As most of you know, it’s been a very dry year up here in northern New Mexico, although the monsoons did finally arrive with some of the rain we usually get. But, even so, it’s been between 75 and 85 degrees for weeks and weeks, and warmer before that. I’ve been wearing tank tops and sandals to the gallery.
But that all changed today. It is 45 degrees and drizzling out there! Very beautiful. I’m wearing wool and boots in the gallery. And although this will certainly change and we’ll be back to our usual warm, fall weather soon, it has us all thinking about winter. There is snow on the mountain!
It’s one of the things I love about this country life I’m privileged to live: we are connected to the land up here, aware of the seasons, even those of us who are not raising animals and gardens. We all felt the lack of precipitation keenly when our fields didn’t put up their normal grasses, when the acequias brought less life-giving water to our pastures. We all wished for rain and hope, now, for a lot of snow this winter.
Many of us heat entirely with wood. And, as I’ve said before on the blog, there are no grocery stores here in Truchas, NM (see previous post Grocery Shopping Truchas New Mexico Style). Once winter hits, we can have three and four feet of snow on the ground for up to four months. Some days I’m snowed in, sometimes for as many as three days at a stretch. So as soon as we see the first signs that winter is on its way, it gets us all thinking and preparing. Time to bring in the wood and fill up the pantry.
And here at the gallery it’s time to winterize. The rain has shown us where the leaks in this old roof have been hiding. We see daylight under the exterior doors. And there are NO HEATERS in here yet! We have a great gas stove that shows a flame in the window to put in the studio, and Anna has a beautiful old French wood stove—deep blue—that we’ll install in the main room. But they’re not in here yet! I’m not sure about having fires in our kiva fireplace. There was a pretty deep puddle in it when I arrived this morning.
So the weather is shifting. Life is shifting. And it has us all thinking about winter coming. Last year I’ll admit I felt some dread right about now, thinking about plowing my 3/4 mile road and getting down the mountain in the snow. But now that I’ve experienced the deep dry season that was the result of little snow last winter, I revel in the possibility this season offers.
Let us have so much snow that I have to plow ten or more times like I did my first winter here. Let me get snowed in for days at a stretch. I’ll use my snow shoes again. But, please, Spirit, bring this land the water she needs to restore herself after this deep dryness. May winter bring the nurture she deserves. May the beasts have all the grasses they require in the spring as a result of this winter’s snow. May the acequias flow like rivers. May the land reap the bounty she so graciously made do without this past year’s cycle.
Love to you all,