Posts Tagged ‘El Morro National Monument’

Humans have a compulsion to let others know they’ve been there, to make their marks, in this case literally. Hundreds of years separate the bighorn petroglyphs from the Spanish inscriptions, yet the desire to be known remained the same. Why did the ancient Pueblo dwellers portray the bighorns? We don’t know.

Here’s a closer look at some other petroglyphs. Below and to the left you can see a church, some stars, crosses, and a cavalry flag.

“R. H. Orton became adjutant-general of California after the Civil War. In the early years of the Civil Was, the California Column, as it was known, was set to New Mexico to reinforce Federal troops expecting Confederate Hostilities. Orton held the rank of captain when the First Cavalry was mustered out from March to October of 1866.” ~from the park guide

Imagine all these people through the centuries, first spying these massive rocks, getting closer to find the gift of water. There’s no spring feeding the pool. Rainfall and melting snow create an almost 12′ deep pool holding about 200,000 gallons of reliable water. The first people took time to find a way to the top to build where enemies could be spied from great distances and defended against, a place with a hidden pool of life-giving water. Later, Spanish, Mexican, and Americans were attracted by that same pool. What a shock these horse-riding strangers were to those first people, now living in pueblos in Zuni and Acoma! With the treatment most of them received, the shock probably continued.

The oldest non-Indian inscription is that of Don Juan de Onate, the first governor of New Mexico, 15 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. Considering the age of many of the inscriptions, you can realize what a job it can be to try to keep them intact.

Rounding the corner into the shade, the cold hit me in full force, The sun doesn’t reach here for much of the day so there was still snow but there were more inscriptions, so I soldiered on (as had so many before me.)

By the way, happy Valentine’s Day to anyone who celebrates. But don’t wait until one day a year to tell people you love them. Practice saying it often!

My friend Donna at Wind Kisses is debuting this week as one of the presenters of the Lens-Artists Challenge, one whose thoughtful, lyrical words complement her lovely photos. “Messages” is the challenge she’s chosen, offering us a plethora of possibilities.

Sometimes messages are simply words, words that can be humorous as in these signs I saw recently.

In the natural world, a bright color can be a message that says: “Danger. Stay away,” the same message of the apple in “Snow White”, surface beauty hiding something deadly.

The cliffside at El Morro National Monument, New Mexico is filled with over 2,000 signatures, dates, messages, and petroglyphs carved by ancestral Puebloans, Spanish, and American travelers, allmessages from the past. I visited on a chilly fall day, almost the only person to immerse myself in the carved autographs of the past. It was magical, both historically and in the physical beauty of the park.

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive. ~Eleonora Duse

The passage of dawn to dusk reminds us to make good use of our time but also to enjoy the beauty along the way. This beauty is one that animates part of my life, a part that brings joy, wonder, a deep thankfulness for God’s goodness and creation.

Messages are often personal. Do these footprints say we’re not alone, that everyone needs someone beside him/her, or something else altogether? The answer is an emphatic “YES.” 🙂

Life can get overwhelming, wearing us down to the bone. Is that the message? Nah! I don’t think so. I think the message is just relax and laugh!

Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man. ~Rabindranath Tagore

What’s the message here? Pure and simple: lovin’ my grandson!