Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Re-living Jemez... / Re-viviendo el festival en Jemez...
Jemez surprised me from the very moment the road sign indicated the entrance to the town...its shades of green, its narrow streets, its cafes and restaurants, its signs hanging in colourful invitation, its peoples - all of them ready to answer your queries and help you find places, were definitely a confirmation that we were about to experience unforgettable moments.
'Meet the Storyteller' read the event planned for the first evening. Once each of us picked up a room and received our keys at the delicate hands of Julie accompanied by the swetness of her smile, we gathered at the meeting room. The ghostly smells of home made food inevitably moved you to the long table where a display of local dishes forced the mind to decide which you would try first. Choosing a seat was the next challenge since everyone looked friendly and ready to engage in conversation. The whole atmosphere was one of 'this is just the beginning ... .' Dick Nelson, our host, was in charge of getting us started and so he did, with an amazingly naturality which was undeniably obeyed by each participant in turn.
Surprising looks, inquiring facial expressions, delicious stories unravelled and a feeling of fellowship was craftily knitted, making us all feel home.
The following morning, the dining room boasted assorted meals prepared by the nicest cook ever - Maria - who'd kindly provide us with anything we needed, proudly adding stanzas of local traditional folklore with all-smiling eyes! Back to college times? We wondered...well yeap! Pretty much...
Sun rays filtering the highest pine trees and the winding mountanious road led us to Valle
Caldera, the huge white tent was a dot hardly recognizable when turning the stoney road
and the evergreen grass leading to it; the grasshoppers hopping here and there, imposed a low pace to the car and surprising expressions of disbelief in our faces!
Kimberley and her assistants were all ready to help us, catering for all that was needed,and when something was missing...well, solutions were sought for and found on the belief that 'when there's a will, there's a way'
Saturday and Sunday filled each and everyone's hearts with contentment, confirming once again the magic stories work when being craftily and lovingly shared.
The weather - all emcompassing throughout the jamboree - showed its sympathy by
sending dark clouds which soon sprinkled a heavy shower - sheding as it were, tears of
sadness as the festival was coming to an end - making us all sit closer to each other, searching for refuge and warmth. Meanwhile, Robert Mirabal's flutes featured myths and history of the Native American peoples of the Pueblos of the American Southwest. His dance and music; his voice and charismatic storytelling were the perfect choice to close this unique feast.
Believe it or not, the sun shone once again - a hopeful sign so to speak.
Caldera Valley - Jemez - NM