The Synchronistic Bride
The Synchronistic Bride
September 30, 2006
Do you ever have days that are filled with hidden magic? I am surprised and thrilled when this happens. Some people refer to such occasions as coincidences. I lean more toward Jung’s idea of synchronicity, and the experience when two (or more) things happen in a way that is meaningful to me. Different from coincidence, synchronicity implies not just a happenstance, but an underlying pattern or dynamic expressed through a meaningful relationship or event(s).
On the Saturday I was in Taos attending a three-day writing workshop, as we broke for lunch, I took advantage of the time to have lunch with a friend at a restaurant in Ranchos de Taos, on the south side of town, and near the well-known northern New Mexico church of San Francisco de Asis which I had planned to photograph during this lunch hour.
This post is about the manner in which things unfolded that day, and subsequently connected to events involving the other writers in the workshop, and people in my personal life.
Ranchos de Taos
San Francisco de Asis
August 19, 2006
I lunch with a friend and have the most delicious vegetarian quesadilla I can remember tasting anywhere. The bells of a near-by church are ringing. I know there is the pueblo-style church nearby, of which I have intentions of photographing. Our young Hispanic waitress politely asks us if the food is to our liking. She has numerous silver studs embedded on her face — nose, eyebrow — one sparkles from her right earlobe, accompanied by six pierced drop earrings, all lining up the curve of her outer ear.
Another waitress walks by carrying a tray of flaming and sizzling beef on a hot grill plate with gleaming red and green peppers, mushrooms and white onions glistening with juices and the aromas drifting through he air.
We pay the bill after the waitress provides me directions with her glossy chile-red fingernail, pointing me in the direction of the church. I say goodbye to my friend and drive up the street still wondering about the bell ringing at 1:30 pm on a Saturday afternoon. The waitress had remarked about a local custom of ringing the church bell to signal the death of someone in the community, and said that it would peal once for each year that the person had lived.
As I pull up alongside the church, a bushy-tailed grey squirrel runs across the dirt road and toward an adobe house brightly decorated with neon-blue shutters. Northern New Mexicans love this color. Here it compliments the red and pink hollyhocks standing in front of the window.
I get my camera and tripod from the car. As I walk to the front of the church, there is the sound of thunder, a threat that has been hanging around all morning. Adobe walls surround the churchyard and the entrance opening is connected above by an arch, on top of which is a white wooden cross. A continual line of cars are pulling up in front of the church as I set up my tripod and camera, and a steady flow of people get out, walking toward the church in pairs and groups.
All dressed up — to go to a wedding I surmise — a two o’clock wedding. Then a flower girl and bridesmaid appear, and together they walk into the church.
Everyone looks happy to be here, and as the rain begins to lightly drizzle, attendants come out with umbrellas to hold over the guests’ heads as they proceed toward the white-arched doors of the church. I am inwardly touched as they ask if I too would like to have an umbrella, acting as if I am an extended part of the family.
In procession, a priest dressed in a white cassock and with a red stole around his neck, moves behind several acolytes and lectors from the back of the church up the sidewalk, and enters the front of the church to wait for the bride.
She comes soon after, with the bells tolling once more to announce her arrival, her train and gown held up by her attendants and away from the puddles beginning to accumulate on the ground. She walks toward the church entrance beneath a multitude of umbrellas lovingly held by her family.
In and of itself, the wedding is simply an occasion of me happening to be there at the same time.
When I returned to the workshop and shared the wedding scene with my fellow writers, they told me that they had watched the bride leave from the same motel where we were all staying during the workshop — a very nice connection for us all.
When I returned home to Santa Fe several days later, and told the story to my neighbor, he relayed to me that he and his wife knew the family of this bride and that they had almost attended the wedding. He added that the bride had seen the church years before when she was younger, and at that time decided that this was the church were she would get married.
Don't you just love it when a plan comes together!
Hope you will enjoy the additional photos I took while there . . . in the photo gallery.