Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A Palpable Silence: Pecos

When you first come to Pecos you are struck by the beauty. Walking up the trail toward the old kiva and the remains of the mission, I always remember the words from the Navajo: I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me. I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me. I walk with beauty around me.

But beyond the beauty and beneath the great palpable silence, you cannot help but be aware of the presence of those who have gone before; those who have lived here in peace, those who came to trade, those who came to enslave, those who sought to overthrow, and those who killed to empower themselves.
As you walk along the trail, a closer look at the trailside rocks and soil shows you a ground littered with pieces of ancient pots. History is overlaid with history here. You stand at the site of an ancient pueblo, two Spanish colonial missions, part of the Santa Fe trail, a Civil War battle, and a 20th century working ranch.

Go down the old ladder into the ancient underground kiva and spend some moments alone with your thoughts and all the swirling fragments of the past. Absorb some of that great silence into yourself and make it your own. Climb back up into the hot sunshine and walk with beauty all around you.

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