Thursday, February 10, 2011

Part 4--In case you didn't know, Tucson actually has a history

For the climax of our Adventure Day 2/5/11, T and I drove 25 minutes south to the Mission San Xavier del Bac. I told him it was for our religious edification, but as it turns out, San Xavier is much more than a church.

You know, in all of my adventures around the globe, a church has never been just a church. Each one has offered me something unique--historical wonders, cultural insight, awe-inspiring beauty, mind-baffling artwork and architecture. But San Xavier had all this and more. Inside and out, the church is glorious. Founded in the 1600s, the art inside the church parallels churches in France and Spain. In the outer courtyard, there is an air of peace and respect. Beyond the walls, though, tents are lined up, serving Indian fry bread and Mexican food. The aromas tempted me, but I withstood such temptations and munched on some 17th Street strawberries instead.

On the eastern side of the church space, there lies a hill. T and I climbed it and discovered the Grotto. In the fence that stood between us and statues of Mary, people had placed scraps of paper on which they wrote prayers and wishes. Facing away from the Grotto, a panorama of the area was available. For me, the most astounding realization of the day was that although I was only 25 minutes away from Tucson, I was in an entirely different world, away from my daily stresses and facing true beauty.

I would love to go back to San Xavier someday. For now, those white walls and panoramic views will live on my blog, my camera, and my thoughts.

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