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  • When it thunders, I wonder how far that echo wanders.

    The sound of the storm shapes our experience. It resounds in the tones of raindrops plopping onto the roofs of our homes, in buckets, on cars, shaking the leaves and waking our senses as the earth accepts it.

    In Santa Fe, old or young, from here or from over there, we share a heightened attention to the presence of water, especially awed when clouds still loom over the mountain after noon, when wind brings the scent of distant storms, and when the reservoir has been let to run as a river.

    Even before this storm's sensory ascension the arroyos are filling. They are veins that remain from all the rain before this rushed with the heavier route out to someone who says they own it in Texas. But before it flows there it is here. Caught in the canals of our ears and pouring towards us.

    Water forges ahead with a raging energy, carving paths of least resistance until someone or something creates friction-- like the grass that invites water to soak and to nourish.

    When I think of the path the water takes, I remember a vision once described to me as prairie grass swaying on hills that rolled to meet the Sangres, rolled before cattle overgrazed leaving the relationship between roothold and soil vulnerable and crumbling. Crumbling as monsoon and snowmelt sliced the earth, leaving these ravines. We might remember that these are relatively new features of the landscape; the lands reaction to a new kind of man. This is the age-old story of cause and effect, and I tell it in this way to turn our attention to paths about to be made.

    I am among the youth that have run from the mainstream. We come with a desire to leap into these desert scenes hoping the vast open sky might cradle our visions. Ideas come here, ideas and the people who carry them, rushing off from far off places whose communities could not hold them. We know this city has a history of agriculture to industry, atomic echoes, and the exploitation of indigeneity— and we hope Santa Fe can find a way to be a home, our common ground with roots that we choose to cultivate.

    Ash Haywood
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
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