Showing posts from 2011

Peace at Christmastime

We got a few inches of snow in Santa Fe this weekend.The world is so beautiful when everything is dusted in white, sparkling snow.The air feels so fresh, and I’ve never heard such quiet at the Plaza before.I spent some time this morning picking out a few Christmas gifts, finding my chili pepper wreath, and introducing Kua to new sights, sounds, and smells, then spent the rest of the day relaxing.

I find it difficult to maintain balance around the holidays.My list of things to do continues to grow. Amidst the decorating, shopping, wrapping, and baking, it is easy to forget to relax and enjoy the peacefulness that Christmastime is (or should be) all about.My yoga instructor last weekend talked about finding balance in the breath; sometimes we focus so much on inhaling deep, rich oxygen during our practice that we can forget to exhale it all out and let go to allow our bodies to achieve relaxation in a pose.This same idea applies to the holidays for me – I am often so consumed with pickin…


This was my first Thanksgiving in Santa Fe!As I sit here listening to Christmas music and drinking Caribou blend coffee, I reflect on how truly thankful I am for my life.I’m so blessed to have such an amazing family.Even though we are all spread out between the Midwest, Southwest, and Gulf coast, the times we are all together are my favorite days of the year.
I’m grateful for all my loyal friends – those whom I’ve known for years, and those I just met recently; those whom I talk to on a regular basis, and the ones who I just don’t call enough but am reminded of constantly; those who know all of my secrets, and the ones who are just a blast and never fail to make me laugh; the friends I’ve made here in Santa Fe, and those far away, who I don’t see nearly as much as I’d like to, but when we do get together it feels that hardly any time has passed.
I’m thankful for my incredible job, which provides me with everything I could have asked for at this point in my career.More importantly, thoug…

Love, Oneness, and the Chamisa Trail: Kua's first hike

I attended a yoga class this week on 11.11.11.Besides the amusement of writing out the date, and the dance of the tongue saying “eleven eleven eleven,” what’s the importance of 11.11.11 anyway?The instructor explained that the significance lies in the fact that the day is made up entirely of ones.Oneness.One is all and all is one.The idea that every being on the planet is connected.
Oneness is a difficult concept for me to grasp because I can’t seem to get past the notion that we are all separate beings, moving and working independently, often unaware of our connections to the world, focused to a greater extent on the future and the past rather than the present.Yet I feel an overwhelming sense of purposefulness, energy, and joy in the moments in which “oneness” with the world is apparent, in those experiences when people of different backgrounds and personalities are united toward the same common purpose, even if for a short period of time.I feel centered and connected when creating mu…

Santa Fe Baldy

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.”
~Robert Frost
At 12,622 feet, Santa Fe Baldy is the highest point in Santa Fe, and one of the most challenging day hikes in the area.We had some inclement weather in Santa Fe this week, including a few inches of snow yesterday, but I had been looking forward to this hike for weeks and was determined to embrace whatever conditions we discovered and give it my all (even if shoe chains were necessary).

The dusting of snow on the trail and trees created a peaceful, serene, meditative atmosphere for the first few miles of our hike.My spirits were high and I was amazed at the stillness and beauty of the winter-like environment. At times the only audible sounds were the crunching of snow under our feet, the swishing of our layers of warm clothes, and the deep inhale and exhale of our lungs.
I was surprised to see another set of footprints on the trail.I thought abou…

La Luz

Meaning “the light,” the La Luz trail ascends 4200 feet to the peak of the Sandia Mountains.These precipitous mountains, which are the result of Rio Grande rifting, exhibit steep drop-offs, marked transformations in vegetation, and spectacular birds-eye views of Albuquerque.Sandia, meaning “watermelon,” could possibly represent the craving for juicy, delectable fruit one may have during the strenuous, exhausting climb, but is actually named for the pink glow of the granite cliffs at sunset.
My favorite aspects of this hike were: 1) the fascinating change in vegetation as we climbed upwards, transitioning from dry cacti, to rich coniferous trees, to snow as we neared the peak; 2) the views of Albuquerque and layers of Sandia mountains hidden from the interstate; and 3) the consistent, gradual uphill climb, void of any excessively steep areas.

However, I would be lying if I said this hike wasn’t challenging or that I was able to maintain peace of mind for the entire 9.5 miles uphill.One o…

First Five Hikes

For completion’s sake, I will give an overview of my first five hikes in Santa Fe before providing reflections on today’s hike…
1.Hyde Park Circle Trail – August 14, 2011 I was enthusiastic about this hike because it was my first hike in Santa Fe.It was steep, but enjoyable, featuring beautiful, scenic views.It was an excellent first hike.

2.Nambe Lake – September 24, 2011 Three words:Frustrating but Rewarding.

3.Kasha-Katuke Tent Rocks National Monument – October 2, 2011 This hike provided a fascinating glimpse at history, complete with petroglyphs.It was easily accessible and enjoyable.

4.Aspen Vista – October 16, 2011 Scenic!Beautiful autumn colors!Favorite so far!Oh, and mountain goats!

5.Dorothy Stewart Trail – October 23, 2011 This hike was easy and refreshing and provided excellent views of the Santa Fe river valley.

These first five hikes provided me with excellent opportunities for exploring my new environment, challenging myself physically, and setting the goal of hiking Santa Fe Baldy…

The Land of Enchantment

Three months ago I relocated my Midwestern self from Minneapolis to Santa Fe to begin my career as a physical therapist, transition to the next stage in my relationship with my boyfriend, and embark on a new chapter in my life.I left the snowy land of hotdishes, Minnesota nice, and 10,000 lakes, and found myself in the Wild Wild West.
Santa Fe, New Mexico: my new home.“Holy Faith.”The Land of Enchantment.The feature city of two musical numbers (in “Rent,” as well as “Newsies,” a pivotal musical production of my childhood).The land of adobe.The land of hot air balloons.The land of the Pueblo Indians.The Land of Mañana (and “mañana” doesn’t always mean “tomorrow”).The Land of 300 Days of Sunshine per year.
Besides the apparent difficulties of starting a new job, moving to a new place, and attempting to not make my accent too obvious, there have been other challenges as I adapt to my new environment.I find it difficult to relax and let go, to live in the present, to slow down my pace of li…