I’m spending the weekend moving out of my Art Barn commercial refrigerator turned winter sublet. That’s a lie. It takes a mere two hours out of my Saturday (I don’t have much stuff), which allows me to spend the rest of the weekend frolicking in all this much-missed sunshine. I nab an oversized hammock and a bitchin’ set of knives while garage sale-ing. I don’t actually find the fat bicycle seat I’m hoping for at the bike exchange, but watching glass-artist extraordinaire Holly pedal through the Annapurna parking lot on what’s about to become her new bike makes the trip worthwhile. I sprawl away my Sunday on the front porch of my housesit in a whisper of a sundress, soaking up the vitamin D, while reading the New York Times.
Spring at last; spring at last; thank God almighty, spring at last!!!
Driving back from early morning yoga on Monday, I try not to notice that the sky looks ominous and blurry and—dare I say—weather-y.
No! I scold the melting gray sky. It’s April, it’s springtime, and I’m tired of your nonsense.
Besides, I packed up all my wool and down and mittens and fleece in a well-sealed box labeled “Winter Gear,” which is now locked in a Kathryn Street garage attracting black widow spiders.
By lunchtime it’s snowing, with zero sign of letting up. This isn’t light-hearted, flighty snow that giggles as it twirls to the ground, where it melts and calls it a day. No, this is angry sociopath snow—snow with a vengeance and a chip on its every fat, chunky shoulder that mocks me while sticking to the ground in big, teetering piles, making a great fat mess all over my springtime, my car and—in a few hours—my suede moccasins and cotton sweater. It doesn’t help that Mercury is (still) retrograding all over my mood, and I’m cranky and hating on Santa Fe more than ever.
“It’s always hard to make friends in a new place,” assure my faraway, pedestal-perched friends who field my whiny phone calls when all this rugged, apathetic Santa Fe space gets to me.
“You have to get outside,” urges my friend Beth over a pricey, though tasty, vegan Caesar salad at Body, herself flushed and radiant from a day spent on the slopes. “It’s the only way to make this place bearable.”
I have a million excuses for not exploring these sprawling and elevated outdoors—I don’t have yak tracks; the grass is dry and angry-feeling; I have Venus in Pisces and a constant craving for water; the desert sucks.
It’s 5 pm. I’m still at work. I stare out the window to see the April snow falling thicker and faster. Every flake turns its cascading nose at seasonal expectations, embodying all the rebel tendencies and authority issues that have me hating on hierarchy and have-tos and life-force measured in minutes and dollars.
Fuck it, I decide. Fuck cowering from the cold; fuck lamenting my isolation; fuck hating on this town and its lack of community or follow-through or fresh-squeezed orange juice or decent radio stations or discernible weather patterns; fuck misery and Mercury retrograde and all the rest of it. I’m going to find my bliss, damnit.
I make my way up the ski mountain around 6:15 pm, as the snow falls harder, faster and thicker. The drive itself is worth the effort, regardless of whether I make it to my destination or die while being rear-ended by the speeding SUV intent on bumper-raping me. The sky is white—blindingly so. The springtime bloom is covered in a heavy blanket of white powder that pours steadily from the overlording ethers of elemental whimsy. The landscape is ridiculously beautiful, so much so that it soothes my achy ego and my ravaged heart, calms my frothy monkey mind and cranky soul, and cradles me in its startling magnificence.
The upper lot at Ten Thousand Waves is closed, gifting me a long, snow-throttled trudge up the hill. It’s cold; it’s wet; it’s soaking my bones. I don’t care. I jog my way to the entrance, giddy, out of breath and tickled to indulge the elements so incongruously.
Five minutes later, I’m naked and neck deep in steaming hot water in the women’s tub. I tilt my weary head to the shrouded, clouded sky and am happily pelted by fat, cold chunks of ice. I stick my tongue out and let the snow quench my every thirst, laughing and clapping as a big blob plummets from a weighted-down tree branch and crashes onto my head in wild, contagious abandon.
As fleeting and freezing and nonsensical as it is, I’m basking in the sort of quiet, simple, synesthetic beauty of which people dream and sometimes taste, which I somehow tripped my way into living every day in Santa Fe, as long as I remember that I can, and to let myself get silly and illogical enough to actually do it.