Gallup Journey February 2011

Page 12

. . . everything seems to have converged to get me here for keeps.

Photo Credit: Deer Roberts Š 2007



nitially, I sat this land for a month in September 2007. Voices circled the house where I was staying and something kept playing with the lights in the bedroom. A diamond-back came to visit the clothesline and coyotes crooned the night, closer and closer. The stars bent their faces absurdly into mine to get a good look. Spooked me a bit, I have to tell you, but I never really felt threatened. In fact, after awhile, I came to understand it was all a welcoming of sorts and, perhaps, me as a curiosity. I must have been approved, as everything since seems to have converged to get me here for keeps. The first time traveling up here some four years ago, I was in wonderment at the beauty all around me. My kids were raised in the land of lakes and forests, Michigan. So, speeding up I-25 from El Paso, the feeling of being at sea bottom and the weight of the sky was overwhelming and somewhat miraculous. Traversing Laguna Reservation across Highway 6


By Deer Roberts

was something of a sacred experience. Mt. Taylor, near Grants, was reassuring in its grandeur. But when I crossed the Continental Divide, just past the Ice Caves, something deep inside me, on the soul level, clicked. As a military brat, constantly uprooted as a child, somewhere my spirit sense of home and self had been left behind. In this arid land of hard scrub and immense dignity, we somehow got reunited. In that moment, my center rooted here with convergent force. So when life presented the opportunity for a bit of a sabbatical, I packed my dog and made a bee-line toward the turn, just before La Tinaja Restaurant, and after the mining scars along Hwy 53. That is the place where the large green mesa in the distance welcomes you into El Morro Valley, the point where, for me, the first sense of being home and the end of the journey begins . . . . . . more later.

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