Chris, Jane Anne, and I arrived last night in Santa Fe for a long weekend just to get away and start sabbatical, and we found a wonderful small house to rent for three nights. It is amazing: in a very “local” neighborhood with small houses close together, but absolutely wonderful inside.
One of the features of the house is a nicho – a small niche in the wall for ritual objects. There is a beautiful one inside (above) with a cross and other items of meaning to the owner of the house.
It is architecturally interesting that this would be a designed-in element of a house. How many homes in New England or Michigan or Washington would have a special spot for religious devotion? The ancient Romans had such a niche, called a lararium, for the lares or household gods. (How did I remember that after 30+ years?)
There is also an outdoor nicho on the patio. You’ll see from the photo immediately above that the light is different here in New Mexico. In fact, it seems almost like a different country. We had a fantastic meal last night at the Café Chimayó…red AND green chile. And we’re just about to set off for another New Mexican gustatory adventure. (If you’ve never had good New Mexican food, try it…though it ruins TexMex forever.)
We also ran into friends this morning! Frank Perko, his partner, and Tam Hill, all dear friends of Jane Anne’s just happened to be in Santa Fe this weekend, too. No place to run…no place to hide!