Driving on a sacred land. A SACRED land.
Sure, every land is sacred, but the land in the border of Arizona and Utah has been embraced by the Navajo for generations upon generations and therefore it has something extra special about it.
Is it the red rocks that curve oh so femininely as if they bend with the touch of water?
Is it the mixed cultures of Navajo, Hopi, other native American tribes, the westerner Arizonians and the travelers from every corner of the world?
Is it the colors that are everywhere? The red, the copper, the gold tones? Colors that would shame some of the best Instagram Filters?
Is it lake Powell that curves and twirls like it was a whimsical snake, bringing to it admiring travelers such as myself to swim in its water, admire its horse shoe bend, and climb its majestic canyons?
Is it the vast landscape and unique shapes of the rocks? Some of them point up like pagodas. Some of the spiral around themselves, some stand far alone from their fellow rocks, and some blend together.
I don't know what makes this land so sacred, but I happily and respectfully explore it:
We swim in Lake Powell. The waters are peaceful, calm and serene. Except when a speed boat passes by. The sand is lush and dry, almost none of it stays on my feet when I return to the car. The water temperature is perfection. And it is a blazing hot day so entering the water is even more refreshing. There are RV's and campers setting up for the night. This is quite a place to wake up in, I think to myself. One day.
Then, we hike to a nearby hanging garden through a beautiful rocky landscape. We meditate in this peaceful shaded natural "garden" and befriend a curious chipmunk. When I am still, in meditation, I often notice animals are drawn to me. Like this chipmunk. It reached close, and then stretched his back legs on the rock. Sitting by us, sending us a sort of message of unity. We made a friend in that chipmunk. A friend we likely will never see again. But a friend that sat next to us for those long few minutes of collective peace of mind.
The day flies and it's already past four o'clock. We go to Horseshoe Bend and stay there to watch the sunset as it draws countless travelers to obsessively photograph one of the wonders of this region, and to some - of the world. The view here is so captivating, that I join the other travelers and photograph constantly. As if I am trying to solidify the image I'm seeing, to make it REAL and to create a memory of it. So it doesn't end up on the cutting board of my memory film.
The day ends with a full belly of Mexican food and a gigantic glass of salted margarita at an outdoor restaurant. A re-cap of the day that includes gushing over our experiences and browsing through the photos that commemorated them. In a simple hotel room we show our gratitude to this sacred land and our visit through it. Tomorrow will present another adventure, some more sacred grounds to hike in, possibly a dinosaur track or two to walk on. But for now, with a mind blown, and a heart full, I check out towards the land of dreams and say good night.
To be continued...
*Photo by Tamar Pelzig
In April 2020, while experiencing her first ever global pandemic, Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog to keep her creative writing wheels rolling.
Header Art: Daniel Landerman