I had read excerpts of Los Cerrillos’ history before stopping by the semi-ghost town to see it for myself. The town had, centuries earlier, played a key role in the history of two Indian tribes. In the late 1800s, with the discovery of silver hidden in the hills, it boomed, if only for a few decades. By the early 1900s it was fading from memory. What is left today is a few silent and lingering buildings that share a story of what it was like during the hey-days.
As I walked in the dusty afternoon stillness, I found myself thinking of the winners and losers told in the echoes of what remains. It is an enduring story that keeps repeating today in different countries and cultures. My reflection took me into how some tried to prevent the decline even as others ignored it, only to be caught firmly in its grasp.
Looking critically, expressing one’s view personally is a dangerous process. Los Cerrillos’ adobe church reminded me of an old warning; “Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanours.” (Romans 2.1)
I walked on, wanting to put the whispers behind me. As I took a picture to capture and remember what I was seeing, I also caught myself in the reflection. Being a warning highlight is never comforting! I look around to see if anyone had noticed, only to realise I was alone for the moment on this street. Nobody was watching. There were no witnesses. No one knew, except me.
As I considered the reflection, I wonder what role and character I would have played in Los Cerrillos’ story. Would it be the same today? Yesterday never dictates today. I hold the freedom to choose my storylines, to live out my path.