Wednesday, September 28, 2005

In Santa Fe, New Mexico

September 18, 2005

It has been a while since I’ve had the opportunity to update this blog, which has been frustrating, especially as my intention was to keep readers current with what’s new in our business, issues relating to vanilla and other tropical commodities, and more. We are currently developing new products for the holidays, creating a brochure and a new homepage for the website, among other things. It has been a matter of priorities and which project screamed loudest for my attention. Now I have a few quiet moments before returning home to the busy-ness of daily life.

I am writing this in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I have just completed a program called, “Real Speaking,” facilitated by Gail Larsen, an exceptionally skilled speaker and, for several years, the President of the National Speaker’s Association. One of our coaches at the Women Leaders for the World cohort, Joanne Brem, strongly suggested that I work with Gail as she is brilliant in assisting people in identifying their core message and the best ways for engaging our authentic voices. If you are interested in working with Gail, visit If you sign up, please mention that I referred you.

This is my first visit to Santa Fe, though I’ve wanted to come here for many years, not only because I knew I would feel a kinship with the people who live here, but because my cousin Thom and his wife, Judith, live in El Rito, in the high desert mesa outside of town. Judith is currently in Atlanta directing a play, so Thom took me on a tour of the region, first to Taos Pueblo following the back roads along the Rio Grande Gorge, and the next day into Georgia O’Keefe’s country in Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch. We completed our tour by visiting Chimayo, known for the miracles that have occurred in the Chimayo sanctuary. The monsoon season has just ended and the countryside and washes are filled with chamisa, sunflowers, asters, mullen and blooming plants, and the pinon pine cones are filled with their delicious seeds. It feels so familiar because of the years of seeing pictures in magazines and movies made in New Mexico, and it is truly beautiful. The sky is saturated with blues and with a multitude of colors so intensely bright at sunrise and sunset that it appears as if it has been painted with acrylics by the Great Creator.

Right now, the sky near my cousin’s home is filled with thick, choking smoke and the roar of flames devouring the Pinon, the firs, the junipers and cypress. Eight firefighters were in his driveway earlier this evening, eating rations and waiting for bulldozers to cut a fireline. We had planned to connect this afternoon to share a meal after the training ended. Instead, this morning Thom called to say that a fire had broken out and that while it appeared to be under control, he’d get back to me a little later as to whether he’d been down this evening or tomorrow morning.

When I left the Bobcat Inn this afternoon, I saw a huge pall of smoke drifting across the mesa. I wasn’t able to reach Thom until this evening. Apparently the fire exploded this afternoon around 2:30 and raced up the ridge behind him, surrounding the region. His car was ready to roll with the dog and cats inside, and his truck was loaded with their most beloved possessions. I am writing while I wait for his arrival with the animals; the truck has been moved to the home of friends who live a safe distance from the least for the moment. There are two fires that have merged into 2000 acres of burning or blackened mesa, and the fire is has zero containment. It appears that I am getting the full Santa Fe experience.

A Post Script: The fire was contained and my cousin did not lose their hom.

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