Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Tumacácori National Historical Park is south of Tucson and just north of the Mexican border. Like the Mission San Xavier del Bac, Father Kino founded this mission, too, one of more than 20 in the region:Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Elegance

Tumacácori isn’t baroque like San Xavier, but still enchanting. I was there on a warm, windless day, and the only person I saw was the woman working the front desk. She told me she was “delighted a young person would take an interest” in the place. You’ll be happy to know I didn’t insult her by asking who the hell this mysterious young person was.

About the mission’s name. I always want to say Tucumcari, but it’s actually too-muh-COCK-ree, and if you can say it without giggling, you’re stronger than I am. (Maybe that’s what the nice lady at the desk meant. That I’m im-muh-chure.)

There’s a small museum with relics:

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Blessed are those without hands.

The interior isn’t restored, it’s preserved, which is more beautiful:

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

A cheerful take on the cross.

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

From the altar.

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

You can still see the original painted accents.

I fell in love with the combination of soft and rough shapes and textures:

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Who needs windows when you’ve got no ceiling?

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Courtyard

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Stairway to Heaven

And the way the architecture echoed the landscape:

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Harmony

The air was still and the only sound was my feet hitting the ground. I didn’t feel alone – I often feel the presence of people from the past in those old places. Not in an I-see-dead-people way, but simply a sense of energy and emotion. It’s comforting.

Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border  Walking with the Dead Near the Mexican Border

Departed

As I traced the paths so many people dead and gone had walked, I thought about what Father Kino and the native people were trying to create there – community, a safe place for families and neighbors, sustainability. In this season of holidays and solstice, I wish the same for us all, and am grateful for this virtual community we’re creating together.

Mom is visiting through the weekend, so I won’t be blogging Friday. I wish you a warm and relaxing holiday filled with whomever and whatever you love most. See you Monday.

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