Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Finishing a Story: Bosque Redondo Memorial, Fort Sumner, New Mexico, Part 2

The Bosque Redondo Memorial in Fort Sumner, New Mexico, had a powerful impact on me. I wrote Parts 1 and 2 to that story, but hadn't yet written Part 3, which is about an experience there I will never forget. 

To lead up to the final chapter, I reposted Part 1 yesterday and am reposting Part 2 today:


New Mexico: Bosque Redondo Memorial, Part 2: Luck


Bosque Redondo Memorial, Fort Sumner, New Mexico


What is luck? 

Yes, I know there are those who espouse the "everything happens for a reason" model. I'm not among them. Rather, I believe it is we who place meaning on what happens to us and the world around us. 

Does luck exist because we have created this idea of luck? Or is an event a function of a random throw of existential dice, and thus neutral, and therefore unremarkable? Might not one lucky event, if we pull back for a space-station view of a life over the course of its many years, result in not-luck down the road?

Well, anyway.

I was lucky. 

I was already feeling good when I walked into the Bosque Redondo Memorial building because of the enchanting experience here (with a respectful nod to the yang side of said enchantment as noted by a reader here).

The first good vibe came when, immediately upon walking into the memorial foyer, a smiling woman greeted me with a friendly welcome.

Then she informed me that a tour of the site had just begun and if I'd like to join it, I could tag along. And I did.

That friendly smile and invitation - and, I suppose, my acceptance of said invitation - bloomed into a sequence of lucky moments: 
  • a tour given by a woman who clearly loves the place and what it represents, 
  • a delicious lunch (!) catered by Fort Sumner community members
  • tasty conversation tidbits with the bona fide members of the tour group, 
  • an astounding video that I'll talk about later, and 
  • the gift of a puzzle piece I'd been seeking while trying to process Edwin R. Sweeney's book, Mangas Coloradas, Chief of the Chiricahua Apaches

The group of people on tour this day at the memorial were members of the Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe.


Not really luck

My good luck wouldn't have happened if the folks at the memorial, which included staff, volunteers, and members of the local Chamber of Commerce, didn't have a generosity of spirit and an understanding of the bigger picture - to promote the memorial and their town.

They could have easily kept things exclusive, but instead they embraced the stranger walking through their door. Kudos.


And in case you're wondering .... yes, I'm sneaking up on the tangible and intangible of this place and what it commemorates. It's not an easy story.

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