of daylight at 6
a.m., but in addition my neighbor accompanied me for the second
time in a row. Usually he heads right back to Palm Springs,
California, after just one cold walk. Last week he was so bundled
up he could hardly move. Today he wore only about four layers.
As usual, we discussed local issues. Because Santa Fe is having
a very dry winter, like so many other places in the country,
the impending summer water crisis became our main topic. I told
my neighbor that for the last three decades or so, every time
we have a dry year, the city powers (mayor and City Council)
grind the discussion to a pulp and in the end accomplish nothing.
When Santa Fe first
started seriously discussing the need for additional water sources
all those years ago, every suggested solution was soon discarded
for one reason or another. As a result, the water problem has
never been solved. If the council only realized that there is
no perfect solution, and that doing something is better than
doing nothing at all, wed be much better off. But no,
the problem is discussed endlessly, until finally election time
rolls around again and the new members start the process all
What is funny and
sad at the same time, I told my neighbor, is that the voters
finally had the sense to kick out a councilor who talked the
city into buying the local water company, under the false belief
that the rates could be lowered. Well, we voters, who always
are looking for ways to save money, agreed to buy the water
companyand the result has so far been a disaster.
Not only have the
rates increased dramatically, but the City Council has also
spent a great deal of time managing the water company, time
that could have been better spent solving the many other problems
the city has created for itself. Problems such as a golf course,
a recreation center and the downtown rail-yard property the
city boughtall of which are losing money at light speed.
Oh well, with all
its problems Santa Fe is still one of the best places to be.
Dry or not, its still beautiful.
As we reached our
most distant point and then circled back toward our stop at
the French Pastry Shop, always the highlight of our walk, I
asked my neighbor, "Why are we occupying our minds with
such sad thoughts on such a beautiful morning?" He saw
my point; and from that moment on, my mind concentrated on the
difficult task of deciding which pastry to eat today.
I could tell that
my neighbors thoughts were running along the same line.
I also knew that our indecision would not last long, because
unlike the city powers and the water shortage, we both preferred
grinding some delicious pastry to a pulp instead of worrying
endlessly whether we picked the right one. Any pastry is better
than no pastry at all!
Have a great day!