Posts Tagged ‘Indians’

I’m popping in for just enough time to answer the Weekly Photo Challenge: On the Way.  Then it’s back to very little internet until next week.  I’m enjoying my unconnected time, connecingt instead with family and nature.  But I do miss all of you and look forward to being able to interact more.  As I said in a previous post, thanks very much to everyone who visits and comments even when I can’t return the favor right now.

Michelle mentioned how she takes her camera with her on her trips and often comes across many wonderful photo opportunities “on the way” to her ultimate destination.  That’s one blessing of a phone camera: it’s always with me!  While her lovely photo was taken from a plane, I mostly drive, so my photo is one from a stop on the way from one place to another.  On our way from Mesa to Sedona, Arizona, we stopped at Montezuma Castle, where we saw this cliff dwelling.  The Sinagua lived here for about 250 years before abandoning it for unknown reasons.  Designated a national monument by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1906, visitors could originally climb into the cliff dwelling.  But the practice was discontinued in 1951 to prevent further damage. The area has nothing to do with Montezuma, but was coined by early settlers.


Quite a few people these days live or work in highrises, but the original highrise dwellers lived in cliffs. We visited one such cliff dwelling near Sedona, Arizona. Dubbed Montezuma Castle by the early American settlers in the area who erroneously assumed Aztec origin, this small cliff dwelling (about 35 people) and the area around it were populated sometime between 1100 and 1400 BC by the Southern Sinagua. Well-protected from the elements, it’s one of the best-preserved prehistoric structures in the Southwest.

The Sinagua were farmers and hunter-gatherers who built a riverside, five-story, apartment-style building with about 45 rooms. Ladders allowed access and could be pulled up at night or if danger threatened, although this was a peaceful time and area. The river provided water for farming on the fertile land and there were other Indians in the neighborhood. Game provided meat and the Indians mined a nearby salt deposit. Salt was likely used for trade.


When do you dream?

The Philadelphia traffic finally behind, I head west on a modern-day wagon trail.  The forests are dressed in a variety of tawny colors, a few daring souls flaunting scarlet or gold.  I imagine the pioneers making their ways along narrow paths with nothing but trees in all directions, perhaps some farms here and there, the dirt hard-won in battle with the rocks that in defeat form the stone fences.  Through the magic of the modern, I insert another disc and fall back into the world of the Indians that consumed me on my outward trip.  “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” batters my soul with familiar names and stories, tales of deceit and murder and promises broken and re-broken, of people hunted to their deaths, women and children slaughtered.  Two life styles and value systems on a collision course that doesn’t end well, that highlights greed and a conspicuous lack of honor, themes that echo yet today.  One of the men who tries to help is related to an online friend.  When I hear his name, I scribble it down on the pad I always have for notes and ideas so that I remember to mention it to her.  I wish I knew more about him and those few who dealt in good faith and honor.

Where do you dream?

Thirteen long hours to be filled with…what?  I drive, seeing, alert for traffic and possible situations, yet at the same time traveling through the late 1800’s mostly in the western half of the United States, knowing how it will end yet compelled to keep going.  By the time I surface, I’m back in Indiana, darkness falling literally as well as metaphorically.  Above, in the dark clouds and night ahead, there’s a slender riff, through which a bit of yellow gold shines dimly.  I feel as though I’ve been in two places at one time, emotionally wrung out, as if I’d been, if not a participant, at very least an observer.  I’ve fallen through that slit into another dimension.  Now I need to find how to return.  I need another dream; less nightmare, more joyful.

What fuels your dreams?

A short space of no emotion.  I need something soul-restoring.  I reach for “In Tuscany”, the not-exactly-a-sequel to “Under the Tuscan Sun” and “Bella Tuscany.”  The rift now opens to that mixture of old and new that is Italy.  Stories of olive-picking, of choosing cheeses and wines, of shared, hours-long dinners with friends, of restored homes and restored lives, of laughter and love and family.  Dreams of someone else that call me back.  Heal me. Pull me through the darkness towards home.  Make me want to find my own dreams once again.

Arriving tired, somewhat disoriented from my awake-dreaming, happy from time spent with a daughter and from being home with my husband, I fall in bed after eating and awaken to dreary, sullen skies and pouring rain, to bills and laundry and applesauce-making.

Time for new dreams for a new day.