Places have details that identify them. Pine trees don’t grow in the Mojave Desert. Orchids don’t grow in the Arctic.
The Southwest has adobe walls, wrought iron gates, red chili’s dried and tied together to make ristras, heavy wooden doors, the smell and look of history. Architecture here has graceful curves, hand troweled stucco, earth colors. We still see hitching posts, sing cowboy songs, and protect our pets from coyotes.
Indians and Anglos this morning sell turquoise jewelry in front of the LaPlacita restuarant, light years away from the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. They display their items on Navajo Indian blankets laid out under front porches of the restaurant on flagstone walkways like they have done for a hundred years.
A wedding is in progress, with family and friends pouring out of the Old Town San Felipe de Neri Church, happy for the new couple waiting to climb into a low rider with cans tied to the back bumper.
Our history began long before Old Spain and explorers, gold seekers,and zealous Catholics came, stayed,molded the old land into a copy of where they came from.
Sitting on a bench in the Main square, watching pigeons fight for popcorn, it is peaceful today, but the history back of us has been violent. Joan, visiting from Boston, wanted to see Albuquerque so we sit here and watch it close up while pigeons think we are the best thing since sliced bread.
I make sure I mention that conquering and domination are big cards in our Southwest history deck.