Pilgrim Path

This blog is the work of a seeker and poet. Walking stick in hand, I head out into the world, not of the world, but in the world. My words and my friends carry me along and light the pilgrim path of spiritual journeys.

Monday, August 06, 2007


I have returned yet again from the desert. I’ve been blessed to have visited Santa Fe 5 times in the past 4 years. Each time, as I get off the plane in Albuquerque, pick up my rental car, and depart from the airport, the vista of mountains before me makes my heart sing.

The primary purpose of this visit was to attend the
Glen Workshop sponsored by Image Journal magazine, however, since it always begins right around the same time as the Spanish Market and Contemporary Hispanic Market, I make a point of arriving a little early.

This year, I made reservations to stay just off the central plaza at the bed and breakfast named
Dancing Ground of the Sun. The blessing of Santa Fe didn’t take long to arrive. As the front desk clerk handed me my room card, he announced, “You’ll be staying in the Storyteller Suite.”

Excited as I was by that development, I wanted to share this news with a friend and so I dug out my cell phone from my backpack and called my dear friend back in Chicago, Tim. He shared my wonder at this great good fortune and as we closed our phone conversation, Tim prompted me to “pay attention to what happens…”

Dinner time was drawing near and since I’d be eating alone, I decided to stop at
Collected Works bookstore to find some reading material to keep me company. As I strolled back to the religion and spirituality section, I scanned the shelves for an unread title. In fairly quick order, I found a book by a favorite author and peace activist, Father John Dear, titled "Transfiguration" .

I wanted a simple meal on this first night of my trip and so I found a nice little patio diner tucked into a corner on Water Street. It was called the Atomic Grill. As I ordered my pizza, I opened my book. This looks promising, I thought to myself, as I found a foreward written by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Before Father Dear’s introduction, I found a series of quotations selected by the author. The sources ranged from Scripture to Gospel, theologian Karl Rahner to Oscar Romero, wrapping up with the words of Henri Nouwen. As I looked closer at the quotation from Henri Nouwen, I couldn’t believe what I thought I saw. This was a brand new book, newly purchased and yet, one sentence of the Nouwen quotation was clearly underlined in pencil: “When we are attentive to the light within us and around us, we will gradually see more and more of that light and even become a light for others.” In short order, my friend Tim’s prophetic words came true. Yes…Santa Fe is a blessed place for me.

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