"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding watercolor, metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The day when you can see time

Susan and I at Chaco Canyon, New Mexico
There are two days a year when I think specifically about New Mexico...and this was one of them.
Coincidentally, and really unawares,  in the past week, as a matter of fact last night, I'd talked about camping out at Chaco Canyon, the site of the Anasazi culture that more than a thousand years ago accurately recorded and measured the movement of the earth around the sun.
Equinox dawn at Fajada Butte, where the Anasazi measured time
This day --equinox-- figured deeply in their religion and lives, and since I've camped there several times, it figures deeply in my life cycle.
I've written about it on this blog many times, and may not be able to add much original this year, but I'm still drawn to it, to the memories, to the power that still resides in that place
Camping on Equinox at Chaco
I was last there about five years ago, camping out alone, and it was freezing cold. I'd been to see my late uncle Mike in Santa Fe, and then headed northwest, eventually 25 miles off the paved road, to silence, to solitude, to imagination and much more in the high desert.
I don't know if I can convince my very urban wife to go there overnight in a tent on the ground, but the place is calling. It always does. To me it isn't about history, it's about eternity--present tense.
You can see time move... 
You can see time move there, from the stars wheeling overhead, to the shadows of  the rising and setting sun climbing up the sandstone cliffs, to the ancients' markers in their stone architecture. 
These ruins are not vacant
And those ruins are not vacant, as the Pueblo Indians will tell you. They are still inhabited by the spirits. That I believe, else why would my spirit be so drawn two specific days a year, and in between?
Fajada Butte--watercolor
Links to a few previous articles from the past seven years:
Where you can travel in time
When you can see time
Solstice dawn and days missed
When the sun stands still
Poetry in the canyon 
Where you can see time 

1 comment:

  1. I love Chaco canyon. It has been decades since I have been.