Chile Weather


Thanksgiving in New Mexico… and since this is a holiday that celebrates food and hospitality, along with a dollop of mindful gratitude, what better to focus on as Dash and I wander and explore than the vibrantly colorful entrances and chile ristras that grace adobe abodes?

Deserts are so often portrayed in movies as sepia monotone landscapes, but New Mexico is one of the most richly pigmented places I’ve ever lived… it can feel like I’ve stepped into a Maxfield Parrish painting.

There are two aromas that transport me immediately to New Mexico: piñon pine, and roasting chile peppers. There’s something visually warming about a stash of dried chiles hanging near the door or on a gate, even on a cold, snowy day. Even when the ristra is a little weather-worn.The citizens of Santa Fe are both serious and playful about art; something as utilitarian as a door warrants extra attention and effort… and why not? The entrance to your home or business can help with the public-private life transition, the shift from street to sanctuary.

Later this weekend I’ll visit my favorite spa on Earth: Ten Thousand Waves combines southwestern architecture with a Japanese esthetic. I have some lovely memories of starry nights, fragrant pines and shimmering aspens nearby, snowflakes falling softly onto my nose and eyelashes as steam rises from the private hot tub in which I’m basking. I intend to add a few more of those memories on this trip. I know my shoulders will begin to cautiously climb down from their usual position near my ears the minute I walk over the threshold.

I’m grateful to be walking in this beautiful place on Thanksgiving, surrounded by spectacular vistas and artwork, earth-centric architecture, good food, heavenly aromas, and terrier-boy at my side.

[Thanks to the following photographers for making their work available through the Creative Commons license: Denise Womack-Avila, Larry Lamsa, Shawn Clover, slack12, Eric Baggett, jennifer yin, Christopher Rose, Michael Swigart, and Todd Dwyer© 2017 Sidewalk Zendo. Reprints welcomed with written permission from the author.]

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