Milagro / by Karie Luidens

Acequia irrigation.jpg

The real miracle my garden needs isn’t Miracle-Gro, it’s water. Water, as they say, is life. Although I’ve been thoroughly watering the seeds I planted both morning and night, that moisture barely seems to hold in the ground, and I suspect that dry dirt may be the main issue preventing germination. 

I’m not alone. As the Albuquerque Journal reported late last month, virtually the entire state of New Mexico is currently in a state of moderate to extreme drought. Last week Sylvia Rodríguez wrote on the New Mexico Acequia Association’s blog that, “Faced with too little water to irrigate as usual this spring, many acequia officers are currently holding stream wide meetings to talk about how to share and manage the shortages.”

This is a dry region even in the best of years, and water use has been at the heart of both community resilience and contentious conflict for centuries. Hence, for example, the plot of The Milagro Beanfield War, in which haves and have-nots, natives and newcomers, duke it out over whether an individual has the right to irrigate his family’s field. 

Since I’m hand-irrigating from the urban water supply rather than a shared acequia or well, no one is challenging my practices. But I’m conscious regardless of how much water I’m using these days, and how much it’s worth in pursuit of a minor miracle.