Wednesday, January 4, 2017
On a recent visit to the hot springs, a friend and I soaked our feet with a couple of local college students. As we sat, taking in a beautiful winter day, I asked about a wooden building nearby.
"Oh...there's a spring in that building, too. But it's locked and nobody can go in."
"Why? Is it ghosts?" (I'm always looking for a story....)
"No, I don't think so. I heard that the building was opened years ago, and people would go in there to soak. A woman was sexually assaulted, I was told, about twenty years ago, and then a series of children were molested there and that was the last straw. It's closed forever.
Yikes! Not the kind of story I was looking for. I don't know if it's true at all, but it gave me a creepy feeling for the rest of my trip. The town is a beautiful record of the history of the railroad (Montezuma Castle here is said to be haunted by the ghost of a railroad executive's wife.) It has a vital group trying to revive the historic building on the plaza, an international school and a chapel of light. Plenty of spirits might enter here. And, as I stood up to wrap myself in a towel at the hot springs, I got a burst of spirit energy that led me right to that chapel.
I'd never heard of the Dwan Light Sanctuary even though I've lived in New Mexico for over thirty years. I visit Las Vegas regularly because I like the plaza and the Montezuma Castle. But this trip was already turning a bit sour. While the hot springs were free and great, the story about the sexual crime left me filled with anxiety. I've heard stories that the springs are on Jicarilla Apache land, and that the native spirits want it back. I wondered if there weren't bad spirits there, welling up with the spring water. An yet, when I stood to look around on a January day, the weather was mild, the sun shining and the water sparkling. I dried myself off and walked towards the car.
But it was still there, and it wasn't only a feeling. The hair on my arms stood up, and I knew I was in the presence of a spirit stream, or a metaphysical energy of some kind. I had planned to return to the car, but I felt this urge to keep walking. I put on a sweatshirt and a jacket and followed the spirit urges up to the college. Maybe you think I'm a little wacky, but even though I write this ghost story blog, I don't normally follow spirits or energies or even ghosts. In fact, I rather prefer to keep ghosts in stories and not in my presence. But, on this day, I even talked my friend into following my urges.
We walked through a parking lot, past an office building and then I saw it, up in the distance -- the chapel. Now, many of you probably already know about the chapel. My friends laughed at me when I got home. But, remember, I'd never heard of the place. I was following a presence that led me away from the awful story at the hot springs and into this strange round building. Inside, the feelings of doom faded as a bathed the the prism filled light of the chapel. I sat on a molded bench with my friend and we were silent for a few minutes. The story of the wooden building at the hot springs, true or false, faded and was replaced by a sense of peace and tranquility. I felt my spirit rise above the troubles of the day, the need to believe in the negative and dark side of live, and lift up to the light. A spirit led me there, to contemplate the joy of life on this earth.
And that, my friends, is more evidence that things are, indeed...mysterious in New Mexico!