Easter at Christ in the Desert

We spent Easter Sunday in the high sandstone desert, an hour north of Santa Fe. The landscape of Abiquiu, New Mexico is spectacular. It is the country where Georgia O’ Keeffe spent many inspired hours at the canvas. We drove 13 miles up a dirt county road through the Chama River canyon to the Christ in the Desert Monastery for Easter service. Thomas Merton spent time in the late 1960’s at this Benedictine monastery. Merton was not only a monk, but a social activist and Zen practitioner. The adobe monastery is built right up against massive sandstone bluffs and ponderosa pines. The view from inside the chapel looks right out onto the rock wall, chiseled by wind and water, whose features resemble the bearded countenances of the 30 odd monks who live there year round. The chapel the air was thick with the scent of frankincense and the chant of the peaceful brothers was transportive.
After the service, Eno and I mountain biked along the dirt road, dodging cattle and dust devils kicked up by the wind. We built up just enough heat to take a plunge in the muddy river, cold with spring run-off from southern Colorado Rocky Mountain peaks.STA_0167

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