Under Santa Fe Skies

by Susan Tungate


Brittle. All summer I held the  thought Santa Fe had turned from soft to brittle. The monsoons never came but the fires did. The drought continued.  Winds blew the smoke and dust into our faces and homes. The little Santa Fe River that curves through the center of town did not flow nor did the brick lined Acequia Madre, the Mother Ditch built hundreds of years ago by the Spaniards to irrigate the farms on the now historic Eastside.  The farms were long ago replaced by million dollar adobe homes, but seeing the dry bed of the Acequia Madre broke my heart. Things were out of kilter.

And all summer we were disheartened by the latest statistics that placed New Mexico last on the list for taking care of our children and on top of the list for violence against women. New Mexico placed dead last on the list for economic recovery. People are having a hard time paying their bills. Brittle.

Yesterday I decided it was time to take a walk on the Eastside to view the fall colors. The first hard freeze has hit the roses. The leaves are dropping fast. As the dogs and I walked from Canyon Road toward the Acequia Madre, I heard it– the soft rushing sound of water. I guess the rain that fell the last few weeks of summer added sufficient water to Santa Fe’s reserves to warrant opening the gates to the ditch. With the turn of a knob, the water brought the Acequia Madre to life.

A few blocks away, I saw a line of people standing next to the narrow banks of the Santa Fe River, cell phones raised taking photographs. The river is flowing.

Softness,  synonymous with adaptability, endurance.


  1. Jane Scott says:

    With the flow, Susan…

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