Monday, June 8, 2009

Taos

"From the heavens the Lord looks down and observes the whole human race.
Surveying from the royal throne all who dwell on earth.
The one who fashioned the hearts of them all knows all their works."

(Psalm 33:13-15)


North House

The eastern wing of the North House goes from one to five stories. Each door is to a different, privately owned home. They are passed from one generation to the next.

The buildings are made of adobe, a sun-dried mix of mud and straw, and must be repaired every six months or so. Each family is responsible for its unit. While we were there, it was as though I was looking at the very first condominiums in North America, built over 1000 years ago.

St. Jerome's Chapel
This little church is a National Historic Landmark.
This well recognized Catholic mission church was built in 1850 to replace the earlier San Geronimo church and is named for the Patron Saint of the Taos Pueblo.

The inside of this chapel is beautiful with it's the hand carved vigas and the choir loft. The Santos in the church were brought by early Spanish missionaries.

Another busy tourist day at Taos Pueblo but again, Frankie is able to photograph a peaceful still moment at a church which at any next second will be teaming with activity. How does he make the people disappear?

Red Willow Creek
Called the Taos River by the state and Red Willow Creek by the Indians who live there, this stream which arises in their sacred Blue Lake, high in the mountains behind the pueblo, is the pueblo's source of water. The tribe traces its origins back to Blue Lake.

Red Willow Creek supplies drinking water as well as water for live stock and irrigation.


Cemetery at the Ruins of Old San Geronimo Built in 1619, this mission church was destroyed in the Great Pueblo Revolt in 1680 and rebuilt in 1706.
During the Mexican American War, the U.S. Army bombarded it again leaving only the bell tower standing. You can see the adobe structure that was the bell tower in the background.

It has since become a cemetery which is now filled. Taos Indians are buried according to their traditional religious practice, with the addition of a Christian cross.
I never gave it a thought that one of my relatives would be a resident of this pueblo until I noticed the name Mirabal, (which is my maiden name) on the crosses on some of the graves in this campo santo.
I wondered about this stranger who shared my last name and who's memory was carved into wood. Born two years before my father and passing two months and one week after my father, their paths may have crossed.

My dad, Henry Mirabal used to tell me that there were not very many Mirabals because the name came from two brothers, one of which was my great grandfather, Reyes. Dad would kid me saying that you could take all the people of the world named Martinez, Smith, Sanchez or Brown and throw them in the ocean and they would almost fill the ocean. But not so the Mirabals.

Daddy would have been vindicated as actually the name Mirabal has made a unique mark in this ancient pueblo, as one of the artists that presently reside in the pueblo enjoys this very unusual Hispanic last name.

The more famous Mirabal native is Robert Mirabal, an accomplished musician and flute maker. His concerts and compact discs have been showcased on PBS television. Artist abound in this pueblo.

Blankets, jewelery, paintings, and sculpture are some of the beautiful things that will delight your little peepers.

The New Mexico sky and red earth, the sound of thunder and the peaceful sound of moving water from the creek made me understand how God creation stands as a benchmark for what we as his children attempt to create inspired by His amazing handiwork.

I found art everywhere. In an adobe window graced with a lace curtain...

I found beauty in a door.
Always wondering about the hearts that loved, just the other side of the chipped paint and dried earth.


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