There is one place in New Mexico that has a special place in my heart it's the Baptist Encampment at Glorieta. I can remember trips up there from age 10 on. I met my wife there on a church retreat. Penni was married there and her ashes are strewn there around her memorial bench in the prayer gardens.
When I was in high school in summers the place would be wall to wall kids all summer long. The chuck wagon had waits of thirty minutes or more. The huge dining hall was always full. The chapel was standing room only.
When we went to spread Penni's ashes in June we were the only ones in the chuck wagon at noon. The place was a ghost town. There was a wedding taking place in the prayer garden, but it was a Catholic wedding. I've seen more nuns at New Mexico hall the last few times I've been there than preachers. It's truly sad.
To me this is holy ground. There's something peculiar when humans get tied to land. They get rather proprietary. Look at all the fighting in a small sliver of land between Egypt and Turkey for thousands of years with everyone claiming it as holy ground.
This recalls a time where I thought Glorieta had been violated.
I was teaching in a middle school. APS set aside money for teacher collaborations from their training budget. The principle let those who wanted meet for a Friday night and all day Saturday meeting at Glorieta. When we got up there and in our rooms that evening everyone immediately decided to drive to Santa Fe for a drink. No problem. I had no illusions about them being good Baptists. It was the next day as we were in conference rooms and most of them started smoking.
There is no smoking at Glorieta period. Not even outdoors. This was in the early 80's and I wasn't tenured so I bit my tongue and didn't say anything, but it still rankles to this day that they would defile a building built, maintained and owned through the tithes of Baptists. You'd think teachers would have better respect than that.
I remember that every time I hear on the news Native Americans claiming certain mountains here as sacred grounds to keep development out. Even I have sacred ground that I feel touchy about even if the Southern Baptist Convention has all but abandoned it.