After the formal services, Jude led a drumming ceremony inside a large medicine wheel built a year ago behind the church -- to drum for rain. New Mexico, and especially the Santa Fe-Taos area, is in the grip of one of the worst droughts ever. No rain for three months.
Cisterns are running dry and wildlife is threatened. The semi-desert pine forests are tinder.
|Fire seen above Los Alamos|
A medicine wheel, sometimes called hoop, is a native American tradition dating back thousands of years. It consists of a circle of stones with the four cardinal points marked by larger stones or openings. There is usually a fire pit in the center. Ceremonies take place within the circle.
|Prayers for rain|
It lasted about 10 minutes. Prayers and blessings were said for rain. Then the drummers filed out, stacked their drums and left.
|Stacked drums at the circle|
As we talked the wind picked up. It became so strong that it lifted large umbrellas from the tables. Large, dusty plumes of smoke rose in the sky from the Los Alamos fire, making my eyes sting. By evening the western skies were dark with smoke -- but still no trace of wished for rain clouds.