by Rudolfo Anaya
Ultima came to stay with us the summer I was almost seven. When she came the beauty of the llano unfolded before my eyes, and the gurgling waters of the river sang to the hum of the turning earth. The magical time of childhood stood still, and the pulse of the living earth pressed its mystery into my living blood. She took my hand, and the silent, magic powers she possessed made beauty from the raw, sun-baked llano, the green river valley, and the blue bowl which was the white sun's home. My bare feet felt the throbbing earth and my body trembled with excitement. Time stood still, and it shared with me all that had been, and all that was to come . . .
I chose this book for October's page for many reasons, not the least of which is that it is one of the most special books I have ever read. I wanted to do a page in tribute to New Mexico and my dear New Mexico-born husband, too.
Bless Me, Ultima is an important piece of literature. It was written in 1972 and the author is considered to be the father of Chicano literature in English. Anaya is a professor emeritus from the University of New Mexico. This book is required reading for every high school student in the state of New Mexico and is featured in university literature classes throughout the nation.
A large piece of Opalite has been substituted for this month's birthstone, the Opal. A painting by one of the most beloved New Mexico artists, Frank Howell, was used as a background for this page.