Wake up, Socorro! Wake up, sleepyhead! Winter is over.

But don’t quote me on that.

Actually, today marks the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, when we start believing that, yes, springtime can’t be too far off; just around that clichéd corner, as it were.

Besides the fact that we’re getting more sun than clouds, one clue that spring is on its way is that Socorro is starting to wake up and get lively again – pandemic aside. One thing you won’t want to miss, especially if you have kids, is coming back this Saturday. It’s the annual arts and crafts party when Finley Gym is packed with happy shiny people; where kids from all over have permission to get messy and be creative and make things.

And adults aren’t left out, either. Grandpa and grandma have just as much fun, too.

Art is something everyone reacts to. This leads me to wonder if everyone, somewhere deep down, beneath their reasoning and logic and problem-solving, is an artist, in some form or another. People secretly write poetry to express a feeling; tell funny stories to make people laugh; impulsively doodle while on the phone; make a lampstand with wood; take a snapshot of a sunset; do needlepoint or crochet something; inventing a new recipe; there is a uniquely human urge to make something.

You can see art as beautiful and moving, or thought-provoking and inspirational – it’s all a matter of taste – but art is all around us here.

New Mexicans, in general, clearly have an artistic sense. Hey, this desire to express one’s self goes way back. Just check out the petroglyphs and petrographs you might stumble across just about anywhere around here. And even in this day and age. You see random stones that have been stacked up for no reason, automobile tires dressing up fence posts, old electricity insulators lined up on a porch railing, you name it. And look at the murals springing up on boring blank building walls all over Socorro.

Once I was driving down I-25 south of Truth or Consequences and around the Arrey-Derry exit somebody created a kind of big ornamental rocket ship in the middle of a field. Why? Why not? Somebody thought it was a fun thing to do and they just did it. And that’s what people do at the Community Arts Party. They just do it.

For a small town like Socorro or a village, like Magdalena, as well as the rest of the sparsely populated and rural Socorro County, there are a surprising number of artists. And not just artists, but very talented fine art artists.

Everyone, I suspect, has at least one friend who does something artistic. And more times than not that person does it for the sheer pleasure of creating something that didn’t exist before.

Aristotle said nature abhors a vacuum. If there’s nothing there an artist will fill the space with something original; a blank canvas, a blank sheet of paper.

How do they do it? Artistically, I mean. How does someone come up with a new song, for instance?

That’s a question that has no right-or-wrong answer. An imponderable, as it were.

Speaking of Aristotle, the ancient Greeks had the Oracle at Delphi to answer the most pressing questions of the day. The Romans – being Romans – ended up ransacking and knocking down the Temple of Pythias, but wait, nowadays we have the internet, the repository of all of mankind’s knowledge.

All of the big questions are answered with the click of a mouse, such as, “Which came first, the chicken or the egg?” The internet says (ding-ding): the chicken, by a margin of 51 percent.

At least that’s what I learned on a website called neal.fun I ran across last week that ventures to tackle all those pressing issues that have taken up too much of our time.

  • Is it pronounced gif or jif?
  • Toilet paper: over or under?
  • Middle brownie piece, or edge piece?
  • Should a sandwich be cut diagonally or horizontally?
  • Is cereal a soup?
  • Are hot dogs a sandwich?
  • Pepsi or Coke?
  • Does a straw have one hole or two?
  • Is pineapple on pizza good?
  • Should we get rid of daylight savings?
  • Could Jack have fit on the door in the movie Titanic?
  • Is Die Hard a Christmas movie?
  • Star Wars or Star Trek?

Feel free to debate these all day long, but if you want to find out what the consensus of internet users is, the findings are found on the webpage Let’s Settle This at the aforementioned website.

Now you have something to do after you’ve guessed the Wordle word.