San Jose de Gracia Church in Las Trampas, looking much as it did when it was built, circa 1770 – 1776. I stand in awe of the strength of such modest and beautiful structures.
The friendliest conquistador greets us at Centinela Traditional Arts in Chimayo. It is a cooperative run by Lisa and Irvin Trujillo, some of the finest weavers in the world. They were off on a rare vacation, and their daughter Emily was our wonderful guide. She was warm, funny, modest (You’re lovely and big hearted. Be kinder to yourself!), highly knowledgeable, and let us see the back room, where the hand dyed yarns, many of which with insects and local plants, were in full splendor.
I also appreciated her patience, as I initially couldn’t decide between two weavings by Victoria Verry. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I bought them both. Which reminds me, I also bought a weaving in Mora, and will show them all to you in my final post, in a round up of our treasures.
El Santuario de Chimayo is considered one of, if not the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in the United States. It is no doubt magical and beautiful (no photos allowed of the interior, sadly), but my reasons for visiting were not of the typical variety. I believe my Great Grandmother Esquipula, who was born nearby in 1825, was named for the original church and most definitely, along with many of my local ancestors, attended mass here.
The thrumming in my heart, all those joyful spirits cozied up beside me as I sat in contemplation, was utterly spellbinding, and, no surprise, brought me to tears.
If ever you decide to visit, be sure to make a stop at El Potrero Trading Post. They have a wonderful selection of milagros, local beans and chiles, sweet treats, and every manner of Chimayo treasure.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Tags: New Mexico