After watching an episode of Sacred Journeys on PBS, one which included a bit about the sacredness of mountains in Asian thought, I got to thinking about how important it feels to have a full-time view of the forever changing Spanish Peaks right outside our front windows.
These are our own sacred mountains, the Sangre de Cristo range.
The Spanish Peaks, pictured above, have a centuries-old history of sacredness. Dating back far before the Europeans arrived, this area was a crossroads of the American West. Taos Pueblo, located in northern New Mexico today, has been a major Native American trading center for over 1,000 years. One trail headed north out of Taos into the San Luis Valley, crossing east over Sangre de Cristo Pass, through the gap between Rough Mountain and Sheep Mountain.
Various Native American tribes like the Ute, the Navajo, the Jicarilla Apache and the Comanche passed through this valley regularly. To them the Spanish Peaks stood out because they seemed to emerge out of nowhere up to 13,000 feet running east and west, not north to south like the rest of the Rocky Mountains.
The natives peoples considered this a sacred place of ceremony. As far as they were concerned, this is where mankind first emerged from the womb of the earth. In other words, this was their own Garden of Eden.
The Ute Indians named these two peaks Huajatolla (pronounced Wa-ha-toy-a), meaning the “two breasts” which translates as “Breasts of the Earth”.
I loved learning this ancient history, which I first heard about from Robert Mirabal when he came here to perform recently.
We moved here to create a dynamic relationship with these mountains, this landscape and the lovely silence. Mike and I have both traveled to many parts of the world. We now find the inward journey more essential than outward ones.
For us this is a sacred place, one where we can celebrate and appreciate the beauty of nature every single day, while continuing a long tradition of sustainable living.
Want to learn more about what it feels like to say goodbye to city life in order to live more intentionally? Here’s a link to my new memoir.