Civil Obedience Santa Fe Style

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David and I arrived in Santa Fe on Saturday night, after a drive through Southern Colorado that we both found stunning and comforting at the same time.  Land more like home, hillsides colored with vegetation rather than layers of rock, open valleys with horses and cows, and the southern end of the Rockies making a jagged ridge of the far horizon.  We came here with the intention of spending time with Marsie, experiencing the delights of this city, and being civil and obedient.  In other words, relaxing.  We’ve achieved all those goals.

After four days in Santa Fe I now understand why people are smitten with this city.  The russet and cashew-colored adobe buildings, with their low profiles, soft rounded edges and decorative wooden doors are soothing to walk among.  The coyote fences made from rows of standing sticks are unlike anything at home, able to last in the dry air under perpetually sunny skies.  The people are friendly and talkative and everyone has a story of how they came to be in Santa Fe.  There is art on every corner, in a gallery or a courtyard or the central plaza.  Mountains define the horizons, whether up close or distant, and there is a network of trails throughout the city, including the 5 mile trail we hiked yesterday that took us to the top of Atalaya Mountain, a 1,500 foot climb to look over Santa Fe below.  And the food is simply fabulous.  We’ve had a couple of meals here that compare to anything we’ve had anywhere.

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But it’s more than all these things by themselves. There’s a slower vibe here, an appreciation for beauty and the sensual delights of a hospitable climate and stunning natural world.  The colors are vibrant and striking and subtle at the same time, with sage brush spreading across red earth, interspersed with the deep green of pinyon pine and juniper.  In the mountains ponderosa pine hold their broad needle fans up into the sky to contrast their sun-sheened green with the deep blue.  It makes me feel relaxed, and that’s no small thing for me.

We fly back to New Hampshire today.   It’s been a grand trip and we’re already planning the next western adventure.  In the meantime, David is busy organizing a NationalParksProtest movement, so check out his blog Old Man Bad Back.  Want to take back our national parks and make a statement about the government shutdown?   This is your chance.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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One Response to Civil Obedience Santa Fe Style

  1. Hi Grace, top article on Yahoo News today is the “civil disobedience” of people entering the National Parks and historic sites. The question posed is does the government have the right to close these places, and are some of the barricades being put up for spite? Reminds me of kindergarten. Keep up the good work – love your colorful description of Santa Fe. Hope to visit Marsie this winter.

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