Desert eclipse

September 17th, 2007

Home of the ancients, these canyon walls, baked flesh of the earth, burnt naked by the unrelenting sun.
Anasazi walked these canyons and mesas long before they were flooded by a trapped river. They too heard the song of the canyon wren.
Lilting, descending melody, calling us into the cool shadows.

More than 100 years ago, Mormons labored to construct a road down this chasm, lowering wagons and teams of horses by rope where the heights were too great; where the cliffs were too steep. Long conquered by the elements of wind and water and the force of gravity, the road has nearly vanished.
Storm torrents have swept sweat and stone
into the secret depths of the lake.
Beautiful water, filled with secrets.

We gathered high above these waters to let the ashes of my cousin fly to the wind in his favorite place. A joyful, playful man, flung into the air, riding the breezes. A bittersweet moment, to be there with, and without him.

The full moon rose before us, giant and glowing against soaring, shadowed cliffs as we returned. Through the night the light was vivid; color softened, but still warmly intense, even in the greatest distance.

We lay under the stars, stunned by the beauty. To our great surprise a red crescent crept over the face of the moon, made all the more marvelous by the fact than none of us were expecting it… too busy in the journey's preparations to notice that tidbit of celestial news.
A lunar eclipse. The shadow of the earth on the face of the moon.
Distances and dimensions beyond my comprehension.

What would the Anasazi have thought?
Beauty is before me,
And beauty is behind me.
Above and below me hovers the beautiful.
I am surrounded by it.
I am immersed in it.
In my youth I am aware of it,
And in old age I shall walk quietly
The beautiful trail.

Navajo wisdom resonating throughout the canyon lands, and my heart.

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