No more water, but fire next time
The words of the gospel song come back to me as fires spread across New Mexico; one, in the north-east corner of the state, near Cimarron, has already scorched 36 thousand acres and is only twenty percent controlled.
In times like this, I’m grateful that—so far—Santa Fe has been spared, and perhaps the closing of our neighboring national forest will prevent disaster.
Like everyone else who has the means, I try to take comfort in the beauty I’ve been able to create here on this rocky hillside: a pond I commissioned two decades ago when water seemed to be an everlasting blessing, the fat koi who live contentedly (as far as I can tell) in that water, the flowers and trees that surround it. Birds, bees and butterflies are few—I just saw my first Monarch in a year or more in my garden, hungrily sipping flowers—but if they come, the water and the fire are sustenance.
Looking down into the valley where Santa Fe has now spread from mountain to mountain, the Sandias, eighty miles away near Albuquerque, are now almost invisible. And even when the smoke from all these fires clears, dust from the drought and exhaust from heavy traffic will still dim the view.
“Another day in paradise”—and that is what it is, for me, as the rest of the world suffers far greater losses.