The carved angel photographed below is mounted high on the peak of an abandoned garage in the Village of Chama, New Mexico. The garage with the angel and the abandoned house next it are on the main street (Highway 64) running through Chama, some fifty miles from our monastery.

Chama, New Mexico, is famous for its historic “Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad,” a narrow-gauge train than began operating in 1880. Today the train usually takes thousands of tourists each Spring, Summer and Fall from Chama to Antonito, Colorado, and back again, once a day, seven days a week, leaving Chama at 10:00 am and returning at about 4:00 pm.

Because of the pandemic the train had a very delayed start this year but finally was able to run for some weeks at the end of Summer, though not every day. The autumnal change of leaves each September and October provides the most appealing time to ride the train’s sixty-four miles of track through the mountains.

Though operation of the train, usually from late May through October, was altered this year, let us hope and pray that 2021 might bring better conditions for the “Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad” to run closer to its pre-pandemic schedule.

The train attraction is a major source of revenue for Chama each year, from hospitality and sale of merchandise to restaurants and gas stations.

A prayer to the angels, who “know how to fly” might be in order for the people of Chama.