A Trail of Crosses
While traveling recently in October in New Mexico, I discovered I was drawn to photographing crosses. The landscape began to cast a spell on me. No wonder New Mexico's license plate calls it: “Land of Enchantment”. Inspired by my random encounter with the crosses in all shapes, sizes and mediums while exploring the majestic and stark mountains, deep canyons and earth colored adobe pueblos, I couldn't help but be drawn to them. They provide a human element to this vast open space. And so I attempted to capture the character and spirit of a few with my lens.
Or is it simply the time of year? Fall represents transition, and yes, death. All about me the fields were turning a burnt straw color and the golden Aspen trees were reaching their zenith. And, we are approaching Dia de los Muertos, an important time in Mexico, and surely here as well to honor those who have passed.
Be it by the side of the road along the Rio Grande where a tragic accident had invariably taken place, at the ancient Taos Pueblo cemetery where the famous Pueblo Revolt began in 1680 or at the 19th century Loretto chapel in Santa Fe where people today buy rosaries in the gift shop and dangle them from a tree branch outside, I noticed how the various crosses would catch my attention. Made from either simple white painted or bare wood, metal, glass or plastic each holds a certain dignity and bears its own story. A story I will never know but might be suggested here.
Note: The black and white photographs at the top were taken at the Taos Pueblo, a World Heritage Site, dating from 1100 AD and considered the oldest continuously inhabited community in the US. Its original name means: “Place of the Red Willows.”