Pilgrim in the Southwest

Sacred things in the desert

When I moved back to the Southwest, the first thing I noticed was color. Green is not a dominant color in New Mexico. The landscape is brown and red and sometimes golden at sunset, but not green. There is very little that reflects the Christian hymnody of “field and forest, flowery meadow, flashing sea.” This is a land of little rain, and of life that adapts to that scarcity.

The second thing I noticed was the age of things, especially sacred things. Catholic churches predate New England meetinghouses. Pueblo kivas were built long before the Catholics came. The ruins of the Anasazi or “Ancient Ones” date back to the time of Christ.


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