One of my core beliefs is that there's something mysterious and magical in every aspect of life. Sometimes these mysterious things and places are right in front of us - strange plaques in city parks, for example (http://lastadventurer.com/last-adventurers-fieldnotes/2011/12/1/the-white-deer-of-mission-hillsinspiration-point-1.html); and sometimes these places are almost myths in that they are difficult to find, like lost cave art (http://lastadventurer.com/last-adventurers-fieldnotes/2011/12/30/the-blue-sun-cave.html); and sometimes, they're just place you stumble upon when your on your way from Point A to Point B.
The only trick about the last kind of place is that you have to keep your eyes open so that you can see what the world is presenting to you. A good example of the last type of place is the Chapel of the Holy Dove. A couple weeks ago, I was leaving the Grand Canyon on the heels of a late spring snowstorm; and as I drove down the snow covered Highway 180, I saw something on the side of the road that caught my attention. There, in two and a half feet of fresh snow was a small structure with only forest and distant mountain peaks as its neighbors. The sign next to it read, "Chapel of the Holy Dove".
Snow was swirling over the road and my windshield, but I was curious, even though the warmer option would have been to keep driving. I pulled over as far as I could, hit the hazards on my car, and waded through the powder to the door. It was a small door - the type Bilbo Baggins would have in his burrow. Not expecting it to be open, I tugged on it - and was surprised when it opened partway into a drift of snow. Inside were rows of benches, a solid beamed roof, and an expanse of glass windows looking into the forest. I took a few minutes, and learned all about the Chapel - how it had been built by a Doctor who had worked at the Grand Canyon; how it had burned down in a fire and rebuilt, and how it was open to all. I noticed the prayers, comments, and thoughts that other visitors had placed on the roof and walls in a respectful way.
Most of all, I felt the feeling of serenity that the Chapel gave me. I'll be honest - I'm not always the most religious person, but the feeling of comfort and peace that the Chapel provided me was close to how I'd like religion to be for the world. After a few minutes I got back into my car, and drove back into the storm; but I'll always remember that spot because I had the vision to see it, despite the storm that was around me. So, my advice for anyone out there is always keep looking, because there's plenty of blank spots left on the map still - you just have to find them for yourself.
Directions: The Chapel is right off the Highway 180, eighteen (18) miles North of Flagstaff.