The overwhelming wealth of arts, culture, landscape of Santa Fe and surrounding areas made my weekend trip feel like an exotic escape to a different country.
The beauty of the architecture, notably the adobe-style buildings with its earth tones contrasting with the turquoise skies, made for visual delights. Vigas, heavy rafters atop the ceilings, were reminders of what is indelible about Southwestern structures.
The rich appreciation for art is visible everywhere you go. Local artists and their work set up like an art fair on the street; there are galleries for miles. The unique objects of the southwest make great subjects for artistic capture. From the contemporary art painted on beams, to the iconic Georgia O’Keefe museum, to the mysterious staircase in Loretto chapel, it’s inevitable that the human soul will feel something tugging on its heart string.
Perhaps because art captures of emotion, art has the power to distill moments into an ever-living expression. These moments have power to feed the soul. Pausing in front of a Georgia O’Keefe and hearing the docent teach about her life and inspirations, I felt a reverberant connection.
Lastly, the cadence of life in Santa Fe always leaves time to take a beat… for a pause in the absolutely non-monumental moments. There’s sanctuary in the quaint nook of an independent book store. There is exuberance and joy to soak in from crowds gathered to watch dancing in the city plaza on Community Day. And even little things like the ristra hanging outside homes, stirs within a feeling of connection to similar traditions in the NW China of my roots.
N.C. Wyeth, in 1904 wrote this, and I am aware of what he keenly describes:
I FELT RELUCTANT TO LEAVE
Those brutal and rugged mountains, the dry, scorching plains, to abandon for good that long dim trail that lay over the sandy desert like some big lazy snake asleep in the sun… The life is wonderful, strange– the fascination of it clutches me like some unseen animal– it seems to whisper, “Come back, you belong here, this is your real home.”