State mandate: remain at home. Numbers are high.
The creep of winter’s darkened days weigh upon my nervous heart. My feet long for a walk along Canyon Road where holiday songs once filled the crisp December air. My lips long for a chance to sing with others while candle-lit farolitos guide us toward the warmth of bonfires leaping from inside steel tins.
I ignore the rules for one night and wander alone through Santa Fe plaza, ablaze with a fire-work display of Christmas lights. Blue, purple, red, gold. Strings dance across high branches, glistening orbs against a winter sky. Six other people wander here. Keeping our distance, we converge at the center, remembering that sunny day when a monument to European imperialism was ripped from this piece of earth by an angry crowd. In its place now, a tender circle of evergreen trees decorated by someone’s reverent hands.
I drive home, determined to make hot chocolate though I don’t particularly like it, and search for a bearable Christmas movie on Netflix. As I approach my door, I notice that three holiday bulbs have burned out. One orange, one green, one white. A trinity of lights now dead.
Karima Alavi lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico, where the howl of coyotes and the prowling of skunks inspire her to stay inside at night and get more writing done.