Chaco Canyon

Fajada Butte surrounded by a late summer storm.

…In Chaco Canyon, one of the first elements on the horizon line is Fajada Butte. Miles away, through the flat, arid landscape, long before you ever get into the red and yellow ocher colored washed-out sandstone cliff walls of the canyon it seems to appear magically out of no-where.

As you drive through wash board dirt roads across the middle of the no-where desert where only scrawny jack-rabbits and random bony Navajo cattle roam, you can see in the openness, bareness of the waterless land, small plots of desolate hogans and various homesteads, scarcely surrounding the butte like sentinels watching the giant from afar.

The amazing remains of Pueblo Bonito

The lonely stretched out road drops into a ravine that makes the Butte look like Goliath waking from his slumber, crawling his way up out of the dusty gully, staring, glaring at you like he knows your deepest secrets. He watches every move you make in this sacred valley where the old ones had their Sun and Star watching stations.

The butte was sky-post, looking upward, perfectly erected to question the heavens, after all only heaven and earth last forever.

In the opening of the earth, this valley became a gigantic planetarium that would even have made Senor Galileo envious. He probably would have loved to study from the quiet sea of sage and cedar; ahhh to feel the heavenly bodies so close to the earth you could almost touch them, to see 360 degrees in every direction from any sandstone cliff edge; watching, accompanied by the starving orchestra of coyotes, reciting their ever-present songs of the night.

Sun-Daggers prophetic shadowy notions of change.

The ancestors, from the first star lights of the beginning of time, weren’t here for the vegetation, nor were they here for the hunt. They were here for the question—to study their own existence. Here, in this remote valley, was the biggest mirror in their time; a mirror that reflected everything that they were and would become.

I’m Pueblo, I’m Ansazii, I’m star, I’m sandstone, I’m corn.

Slowly turning into the sandstones, into the wind-rider swallows watching the world, making my castles on the cliff-sides.

Blessings to our ancestor spirits…


13 thoughts on “Chaco Canyon”

  1. Your writings are beautiful as always, just reading it is like I am there! So descriptive and heartfelt. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Thank you again, Robert..I always have such a stirring inside of me as I read your words and I can hear, see, and understand that what you write of….Blessings, my friend, Robert Mirabal

  3. Hello Mirabal Spirit or man?!?
    I have now read your words out load many times, trying to hear your incredible voice and not my own. This is a beautiful piece, meandering among sandstone cliffs and the heavens above. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. You bring us to a higher place!
    Much love and respect to you and yours always.
    Welcome fall! A time of deep reflection, changing colors and harvesting the fruits of our labor, dedication and love. As with each leaf that changes hue, may our hopes and dreams take flight. May they spread with the wind and bring forth the beauty of this season.

  4. Slowly turn into the swallows who fly over the sea of sage and cedar before resting in the womb of the cliff-side castle… I like that. Swallows bring promises of new beginnings, and they know when to appear to one’s open heart.
    From Summer Solstice to Fall Equinox… Now seems to be the perfect time to ride the wind with the birds that I have always called ‘sky dolphins’, for the way swallows rip through the air in a playful manner, like their mammal-fish brothers accompany sailboats that venture offshore. Maybe the swallows have a special sense that makes them recognize who’s an in-between, exactly like dolphins, who swim and turn embracing the yin and yang vortex to reach out to someone special, a two-legged brother they see as a bridge between worlds. They turn into birds to always fly close to his soul, to always bring him balance and solace. If they sometimes mesmerize men under the traits of sea maidens, it is to whisper to our human senses that they’ll always know how to take our hand and lead us back to our cosmic path if we get lost at sea, because the mammal fish knows how to surf both the waters of the globe and the deep ocean of men’s psyche.
    As you fly on the wings of the sky dolphins, greet the bird of prey flying in a shrinking circle above the oldest temple, have all your senses ready to feel the thrill of the ride when it tunes into the vibration of the soul, when it wraps you in the powerful wind of Knowledge, the ever-spinning Milky Way resonating in the chakras coming alive into the spirals etched on the rock trail between Pueblo Bonito and Chetro Ketl. Sit quietly in the ancient kiva, stare at the navel-like sipapu, engage in the returning direction of the spirals around, and dance to the ancient melody whispered by the shadows of the Anasazi ancestors who want to take you through the sublime portal. Visualize and remember their journey in search of the center. Take your time to acquire the perfect pace that will lead you, safe and ‘sound’, to the threshold of Mystery. It will open with a special key that holds your heart’s true freedom. Let the trickster, the humpback musician, talk to you again, and maybe now will he decide to tell you more about your past than about your future.
    Laugh out loud as your winged steed comes back to take you across the quiet sea of sage, ripping the heavens like a sun dagger to leave you atop Fajada Butte to ask the giant mirror THE question of who you are, of who we are, of why we are… As the dagger cuts through each level of the sacred spiral, not only the sun, moon, stars, solstices and equinoxes will appear clearly before your inner eye. You will know how to cut through the layers of your own spiral of life, to align yourself back to the time when you entered the primal cave. Am I the only one seeing, in the fetus’s half-closed hands around the umbilical cord, a flute player eager to reach the divine instrument, giver of the breath of life, owner of the healing, primordial, secret and sacred word?
    From the safest womb, hidden across another sea of sage, will come the most sacred spirit dialogue to remind you to believe that Heaven, earth, AND OUR SOULS last forever. The vision will show that all life is carefully planned and cherished way ahead of time, and that, when the time is right, its sprout breaks free emerging from the earth, surrendering to the whirling dance of the spiral of life to take Akasha into the harmonious, loving growth of spirit, soul, stardust and seed. Follow your arrow; it will lead you to the right prayer feathers, coiled at the feet of the mountain like a slumbering Quetzalcóatl waiting to be re-awakened…

  5. I haven’t been out there yet in my travels but now, with your wonderful words, I will see it with a slightly different perspective. I want to travel around this beautiful area more now than ever. And so I will very soon – I must say that is just one of the reasons that I moved here to Taos. I believe that life is a journey and what we make of the journey is up to us. I also believe that experiencing that journey to the utmost is our mission so that when we cross over and take all our experiences with us that we will know the Truth. Many Blessings, Robert.

  6. Chaco. Each time I go there it reveals something new to me. Although it belongs to the Pueblo people, no matter your tribe, the energy is there if you listen.

  7. I read this blog the first day it came out, but wanted more time to think about my comment. — however my concern, and thoughts about how you mentioned, “if it was your last day, how would you want to spend it?” so I realized that it was more important to say that I care, than trying to come up with beautiful words this time.

    Chaco Canyon looks pretty, and my Aunt who lived in Arizona mentioned something about it before. I would like to see Chaco Canyon someday.

    I read that you were called away from the Ceremony. I pray all is well. Blessings to you and all your friends, relatives, and fans.

    I hope that it is staying warm enough for what crops you have left.

    Respectfully, Amy

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