Spring Snow and Hope
Yesterday a soft snow began falling in the midmorning and continued into the night. The desert earth soaked up the moisture and I relished another snow day, perhaps the last Sunday of the season to sit by the fire with my books and music on the radio.
The river is already running high from snowmelt. I can hear it even with the doors and windows shut, delivering its promise of life down the Embudo valley to the Rio Grande. Everyone is planting a garden this spring, unlike last year when the bare mountains offered little hope of the necessary water. We have had traditional seed exchanges and are preparing to clean and ready the acequias, the system of ditches to deliver river water to gardens, fields and orchards in the valley. Last year we wondered how the acequia system, in continuous use since the 1700's, would survive. This year some acequias are already open and full even as the plum trees bear snow on their white blossoms.
Our ancestors were hungry in this season, after the long winter. The smell of the earth and the sound of water awakened them to the passing of dark and cold and hunger and the hope of warmth, fullness and enough. They hoped for good harvests, but I think mostly they accepted what was. Perhaps they hoped for salvation in the afterlife.
Many teachers have spoken about the conundrum of hope. Hope can lift our spirits but dwelling on hope in the future can deprive us of the clarity of the moment. How helpful is it to hope that it will rain, that we will win an election or that criminals will be brought to justice? How helpful is it to hope even in the very idea of justice? For me that is a tough one because I struggle to accept the reality of injustice every day and don't feel I have! Today, instead of hoping for something beyond this moment, I am hoping for acceptance. I hope I can experience each moment as it is without illusions. I hope I can appreciate being alive and turning toward peace.
While I've been writing this the snow from yesterday has melted except in the shady and north facing spots. I must go out now and open the greenhouse so our lettuces won't suffer from the heat.