We took off in the Airstream on September 8, destination of the day was Canyon de Chelly. What a magnificient canyon. We set up camp and proceeded to take the driving tour and enjoy the numerous spectacular viewpoints above the canyon floor. The sun was beginning to set and the reflections of the shadows off the geological wonders was very spiritual. The national monuent, which actually includes Canyon del Muerto, Monument Canyon, and Canyon de Chelly (pronounced - Canyon de shay), has housed people for more than 1,500 years. Numerous pictographs, petroglyphs, and ruins tell the tales of the people who once made their homes their. The style of living has changed from the circular pit houses of the Basket Makers to the cliff dwellings of the Anasazi and Pueblos to the hogans of the Navajo (who first came here in the 1700's), but the regard for the cliffs as a spiritual place has always remained true.
One of my favorite sights was the Spider Rock, an 800 foot spire said to be the home of "Spider Woman".
These beautiful words are on a pedestal overlooking Spider Rock:
"...with beauty all around me, I wait.....
Navajo Night Chant
Smell the pungent juniper.
Feel the gentle power of beauty.
Ancient Black Rock hunches on
the distant horizon.
A dark cloud above means rain
will soon be upon us.
The awesome monolith at your feet is Tse No ashjee ii - Spider
Rock. Holy Spider Woman is an
important deeity in Navajo
mythology. It was she who taught
the People how to weave.
There is purity and strength here.
And places sacred to the people.
Places strong in the oneness of
earth and sky and of all things.
"I am indeed its child
Absolutely I am earth's child."
Navajo Song of the Earth.
It makes me smile just to remember this beautiful day. If you haven't had the priviledge of a visit to this monument, you need to schedule one.....It is one of many of our wonderous treasures to behold.
Off to work in my studio today so I will sign off for now. Hugs to all and it's good to be back.
I almost forgot to tell you about my experience at the Visitor's Center at Chelly. There is a Navajo silversmith who has worked creating his beautiful wares at the center for over 35 years. He spent quite a bit of time with me and showed me his hand made stamps, the tree stump that he has used forever to form his metal and many tricks of the trade. He was such a delightful man and I really wanted to spend more time with him. I might just go back there some day to soak up some more of his expertise.....there is so much to learn and so little time to study....Enjoy the moment!