Day 25: Sunday, April 17, 2016
The weather did not in any way diminish our visit here at Monument Valley. We did our tour in an open-bed truck (with plastic curtains and it was “freezing cold”). Eric was our guide. Monument Valley was Eric’s childhood playground. His father is a Navajo medicine man. He and his wife have two grown daughters, both college graduates. He drives a school bus every day, works as a tour guide, and in his younger years was a bull rider doing the rodeo circuit.
When driving into the Valley for the first time on Friday, as I mentioned before, the tears came and I felt a deep emotional/spiritual connection with the “Mountain,” as Eric calls the valley. Eric, when told of this, suggested that the Mountain knew me, welcomed me, and I should thank the Mountain for receiving me. I have thanked the Mountain!
Emerson wrote that “Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.” This is certainly true of Monument Valley I cannot begin to describe nature’s artistic hand through rain, sun, snow, wind, water, sand, and 50 billion years of endless work. Photographs cannot capture this place. Mind, heart, and sight cannot take it in. Monument Valley is sacred territory for the Navajo. It is sacred territory for me.
The word “sacred” means something connected with God (or the gods) and so deserving veneration (great respect and reverence). Monument Valley is holy, hallowed ground. It bespeaks of something beyond my understanding, something beyond my capacity to comprehend, something beyond what my eyes can see, something beyond the ability of my mind to absorb. It is an incredible piece of Nature’s inscrutable work. Then why call it sacred? I call it sacred because in some strange way it grabs my spirit and lifts it to a world beyond, not to nature itself, but to God. Again, Emerson expressed it well when he wrote, “Nature is too thin a screen; the glory of the omnipresent God bursts through everywhere.”