“An aim in life is the only fortune worth finding: And it is not to be found in foreign lands, but in the heart itself” ~ Robert Lewis Stevenson
If you follow my blog, you may be aware that I am in the midst of a dramatic life change. It’s as if I am on a great journey, my vehicle is my own burning desire to add purpose to existence. I am compelled to create and the fuel that carries me from one opportunity to the next is none other than good old high-octane inspiration.
Last Sunday was Easter and the weather was exceptional for this time of year in Colorado. Tammy, my wife suggested that we make a short road trip to San Luis, the oldest town in the state, to hike the Stations of the Cross. She had been there before and wanted to share it with me. It was a great opportunity to film a video for our Local Tourist Colorado Series and fuel up on creative inspiration at the same time, off we went.
As we arrived in San Luis, it felt as if we had somehow been transported back in time and a long way south. San Luis has the character of small village that you might find in Old Mexico. Sunday Mass had just ended and a number of people were crossing Main Street and walking up the path to the Stations of the Cross Shrine, we followed.
It would be an understatement to say that the Stations of the Cross is an unexpected surprise. For Christians, the hillside represents Mt. Calvary and the ¾ mile trail symbolically follows the footsteps of Jesus from Trial to Crucifixion to Resurrection. For those who appreciate art, the Shrine is an absolute masterpiece. This is a living gallery, the walls painted with stunning vistas of the San Luis Valley and it is certain to inspire anyone who experiences it, despite their spiritual beliefs or background.
How did this collaboration come about? When was the Shrine built? What chain of events brought the Sangre De Cristo Parish, The Knights of Columbus and world-renowned sculptor Huberto Maestas together? Where does the artist live, who has created this portrayal of the Passion with such passion?
Back in town, we were shooting a few photographs. A pickup truck came to a stop right in the middle of the quiet street. A smiling, friendly looking fellow rolled down his window and struck up a conversation with us. Would he mind answering a few short interview questions, give us a local’s perspective of San Luis, we asked. He agreed and requested that we follow him to his studio. There, he introduced himself with a gentle handshake and it quickly became apparent that we had met the man who could answer all of our questions. The man was Huberto Maestas.
With a microphone clipped to his tee shirt, Huberto sat in front of our camera for just over an hour. He spoke and we listened as he described in detail how the Stations of the Cross came to be, how he came to be an artist and about his warm feelings for his hometown and his Family. His humility also made a deep impression on me, he never once mentioned that his work resides in the permanent Vatican collection in Rome.
The thing that most impressed me about Huberto Maestas, was his passion for art and his unwavering certainty of purpose in life. He said “In this day and age you gotta pay bills, you have a mortgage, you gotta pay electric bills and it’s the last thing people need, a painting or a sculpture or something beautiful that you create to be around, but its what makes life easier, to have the things that make you happy. I found a way to do that I suppose, or it was just something I learned, and If I were to retire tomorrow, or better yet win the lottery, I would put a heater in my shop and just continue to create.”
As it turned out on this Easter Sunday, I returned home with a full tank of inspiration and a stronger faith that I’m on the correct path and my course is true. If you do what you love with all of your heart and if you actively take steps to get where you want to go, station by station in life the universe will open up doors that you never knew existed.
The next time you drive through San Luis, stop for a few hours, have lunch and walk through the Stations of The Cross. Don’t forget to stop by Huberto’s Gallery and the Shrine Gift Shop. Visit the Taos Artist guide for more information about Humberto and please watch our short video which includes the interview with him on LocalTouristColorado.com.
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