Saturday, April 11, 2015

Blog # 18

The Shrine

What's the story behind this? A couple of months ago my sister Robin and I were spending a weekend tromping around in the desert at Anza Borrego State Park. Robin is an Archaeologist for California State Parks. We found this little cave in some Badlands between Salton Sea and Borrego Springs. In it was a display of worn out size 13 men's shoes, a little orange piece of luggage, empty soda pop cans and a few votive candles which had been burned in decorated glass holders. 

All of the candle holders were those carrying the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. There were also Starbucks cups and many personal items. A newspaper type publication offering items for sale by owner and garage sale notices was folded in to the back of a box and gave an indication that the little shrine had been in use for three or four years. The pop cans had various shades of fading from the sun and were probably brought on visits over a few years.

The site is forty hot and dry miles north of the Mexican border. Did some immigrant on foot make it to the road nearby? Were they sustained in the blistering heat by cans of pop? And perhaps they return each year to light candles and give thanks to the Virgin for helping them make it through the traps we have erected to keep them out.

Or, is this the shrine to pay homage to a man with size 13 feet who didn't make it and perished on the way to his promised land?  Do his family and friends come here each year and climb down this gully to pay homage to the man and his dream? My hope is for the former scenario. 

"Tear down this wall Mr. Gorbachev." - Ronald Reagan

"Tear Down this wall Mr. Obama." - Russ Cahill

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