Above: Emmalee Hill and Anna Robinson make up the Americana-folk-blues duo 3,000 Miles. Photograph by Bob Wilson, Frogworks Photography​

VIGILANCE ISN'T EASY. But it’s necessary if we want to keep our friends and neighbors safe and healthy. As the stay-at-home mandate remains in place for the foreseeable future, it becomes more important for each of us to get all we can from the weekends. Sleep in. Meditate. Rest is good for us. The more we take time for ourselves, to feed our interests and our spirits, the better we will become for others. 

No matter what you get into this weekend, make sure to keep the governor’s guideline in mind: Wash your hands and be kind. This is hard for everyone, but we’re doing it together.  

Get Your Garden Going. 

Every year of my childhood, right around now—when the frost disappears from morning windows and dandelions turn wispy white—my mom and I made a trip to Payne’s Nurseries on St. Michaels Drive. I would sit on the big, flat wheelbarrow and squeal with joy as she pulled me into the greenhouse. As a desert-born gal, I have always loved humidity and relished the way my skin felt among the misty plants. 

We would take our time smelling all the flowers, browsing the color variations, and choosing a few kinds for the big ceramic pots on our deck. We loaded our cart, leaving room for me, and headed to the checkout, where, without fail, we bought a bag of ladybugs to free in our new plants. 

As soon as we arrived home, I would race to the deck, tear the ladybug bag open with all my little-kid might, and pour thousands of red-and-black beetles into my lap. I giggled while they crawled up and down my arms and legs, laughing until the last one had flown away. It was pure childhood joy. 

Earlier this week, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham permitted nurseries, as businesses that sell “live product,” to open for curbside pickup or delivery. So set some time aside this weekend to prepare your beds and pots for the summer, and support locals and their businesses at the same time. Spending more time at home, we could all benefit from some more greenery and ladybugs to make us laugh. Grab some lettuce and grow your own salads this summer, pick out some herbs and make a fresh pesto, or load up on flowers, which can instantly bring a smile to most any face. 

Listen to 3,000 Miles Live.

Although the Continental Divide Trail Days, normally held during a long weekend in Silver City, was canceled, the sixth annual spring event has moved online, with weekly speakers and gear giveaways.

On Friday, the trek continues with Americana-folk-blues duo 3,000 Miles taking to the virtual stage for a 7 p.m. concert. Performing together since the summer of 2018, Anna Robinson and Emmalee Hill have a 90-minute set planned for the living room performance. While they’re going to miss the personal connection of a live audience, there are benefits to playing in a familiar, comfortable space where they have ample time to ensure premium sound quality. “We also get to connect to a much wider audience all over the country,” says Robinson.

Along with their original tunes, the duo plan to share stories from their time hiking the Continental Divide. “There are a lot of people who are worried about big things like getting sick, running out of money to pay their bills, and when they will get to see their loved ones again,” says Robinson. “Music and these virtual concerts can be a nice respite from the grim reality many folks are facing.” Catch them on the Trail Days website or on Facebook Live.  

Upaya Zen Center

Above: Santa Fe's Upaya Zen Center is offering virtual meditation three times a day. Photograph courtesy of Upaya Zen Center

Find Your Zen.  

We’ve all had our moments. Homeschool feels like detention, the pile of dishes might finally break you, and you just want to enjoy a Happy Camper IPA with friends. No doubt, tending to your mental health is important during this time, but how?

Meditation can be a step in the right direction. Finding calm, and creating space to feel grounded, can help you stay centered amid the chaos.  So Santa Fe’s Upaya Zen Center, a Buddhist monastery, retreat, education center, and gathering space, has begun offering daily virtual meditations, or zazen, at 7 a.m., 12:20 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. 

“They’re like islands of peace in one’s day,” says Joan Halifax, Upaya Zen Center abbot and roshi (meaning venerable teacher), who founded the center in 1970. Those new to meditation who need extra guidance can even set up a free Zoom lesson to get started. 

Upaya is offering a host of upcoming talks and programs, and every bit is free. Halifax says COVID-19 has the center reimagining how it can serve the community, and its virtual courses, which have had up to 1,000 students, are helping people worldwide. 

“Meditation really helps people get grounded and remember how important compassion is in the world today,” says Halifax. “It enhances people’s ability to have insight and see things clearly.” 

Have Twice the Fun With Your Kids. 

Santa Fe Public Library believes it’s never too early to set your kiddos on the reading path. Aimed at little ones ages 6 months to 2 years old, the library’s weekly Bilingual Books and Babies program includes songs in both Spanish and English performed by musician Jordan Wax, whose accordion and lively spirit make these videos fun for the whole family. Each 15-to-20-minute YouTube episode also consists of stories in English and Spanish, as well as activities the kids can do from home.

“These types of programs support a natural environment for story and play and support skills like language and literacy, plus cognitive development and social-emotional growth,” says Library Division Director Maria Sanchez-Tucker. “During this unprecedented time, children are trying to understand why their routines have changed and are trying to make sense of the situation. Seeing a familiar face, hearing a familiar song, and connecting with the library and the librarians they know, within their own home, can bring some comfort and a sense of normalcy.” 

Take a Virtual Tour. 

The sky is a blue crystal. A guitar serenades in the background. And, thanks to New Mexico in True 360, you have an unfettered panoramic view of the awe-inspiring ruins of Chaco Culture National Historical Park.

Around AD 850, Chaco Canyon served as a bustling center of trade and Ancestral Puebloan life. What remain are genius examples of ancient architecture and signs that the people who inhabited the area lived rich and complex lives. Walk among the 15 quarried-sandstone structures, which were among the largest in North America until the 19th century, and reflect on all that humanity is capable of and has overcome.

By looking back, we understand something about moving forward.