Saturday, May 18, 2013


Living in a desert climate, you think about water a lot. In a rainy climate, you also think about water a lot, but in a very different way. In Bellingham, water is everywhere, and I will admit that after spending five years there, I took it for granted and even was annoyed by it. To be fair, I never ever got tired of the view of Bellingham Bay from my house, the beautiful running trails along Whatcom Creek, or the lush green landscape. But there were many mornings, especially during the long winter months, where I would hear the rain as soon as I woke up and curse the world, knowing that I would have to plan my outfit and my activities around how much I could tolerate being wet.

In New Mexico, I think about water all the time because I never see any. Okay, that is a slight hyperbole. I definitely recognize the privilege I have to live in a place with running water available hot or cold 24/7. But aside from that, this is the most water I've seen at once:
An especially flowy part of the Santa Fe River.
The fact that this body of water is called a river is kind of a joke because it is so shallow. And it actually dries up less than 10 blocks downstream. So see what I mean about seeing NO water?

To be fair, it has rained a number of times since I've moved here. According to people who have lived in Santa Fe for awhile, this Spring has been rainier than usual. When it rains, the normally blue sky gets dramatically overcast, and Santa Feans will look eagerly to the sky and say, "Looks like it's going to rain!" When it finally does, the raindrops are fat and slow and actually quite refreshing. It rarely rains for more than five minutes; it doesn't even phase all the tourists who walk around downtown in shorts and Hawaiian t-shirts. (Sidenote: Tourists are fascinating.)

Every once in awhile it will get really exciting and hail for five minutes. And five minutes after that, all evidence will have completely evaporated and it will be hot and sunny again. It is weird, folks.

The other day in the newspaper I saw an ad that said, "WASTING WATER IS AGAINST THE LAW," reminding Santa Feans that it is illegal to water your yard during the day. Apparently the city is entering into is third year of drought.

Of course, there are some advantages to living in a hot, dry climate. I don't have to use a hair drier, and even my long, thick hair dries perfectly straight. Mold and mildew are no longer words in my daily vocabulary. At the same time, it definitely doesn't feel sustainable to have so many humans living in a place with so little water.

The picture above of me with the Santa Fe River is from a Date Afternoon that Eric & I had last week. We walked to a chocolate shop called Kawaka dangerously close to our house, where they serve traditional drinking chocolate. It was DELICIOUS, but I would not recommend having anything after 1 PM if you would like to go to sleep at a normal time. We had some drinking chocolate and some truffles around 4:30 PM and both had chocolate hangovers in the morning from sleeping so poorly. This chocolate is powerful stuff.

Eric at Kakawa.
Then we strolled up Canyon Road, a street famous for having over ONE HUNDRED art galleries on it. Even though Eric and I are a million years away from being able to afford any art on Canyon Road, it's really fun to walk around and look at all the different sculptures. Our favorite place we saw was this sculpture garden filled with awesome metal sculptures that twirled in the wind, stone furniture, and beautiful fountains.

Not bad, Santa Fe.

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