My University of New Mexico office is a short walk from the campus Duck Pond, which though it was never an official name, we’ve come to capitalize. It’s a very important place.
I often come to campus on Saturdays to write, and on those Saturdays I generally take keyboard breaks to go for a walk. Invariably, there’s a wedding party or a quinceañera gathered for pictures. In two walks this afternoon I have counted five such gatherings. Sometimes it’s a Krazy Party Bus parked nearby, or a stretch limo. And always the happy people.
Weekdays, it’s surrounded by people sitting and eating and reading and kissing and doing all the things people do while being, by choice, next to water.
I am prepared, with no other evidence than this, to declare the Duck Pond and the green grounds that surround it an extraordinarily valuable use of our precious water. I spend a lot of time thinking about the valuation of water, both cultural and monetary.
It’s no Bellagio Fountains, but this seems to me like some seriously high-value water.