Today I visited one of the most special places I have ever been to. I was at El Santuario Del Chimayo, located just north of Santa Fe, NM.
This beautiful Catholic community was tucked away inside the heart of a hilly mountain crest. The drive alone put me in a place of tranquility.
As I entered this unique church village, I was greeted by a beautiful young woman selling fresh grown chili poweder.
But what really caught my eye were the fences. I noticed that all the fence posts had crosses, pictures or rosaries hanging from them.
I turned to the young woman and said, "can anyone leave something?"
"Yes, people leave all sorts of things here. It just depends on what is special to you." She replied.
Instantly, I thought of one thing in my car that needed to stay. It was the rosary that hung around my rear view mirror.
I grabbed it and continued on into the village.
The church at Chimayo was the definition of humility and history all combined into one. They didn't allow pictures inside, but I think even if they did, there would be no way to capture how deeply moving it was to be inside a location overflowing with such faith.
Knowing that the rosary I went back to retrieve would find it's forever home here, I saw it fit that I prayed that rosary one more time. I knelt down on the wooden knee rests three rows back from the alter. All of the sudden God turned on my water works.
And I know why...
This rosary was given to me by someone very dear to me, two years ago. It was hung around my rear view mirror to always keep me safe while traveling. Now, on one of the biggest trips of my life, I'm giving it back?
I sure am.
I prayed for peace during this rosay. I prayed that even in my most uncertain times, I would trust that the uncertainty was only temporary and that I can move forward on my own.
When I was done praying the rosary, I examined every inch of that village. I wasn't leaving this precious piece just anywhere.
I thought hard on placing it under the statue of Mary, seeing as I just spoke to her, but I knew where it was meant to be from the moment I walked in.
It was a small stone cubby with fewer rosaries than most. If we're going to be honest, this rosary was really going to stand out in this area, due to its incredible sparkle.
I approached this cubbie with tears in my eyes, initially not wanting to let it go.
I counted 22 rosaries from the left of where they hung, after which I fastened my own. I kissed the crucifix one last time and watched as it swung among the rest of its kind. This rosaries new home, next to the most beautiful mountain in the most peaceful place on earth.
I forfeited it, and the memories I held with it, over to hands much more powerful than my own. It is where it was always meant to be.
I left smiling because I was able to let it go and trust that everything would be okay from here on out.