There is a silence there that speaks loudly to the visitor. Awe sets in and consumes your thoughts about how it was probably constructed and the huge effort that it must have been in that day and time. Yet Alto Vista gives one thing that so many religious buildings do not seem to. Alto Vista gives comfort and comfort will never be secondary to any other emotion that you might get while there.
So many people have gone there and walked away with inspirations they never knew they had or have accepted eventualities in a much more graceful manner than prior to the visit. On this perch, looking at masses of deep dark blue ocean to one side and an arid island on the other, the Chapel of Alto Vista sits and awaits prayer and tears. She awaits those that make pilgrimages and she awaits the children that play in her outside stark garden areas. Alto Vista has heard more than a few couples swear eternal love to each other and then if things did not work out as thought, these couples still hold the small chapel of Alto Vista as a sacred moment in the relationship. Alto Vista is one of the few places that offers this kind of solace, peace and emotion.
On one specific Sunday, the scene was so representative of all that this small chapel represents. Children were playing outside, they ran and laughed as their parents kneeled inside and shared weighty words with the God of their choosing. A tourist truck full of visitors came up the hill and when arriving to the chapel area, a respectful silence dominated as whispers of “Unreal” and “I never knew this was here” , “Who built it?” and other similar comments could be heard. On the semi-circular cement benches outside sat a lady holding an old photograph of her parents. In their absence, she knew that by them both having visited this Chapel that their final days were better ones.
My son held my hand as asked me if this is where the Aruba god lives. The answer was obvious. I just kept still and realized that there is a silence there that speaks loudly to the visitor. Awe and silence sets in and consumes your thoughts.
Thank you Charles. And what a sight to see as you get closer, the blue water and white caps waving to you. I always visit Alto Vista every time I am back on "The Rock." And like most, kneel and say a few prayers and leave an offering. It always so peaceful and inviting and at times join in a group as they say the rosary. And what has impressed so many of my family and firends are the Staions of the Cross as you drive up to the church, especially those that are Catholic. Though I have many pictures, my itinerary this year will set one day aside to stop and take picture of each staion and then the words that go long with it. Then the preparation of a book to present to my church in 2012 just prior to Lent. Wish I had thought of it sooner.
Keep these wonderful postings coming. Brings back so many memories for me.
Be well, Charles.
Thank you again.