By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
Notes from The Poetry Rendezvous and Pilgrimage to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains
A sage once told me that a pilgrimage often starts with a difficult beginning. On the day we left for New Mexico, a monsoon greeted us on the way to the bus in Rockford. By the time we arrived at the terminal, small creeks were whirling into gutters. Then, suddenly, the rain stopped, and in the east was a crescent rainbow. A good omen?
At O’Hare, for reasons only the computer knows, we were whisked to the “fast lane,” in which you don’t have to take off your shoes, and it is unlikely that your bags will be searched, unless something truly suspicious-looking is in them. So far, so good.
Then, about a half hour before the small jet was to take off, another monsoon hit, slicing the windows at the airport with such a hard rain that everything was blurred. The weather delayed take-off and jumbled the scheduled arrivals and gate assignments; we were whisked to another gate, where we finally took off a couple of hours later. Thankfully, the ride to Albuquerque was smooth and sunny.
I was expecting the dry desert I remembered from previous trips to the Southwest, so when we had the opportunity to upgrade to a Mustang convertible, we took it. On the way to Santa Fe, another monsoon hit, this time with flash flooding as we approached Santa Fe. We made it to the Lodge at Santa Fe intact, asked for a free upgrade, and were given a suite instead of a standard room. By this time, most of the day had passed, so we headed to the upstairs restaurant that overlooked the mountains. Looking out the window over the Sangre de Cristos, we saw another rainbow stretched like a feather over the edge of the mountains.
What are the odds of seeing two rainbows in two different places on the same day? Indeed, this would be an auspicious trip.
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.
From the Sept. 17-23, 2014, issue