Monday, May 26, 2008

A Year in Santa Fe

One year. It's been nearly an entire year since I've returned to this blank field where words and letters can and will fill this empty space (when I want them to). I read an article this morning in which Gawker's Emily Gould explains her demise by blogging in The New York Times Magazine's Exposed, and whether it meant to or not, it made my brain and fingers stir again.

One year ago, when Ian and I trucked across country to find new shelter (physical and emotional) in Santa Fe, my aunt said to me, "I hope Santa Fe is good for your love." She is a spiritual one, mind you. I giggled it off, embarrassed by the sentiment (which she nearly always carries) but now I can only say it has been no less than "good for our love."

The sandy, rust-stained earth of Santa Fe has sprouted an entirely new era, mindset, definition in and of our lives. We no longer hole up inside a Brooklyn apartment on bleak, snowy days; We swoosh through the woods that tumble towards Santa Fe from behind the ski basin, thrilled at the powder that rushes at our faces and tingles our skin with cold. Summer is no longer for sweating in scummy subway stations; Instead we're charging through woodsy trails to waterfalls flowing strong after the snow's melt or jumping of brown, barren cliffs into lakes while our dogs bark from the water's edge.

We've turned a rental into a home, it's weed-strewn grounds now tilled into patches of tomatoes, basil, eggplants, and peppers. The steel wind mill across the streets whines in the wind and reminds us that we might not hear a siren or a cab's honk for weeks, maybe months. Instead, we hear mountain bikes whizzing by after a romp on the nearby trails or an occassional car kicking up dust and rocks (yes, we live on a dirt road!) on its way to the Audobon Center.

About three weeks ago, we returned from a two-week jaunt in Europe (something we'd been itching to do, but could never afford while in New York). I, in the French Alps, to write a story for Outside's GO, and Ian, to meet me in Italy after I finished. We ate risotto and zuppa, zipped around on a motorino, hiked through vineyards, and treasured the art.

But most importantly, while on Capri, we got engaged. It's hard for me to not smile about this--maybe because saying those words sounds so cliche and cheesy, but mostly because I am so excited. I find myself sifting through wedding venues, dresses, message boards, and blogs non-stop, dreaming up our humble celebration. I say humble because we've decided we want nothing more than a field on a lake or river, some grass, trees, and a huge barn for everyone to gather. If that doesn't convince you that Santa Fe has changed us, than I don't know what would.

My ring, a 60-year-old family heirloom, comes this week. And funny enough, it's originally from Brooklyn.

Image 1, 2, and 3 thanks to Ian Troxell.
Image 4 thanks to flickr-rickr according to this license.