©Bert Gildart: Some of the most dramatic land in the world is located on Navajo Indian Reservation near Page, Arizona, and yesterday we felt privileged to walk through a portion of that land.
Over the years we’ve read books and articles that have quoted parts or all of a Navajo prayer. Upon returning we looked up this prayer about beauty and it seemed as though segments of the prayer summarized our feeling as we explored. And, so, I include it here, for it seems to fit precisely with the beautiful land we explored in Lower Antelope Canyon.
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.
My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful…
Though Janie and I fully expect to be immersing ourselves in more beautiful places over the next ten years, we both agree that we’ve indeed been fortunate to see what we’ve seen during the past 21 years of marriage. Some of our best experiences have been covering Native American stories and meeting people from these various cultures, and yesterday our hike and visits with several Navajo people epitomized the best of these experiences.
Below, I’m providing links to a few of the stories and images that have served as the background for thoughts and feelings. We’re enjoying creating this small retrospective because these experiences have at times defined our lives.
LINKS TO A FEW NATIVE AMERICAN EVENTS WE’VE COVERED OVER THE YEARS:
World Eskimo Indian Olympics (background material for story for Native Peoples Magazines)
Earth Mother (recent)
NOTE: This is a small sampling