LOVE WHERE YOU ARE
Once again, I woke with a ditty playing in my head. “If you can’t be with the one you love, Love the one you’re with”. (I can’t remember who originated this song. If you do, please credit.)
As I focused on my feelings, my mind transformed the words into my recent thoughts. If you can’t be WHERE you want, Love where you are. I had spent days searching for a new place to experience life, out of town, out of the country and even streaming shows with exotic settings.
I moved back to New Mexico a few years ago. It is a familiar place where I birthed and raised my children. I thought I would feel comfortable in my mature years in a familiar setting but I was bored with the scenery despite its tourist appeal; irritated with the politics and feelings of not belonging.
Motivated for a change, I began searching the internet for places to go and found this web site. – [ http://www.bestourism.com/items/di/7319?title=Christ-in-the-Desert Monastery&b=293 ] It was advertised as THE BEST PLACE TO VISIT IN NEW MEXICO, USA / Christ In The Desert Monastery.
Memories flooded my consciousness as I recognized this locale. When my first born was 4 months old, my friend Suzie volunteered to do a survey for the Sierra Club of the Chama river canyon and invited me and my newborn along. Our base camp was located across the river from the Christ in the Desert Monastery.
It was 1975 and the Monastery was new with a small store selling wine, local produce, and inspirational material.
Following is quoted material from the tourist web site that describes the landscape uniquely and better than I can imitate.
” Monastery Christ in the Desert is located in Chama Canyon, an amazing landscape, in the northwestern New Mexico. . .
The Monastery … is surrounded for a long distance only by untouched wilderness, . . . The place is one of the most beautiful places in New Mexico, and the monastery is a very welcoming and embracing sacred place, that offers a great energy and renowned spirit even after a short visit… It offers . . . an amazing view that opens the valley. . . creating a majestic ambiance. The Monastery is the place that makes everyone to feel graceful, simple and grateful for being a human being in this world. Everyone should definitely visit this spot, even if . . . not a religious person. . . This monastery is truly spectacular, isolated from the society, giving for everyone the opportunity to change the world, by changing themselves, because, this is the place where the pilgrims can meditate in peace and change their mind, charging their souls with positive energy. The isolated monastery is in a perfect harmony with nature, in this picturesque wilderness region.”
Monastery of Christ in the Desert
Suzie and I informed the monk in the store we would be camping across the river for the night and planned to leave the next day after completing the survey. That evening we ate from our prepacked picnic and enjoyed the soft Pinon perfumed breeze. Suzie laid her sleeping bag on the shore under the star filled sky and I prepared the back of the Jeep’s tailgate with my sleeping bag and a blanket for my son. The sound of the river’s flow lulled us to sleep.
I felt my son breaking free of his covers and heard him begin to whimper. Suddenly the camp site was surrounded by howling which was drawing closer. My son’s whimper became a wail as if answering the approaching sentinels.
Suzie slides into the Jeep and reassures me all was safe. The coyotes were just alerting me it was time to feed my baby. I began nursing my son and the coyotes hushed. The feeling of being in “perfect harmony” with nature and connected to my furry friends was awesome.
And yes, like the tourist site promised, I felt . . . “graceful, simple and grateful for being a human being in this world.”