With each of our moves around the country, I soaked up what I could find, including a broad swath of the Christian variety–from Catholicism to Mormonism, Protestantism to Evangelicism, Episcopalian to Baptist.
What remains of this steeping is a deep affinity for Palm Sunday. I’m uncertain why. Perhaps it was the takeaway. What child could resist having a palm placed in her hand, especially in a climate where none can be found.
Which may explain my delight at finding myself in a predominantly Catholic country last Sunday where palms abound. By mistake, I wandered into an evangelical gathering which eschewed palms so as not to be associated with the “Catolica’s.”
At the corner of Siemptember 11th and Pedro de Valdivia, however, I was lured a few steps further by the ringing of church bells.
Without a thought, I stepped into small stone chapel, and eagerly set down 750 pesos for one of the last of the beautiful bouquets of palm, accented by rosemary.
I entered just before the parishioners lifted their palms overhead in a singing processional out the side door.
As I exited the subway at the edge of town, I turned west to the Andes and climbed a hill toward the artisanal market.
There, I stumbled upon another Palm Sunday celebration, in the open air, coming to a close with a chorus of “Hosanna, Hosanna” and “Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen.”
I joined in, and remembered what it is I loved about the feeling of this day… how Jesus arrived on a donkey, and how palms were placed on the ground to soften his way.
April 2011, Santiago, Chile
For the previous post in the life purpose series: April 19th.
For the follow up post in the series: Dreaming the Dream