Posted On: October 15, 2017
October 2, 2017 – Into the hills and back again
We rented a Dodge mini-van for the week so we could travel with other folks on some of the trips planned outside of Santa Fe. The van proved useful right away on Monday morning. Beth and I wanted to visit this Benedictine monastery 75 miles north of Santa Fe, and two other RPCVs, Teresa Maebori and Betty Carlson Morris, were interested in seeing Ghost Ranch, the home and studio of renowned artist Georgia O’Keefe, as well as the subject of many of her paintings.
The Monastery of Christ in the Desert
We dropped off Teresa and Betty at Ghost Ranch. Two miles further up US Highway 84, we turned off onto Forest Service Road 151, a winding, steep, mostly gravel road that was quite narrow at some points. Thirteen miles and forty minutes later we reached the monastery. Photographs can only hint at the majesty and wonder of the scenery surrounding the monastery.
Along with a half dozen other visitors, we were there in time to take part in one of seven daily prayer services in the chapel, known as Sext at 1:00 p.m. The monks arrived one by one in their long, black robes through a doorway hidden by a screen behind the altar. All the psalms and prayers in this ten-minute service were chanted. When it was over, they pulled their black hoods over their heads and departed in silence.
There were more new arrivals on Monday and, once again, the band welcomed them to another evening at Wayne Hill’s home with a stirring rendition of “Sugi, Sugi”.