Sunday, February 1, 2009

Taos and Taos Ski Valley

Annette and I have spent the last couple of days in Taos and Taos Ski Valley wrapped in the warm hospitality of Terri and Bob, friends of Annette’s from Calgary. Terri and Bob have a lovely home in Taos Ski Valley just steps away from the ski hill. We were guests number six and seven as five other Calgarians had flown down with Terri and Bob for skiing and the wine festival. The other guests (Ron and Tara, Dario, Andre and Laurel) proved to be a lively and congenial group. We had some great conversations and many laughs while we were there despite the fact that Annette and I did not join them for skiing and wine tasting.

So what did we do, you might wonder if we passed on such wonderful activities as skiing and wine tasting? Well, we started out exploring the historic part of Taos – and then we met Grandmother Jean, a tenth generation Cherokee Medicine Woman.

When Annette arrived in New Mexico she was interested in meeting a native healer but how do you go about that? In the end, Grandmother Jean came to us. As we sat in a coffee shop on the old historic plaza yesterday morning, we got chatting with Jennifer the woman who works behind the counter. Jennifer was giving us lots of information about things to do when Annette asked her whether there were any native healers around. She left for a minute and came back with Frank who said he had done some work with Grandmother Jean. He said she was a wonderful wise woman and he offered to phone her to see if she would meet us. To our surprise, Grandmother Jean was less than a block away when she answered her cell phone and she drove to the coffee shop. She told us about the old Cherokee traditions and healing work that she does. We decided to go home with her for a cleansing ceremony. It was an honour to be part of another culture’s sacred ritual.

I’m not going to go into the details of this sacred Cherokee ceremony but you can check out Grandmother Jean’s website at Yes, even old Medicine Women have cell phones and websites in our modern world.

This morning we said goodbye to Terri and Bob and the rest of the crew and headed back into Taos for one last visit with Grandmother Jean. Tonight we’re back in Santa Fe. We plan to poke around Santa Fe tomorrow then we will head south to Carlsbad to see the caverns there. Tomorrow it’s supposed to be 47 F as a high in Santa Fe; in Carlsbad the high tomorrow will be in the 70s. Carlsbad is calling!

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