Fluting in the Ruins

A year ago I spent Thanksgiving at the Abo Ruins and Christmas day driving through the Jemez Mountains. I was a bit under the weather this Thanksgiving (an odd expression, that. What would being over the weather mean?) and didn’t get away. This year on Christmas I made it down to the Quarai Ruins. I took my flute.

Quarai, along with Abo and Gran Quivira are part of the Salinas Pueblo Missions which the Spanish more or less forced down the throats of the Tiwa Indians back in 17th century. The original name for the area was Kuah-aye. The Spanish mission at Quarai was built in 1629 and abandoned for lack of water around 1671. The Tiwa Indians had been around the area since the 1300s.

Quarai is about 30+ miles south of Albuquerque, 8+ miles north of the town of Mountainair. It was, as I expected, deserted when I got there. There is something profoundly peaceful about being in the ruins when no other humans are present. After walking the trails for a bit, meandering through the house blocks and visiting the Kiva, I settled in the main part of the old church and played my flute.

I just started playing the flute a couple of weeks back so I’m not all that good at it yet. Did a rousing rendition of Mary Had A Little Lamb, though. I have that tune down! Since I had my practice book with me, I played a couple of traditional native style melodies as well. They didn’t sound too bad. Hopefully next year will find my playing improved.

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