Tipis and Temples in Taos

I know, it looks like Mongolia, but it’s Taos, in one of her many faces. Take a turn off Medio on Mondragon and enjoy the bumpy dirt road (no speed bumps necessary). I was there for a presentation offered by two ambassadors from Peru, who represent the Kipatsi Indigenous Work Group. I believe the event was hosted by Vista Paz Taos. Nyna Matsiak invited me and the above photo is her family’s home.

This was taken inside the tipi where we gathered. These lovely gentlemen are Asheninka Mino and Emilio Salvatierra. They are presently living in Albuquerque but come up to Taos at intervals at the invite of Vista Paz Taos. There were about a dozen locals attending. There was a translator on hand, who works with Kipatsi, to help with the conversation. Oddly, I found when they spoke Spanish I could almost understand what they were saying. Possibly they slowed down their natural speech rhythm for this purpose? I was very touched by the effect it had on me and found their very presence inspiring.

Of course, they have goals similar to all of us, survival of our chosen or inherited homelands and into the future sustainable living close to land that is free of rape and pillage by the profit machine.

I took this shot as I was departing around 8 PM. No doubt you’ll hear more about the adventures of Nyna and her farm off the grid and the Kipatsi work group, not to mention the interesting goings on at Vista Paz Taos.

I also attended lunch last Sunday at the Hanuman Temple in Taos, an exotic place if you’ve never been there. They serve their lunches starting at 1 PM every Sunday as part of their spiritual practice and the outdoor serving area is entirely free of any hint of collecting money. They do have a little store near the kitchen area. This was my second time and, like the first, there were lots of people eating and socializing. The food is Indian style, warm and spicy and delicately delicious.

Ganesha holds a place of honor at the entrance to the compound from the parking lot. This is the season for local marigolds and are a popular flower both in the Hindu culture and in Mexico. I have a few plants but they have yet to flower. I had a marigold conversation on Saturday with Tara, who is one of the gardeners on the Hanuman Temple property. She was offering them for sale at the farm market last Saturday and said they always try to grow a lot of them so they can use them at the temple and sell them, but it’s hard to get them to bloom early where they are located, a giant step down from Taos proper on a little road off Valverde.

So as a newbie gardener in Taos I’m taking note. Start your marigolds in a greenhouse if you have one, or indoors, early. That would probably be along with your heirloom tomatoes of Siberian descent! Yes, my tomatoes are still producing but I’ll admit this past week they have slowed down a touch (due to lack of Siberian heritage?). Their feet are still staying cosy inside their “walls of water’ but the tops will be vulnerable come the first cold night. We won’t even mention the touchingly beautiful morning glories I have climbing up everything in sight now. They will be the first to go in the cold. Ah, life and death in the garden.