There was water everywhere.
Water burst out of fountains, it tumbled down falls, it filled up ponds full of koi. Water cascaded down the front of stone sculptures, it trickled through a cattail marsh, it formed still pools. There was water all around us— and we were in the middle of the desert.
Daniel came to visit me and we found a resort made by a New Mexican artist just outside of Santa Fe. It had started out as a place for a few of her friends to stay, but her friends must have brought a lot of friends. Now a hundred people could stay at this oasis, where a small spring that burst from the hard desert ground had been trained to do all these amazing things.
It was a special place, and a quiet one. We thought we would spend a couple of days and move on, but the spirit of the place snagged us and we extended our stay another day. Then we sheepishly asked if we might stay one day more. There, beside the giant cottonwoods with knobby toes in the water, there was room and space enough for conversation and contemplation. There was good food served on a deck overlooking a pond filled with ducks and a splashing fountain in the center. There was a lot to appreciate and a lot to be grateful for, and everywhere there was the miracle of water.
I grew up in a place with lots of water and my farmhouse is not far from the river. I am used to rain and lakes and streams, muddy driveways, wet feet in the woods, and rivers overrunning their banks. I am used to almost everyone having a cabin “up north” on the lake and a boat or canoe in their backyard. I have always been told that water is valuable, but it is hard to believe when there is water everywhere.
But here, in the desert, water is truly precious. This place, with meandering paths around still ponds, gushing fountains, and verdant marshes, celebrated the miracle of water.
Sitting under cottonwoods with Daniel, I thought of how funny and strange it is that we value the things that are in short supply. Sunshine is treasured in rainy climates and warm days are cherished as winter approaches. At times, I have felt a shortage of money, love, patience, and inspiration. At those times, it was money, love, patience, and inspiration that I valued most.
But now, sitting under cottonwoods with Daniel, I feel overwhelmed by plenty. Only time feels in short supply— until I force myself to sit and do nothing. I sit still for a few minutes and do nothing but listen to the sound of the water. I feel my heart unclench and the bunched up folds of time fall loose.
At that moment it becomes obvious that I have everything I need. There is no shortage of money. I am filled with love. I have sufficient patience and ample inspiration. As I let go of time, it unfurls. The list of things that must be done decreases until it is enough— for now— just to breathe.
And that is when I realize that now is all the time there ever was.
Daniel, sitting under cottonwoods beside me, is a pragmatist when it comes to most things. He says that a good relationship is one in which there is “more sunshine than rain.” It feels good to be sitting in the desert on this late autumn day, watching the sunshine dance on water.
Till next time,