Full Moon, July 2023
Credit to: Frances E. Vandal
The winds continued after the summer solstice, starting in the early morning and becoming stronger in the afternoon. At times they were strong enough to break off small branches of the Chinese elms. The rose bush next to the coyote fence which I’d neglected to prune in the spring, and heavy with red flowers, was pulled down to the ground.
In the early morning when Maddie and I go out to open the back gate and look up at the sky, I also check the small trees and plants. The rains this spring and added mulch helped the two sage plants that I’d placed a couple of years ago. They are bigger and fuller now. One of them has a prickly pear cactus with one petal growing next to it. Unknown to me that it had been there beneath the soil, it too had been brought up by the rains. However, in the big pots the zucchini and tomatoes were a bit battered from the wind and needed replenishing. The bird bath needed constant cleaning and watering.
Last night a thunderstorm rolled through, not like the recent dry storms seen in the distance with flashes of light, but one heavy with rain. Maddie shivered on the bed or hid in the bathroom and as much as I promised her that it would be over soon, the storm continued. It was like a rolling ship above us that moved away and then came roaring back again. The windows shook in their frames and the buzzes, rings and bells of the few appliances in the casita signaled the electricity went out.
The local weather report had no mention of this thunderstorm and the severe weather alert on my phone had mentioned other counties, not Santa Fe.
The winds which carried the pollen and the rains before them have brought forth more of the beauty of the high desert and mountain foothills. Earlier in the month the yucca plants bloomed with their long drapes of white pods. Then the prickly pear cactus throughout the town, in yards, along roadsides, and in the open spaces burst with clusters of translucent yellow, and brilliant red and magenta flowers. They were so striking, even surprising, that people would suddenly stop their cars to take photos with their phones. Now the holly hocks with their trumpet flowers on tall stems are in full bloom.
This morning after the storm Maddie and I went to one of my favorite stores, Big R. She loves to go for the treats the staff gives her, the bags of horse feed and rabbit feed, the salt blocks, the aisles of dog food and the section of open bins of dog biscuits in unnatural colors next to the saddles. I go for the cheaper prices and to enjoy the cowgirl clothes, including the many types of jeans, and especially the boots. The practicality of it all soothes me.
One day I bought a cow bell to put on my front gate. When I’d asked if they had a doorbell to use for a coyote fence gate, one man showed me where the cow bells were. Soon another clerk, a woman, stopped to sample the sounds of the different ones with us. Each person I met as I walked through the store to the register smiled at me and the large bell I held, sometimes ringing with a nice, round sound. Though I momentarily imagined that with my urban background we might have different views about some things, I felt accepted. I knew that somewhere in the midst of living here, I too have become more accepting.