It’s just that Jennifer Fulwiler’s lovely photo essay and subsequent posts about the trip she and her husband took to Mt. Angel Abbey in Oregon have inspired me to talk just a bit about our own day trip to Our Lady of Guadalupe Abbey in Pecos, New Mexico.
My husband’s family has made many trips to this monastery, but this was my first visit to New Mexico, so we made sure to stop by. Know who else was there? Just not at the same time?
Mister Jeff Bridges.
I mean, maybe he was there somewhere, playing his guitar and looking out over the lake where he and Robert Duvall did a little fishing in “Crazy Heart,” but I didn’t see him. That’s not why we went, anyways. It was a SPIRITUAL PILGRIMAGE.
We chanted a Psalm in alternating groups, and I noticed that we all tried to rush through the process. While it’s true that a tasty lunch awaited us, I think it was more just our collective habit of zooming through life without stopping for a breath. “Slow down, please,” intoned one of the monks. I want a clip of his voice installed on my computer, to be played at random hours of the day. “Slow down.”
After lunch, Sr. Helen (shown above) gave us a very thorough tour of the monastery proper. She has started an extensive monastic garden and dries beautiful bouquets of lavender. She delights in the challenge of growing flowers in the rocky desert soil.
I hope to enjoy the monastery’s simplicity and the warm hospitality of its community again. If you are around Santa Fe, it’s about an hour’s drive away. Then, when you are finished with your visit, head towards Taos and sample the offerings at Black Mesa Winery.
You can keep sampling their samples and never get a migraine. No sulfites, or something.