15 Jun 2009

On The Road Again

Posted by Sam

June 6, 2009

I started to write a month ago when we left Amarillo – hard to believe I’ve been that busy. Doesn’t seem like I have time for much of anything but work and resting up so I can work. Last month I took a day off for depression. Can’t remember what I was depressed about but it was very satisfying to just announce my intent and lie down. Come to think of it, I felt so much better by noon we went some place.

We both have occasional moments of thinking Oh, this lifestyle isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. But we can’t think of anything we would rather do, or any place we would rather live. I guess it will come to us when it’s time, exactly the way this venture came to us.

This past month has been really great. We did two parks outside Santa Fe, one of them actually at the Pojoaque (Po-Wah-Kee) Pueblo. This country is so old and interesting and everyone is happy to tell their story.

We visited the Santuario de Chimayo, known as the Lourdes of America. The story goes that in 1810 a man discovered a crucifix buried near the Santa Cruz River. He shared the discovery with the local priest and they took the crucifix to the church at the village of Santa Cruz. The next day the crucifix was gone, back in the ground at Chimayo. This happened twice more. Once they figured out they couldn’t keep the cross in Santa Cruz, they built a chapel around it at Chimayo.

The chapel is still in use, and a hole full of dirt is partitioned off from the altar, said to be the original place the crucifix was found. Today the holy dirt has two trowels in the hole, and people scoop it up to rub on their areas of affliction. The anteroom to the pocito (well) is full of crutches and braces and tokens of gratitude, testimonies of the healing power of the dirt. (People used to eat it, but today the church brochures advise against it.)

The grounds of the Santuario are beautiful. The sacredness of the place is reinforced by the thousands and thousands of tokens and notes tacked to the trees and statuary; rosaries draped on crosses, baby booties hung in a niche, a steel fence with crosses woven into the cross hatch, crosses of twigs and plants and popsicle sticks. In spite of the evidence of great longing and joyful gratitude, it is a very peaceful compound.

I lit a candle and said a prayer for my Mother, while Davey graciously agreed to get me some holy dirt. My knees are so bad I was afraid if I got down, I wouldn’t be able to get up (Oh, ye of so little faith!). They say 300,000 people a year visit Chimayo, and we couldn’t help but wonder where the dirt is coming from now, but we didn’t ask.

We’re in Bernalillo now, in our favorite little park among the cottonwoods on the Rio Grande. We had a great visit with our friends Ted and Marcia last night and are spending the day doing the paperwork to send off our last two jobs. Tomorrow we will head for Bend. It takes us nearly a week to get there; we’ll stay at Scandia and map their park so will be there at least 10 days. I’m anxious to see my Mother in Bothell, WA. She’s 94 now and just diagnosed with “a little bit” of cancer in her lungs and liver. We will be around the northwest all summer and as long as necessary to help with Mother’s assisted living and dying. She’s dealing with this “little bit” of bad news very well; she said “The doctor told me it’s cancer and I asked him how much time I have left, but I can’t remember what he said.”

And the beat goes on, dear friends. We send love,


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