…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 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.
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…