|Into Zion National Park|
We've satiated ourselves on beauty. This is truly a HOLY week for us; everywhere we look--Holy. Breathing Holy in, breathing out Holy. So much beauty I want to tell you all at once and my fingers catch fire, my breath becomes sparks of light. What do we do when the boundaries disappear and we are the mountain, are the coral colored sand, are the hawks, the antelopes, the wind?
I've wandered in the eyes of at least three magnificent women these past two days. I finally got to meet Regina Sara Ryan and I want to meet her again and again over whatever life remains. We sat outside with John and Mo at the Wild Iris Coffee Shop in Prescott, AZ, and spoke of wonder and writing (she's the editor for Hohm Press where John's Yearning For The Father was published). She and I discovered we had walked similar paths in life. Synchronicities began to appear, and then the urge to share every book, every person, every place and way and song that has held meaning.
The other two women I spoke with only briefly. One in a trading post somewhere past Cameron on the way to Zion. She came rushing in to tell the owner that she knew she was late but her electricity had gone out, and then she began enumerating a flurry of other things that had gone wrong that morning, but I couldn't focus on words because I was so caught up in the most amazing eyes I have ever seen. They were silver blue with violet rings around the iris which made them gleam as if light shone on brightly polished silver underneath the purest of mountain streams. I had to tell her: "I know you had a flurry of troubles this morning, but you also have the most amazing eyes I have ever seen." She grinned. "I have my father's eyes," she said. Then I paid for a Zion sweatshirt, and she was gone. Don't you wonder about such chance meetings and the ripples they cause? I can still feel those ripples from her eyes.
Then I met a Navajo woman named Sally. She was selling homemade jewelry by the side of the road. Some of it I could have put together myself with stones and beads from Fire Mountain in Grants Pass. I really wanted to buy something from her. Then I glimpsed a primitive turquoise necklace, two long strands of green stones shot through with brown, each stone separated from the next by those tiny Navajo seed beads that have a specific name but I can't recall it at the moment. I picked it up.
"Grandma made that," she said.
Immediately I thought of the Grandmothers, those wise women from various traditions and communities. Perhaps you've heard of them. I once leafed through a book containing their stories and photographs of their old and beautiful faces. I think of these elder women as the ground that keeps our world from spinning off into chaos. I think of them as weavers who create patterns by which our world can live. Of course I bought the necklace because it was sacred to me. And I will wear it as sacred beads, as connection to the Grandmothers and to earth.
"What is your grandmother's name?"
"Julia." Ah, yes. The jewel.
The beauty of the women, the beauty of the earth. How can I not be grateful to belong to such a sacred community as this? All through Zion my heart beat an earth rhythm, the golden earth reflected the sun, each moment fell into the one before as into the eternal