Sunday, June 9, 2013

My Belated Happy Place

Sitting on a balcony terrace, a tall cold beer in hand.  Riotous flowers spill over the sides of enormous terra cotta pots perched on the terrace.  Over the edge of the terrace wall, down below on the square, a band has set up on a portable stage.  They play, and a crowd in front of them dances, or perches on the walls around the fountain, sit in camp chairs and chat.  

The air is hot and dry - none of your Southern humidity here.  We order light appetizers - it is too hot for a meal.  The beer is cool and refreshing.  We sit at a tall table, feet hooked into the crossbars of our stools.  We talk, and sometimes we don't talk.  The evening passes, and eventually we walk down a set of steps and head into the square ourselves.  The official band has packed up and left, and two old men remain, strumming Old Crow Medicine Show while a little boy spins in a circle.  Eventually, we wander over to the art district, sip complimentary wine and pore over paintings that we wish we could afford to buy.

I've never lived in Santa Fe, but sometimes it feels like my home.  I'm drawn to that city, its vibrant downtown square, its happy residents, its art and sense of life.  It has all of the jubilation of New Orleans, but none of the dysfunction.  

This isn't like "outside" or "the theater" - in that it's very specific and it's pretty darn far away from me.  This is not a place I can go when I need a recharge (that would probably be outside and/or the theater!)  But it is a place that makes me very happy whenever I am in it.  It was the first thing that sprung to mind when I thought of how I would answer this question.  One day, we've talked about being snowbirds (what's the opposite of snowbirds?  heat-escaping birds?)  We would spend winters in our Gulf Coast home, but summer up in Santa Fe, where the temps are much more bearable.  

I'll make sure to bring my guitar.

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