Ode to the Santa Fe River

- July 5, 2011

There are those who see your plight and feel for you like a beloved father

Humble and ever-present
You wind your way down Alameda Street like a magnet
Attracting the souls of those seeking refuge
An excuse for contemplation on a busy day

I grow old with you my friend
You are the ears of my innermost whisperings
When no one understood
Or lent the time to listen

Many afternoons I sat on your grassy shoulders 
Looking down into the trickling stream of your life-blood
Searching for meaning in the ancient communion of man and water
A meditation with no peer, a mantra of the highest vibration

I peered over your side as a child
My fishing pole in hand
Waiting for a rainbow trout to choose my bait
From among a multitude of hopeful casters

I sang to you in my youth, strumming my guitar
Composing songs fed by idealism and sincerity
You did not laugh at my virgin attempts at expression
Instead you respectfully absorbed my prayers into your massive heart

I sat on your banks discussing the meaning of life
With sages and homeless vagabonds (often one in the same) on timeless, summer days How can I ever forget Juanito’s indescribable description
Concerning the delicacy of rattlesnake meat when cooked over a campfire?

I brought countless books from the Santa Fe Library 
Returning to you, my most opulent easy chair
I fell in love with my future wife sitting near you as we shared our hearts
Speaking words of love to the accompaniment of your gentle voice

My children stepped into your cold, clean mountain water
Giggling in joy as you went on your way
I still visit you when life becomes too complicated
When I need to still my mind and draw from your simple wisdom

I am not your only lover
You gave generously to countless admirers before me
You who witnessed so much as history washed before you
Never did you refuse to give of your comfort despite the benefactor

Do you recall the Ancient Ones who built their villages near you in the early days?
The noble Spaniards on their horses who named the ground around you Santa Fe?
Did you take notice when you became a part of the United States in 1912?
Now you feel the weight of the growing tide of people surrounding you

Yet you remain stoic and loyal, even as we push you beyond your endurance
It is now time to give back to you, my amigo
There are those who see your plight and feel for you like a beloved father
Bear your load a little longer; relief is on its way

Claro que sí; como debe de ser