Friday, July 24, 2015

Another Visit to Ranchos de Taos

July 22, 2015

San Francisco de Asis Mission church
in Ranchos de Taos has adobe ruins lining it across
the driveway from the main structure.

When we drove into the parking lot in front of the church,
it was quiet. I sat in my car deleting photos on my phone
that I had taken earlier in order to make room for new photos.
Then, a tourist bus pulled into the parking lot and parked right next to me.
Oh dear. It wasn't full, but the church lot became full with tourists taking photos.
I moved over to take photos of the ruins, which is why I had wanted to visit
the church again even though I had been there earlier in the month.

There were two men talking to each other in Spanish near the rope
that was on the ground. I walked closer to the walls,
but was careful not to touch anything.

The men greeted each other and parted ways.
One man noticed that I had a doll in my hand, and started
talking to me. At first, I thought it was impressive to state
that I know a little about the church and it wasn't my first visit.
I then found out I was talking to a descendant of the original founders
of Ranchos de Taos and the residences that were built around the church.
My researched factual information turned into nothing compared 
to his personal history and experience with the church and the church property.

I asked him about the buildings that were in ruins,
and if the original community had been built in a protective
fortress like the communities surrounding many mission churches.
Yes, the original community surrounded the church.
He described a time when he was young and could move quite a distance
across the roofs of the attached residences.

He told me a bit more about his family and how they owned the property
and had been a part of the community for 7 or 8 generations.
I believe he lives toward what would be considered the back of the property.

One interesting piece of information he told me is that there is a
trail out of the back of the property. Currently, the road is behind
the back of the church. Buildings near the road have been converted into businesses
and offices related to the church. But, he seemed to indicate that an
original path or road actually led toward the front of the church.
That made sense!

He departed and presumably walked back to his house.
I continued taking photos for a few minutes.
I then took up a conversation with the bus driver.
He was also really interesting, but in a different way.

The tour bus finally left, and I took photos of the church.

It was stunning having a bright blue sky as a background!

I did learn something new in my observation of the church
in my photos.

The two side windows are directly across from each other.
If I had walked up to the window, I could have photographed
it straight through  the church in the morning light 
with the blue sky in the background.

I enjoyed taking pictures of the church property,
but I really loved having the opportunity to talk to one
person with a connection to the property that lasted generations,
and one person whose connection to the property could be
counted in the minutes it took tourists to enjoy and photograph the property.

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