The sign at the trail head barely even mentions the Native Americans who inhabited this area on the Hieroglyphic Trail, named for the petroglyphs that can’t be missed at the top of the trail. These rocks tell a story of a time when people in the area knew they were interconnected to the animals that shared the same land.
Rock carvings of deer, snake, lizards, coyote, tarantulas, and scorpions demonstrate all the creatures who gathered at this waterhole; an oasis in the arid desert. Today, it is just a pool of mucky water, but I have seen it after a rain when it is fed by a descending waterfall which collects in the pool, then moves on through the canyon.
Life granting water to the thirsty desert creatures. Shared by humans and animals alike, the Hohokam and the Apache knew they existed along side the many other life forms that belonged to this land. There was no us and them. No human world versus the natural world. Humans were not separate from the nature. We were nature. A part of this mysterious thing called life on this planet. They knew not why they were here or where they were going, but they knew something brought them all together at the watering hole.
They knew everyone, animal and human alike, needed water to survive and they respected that. Mother Nature provided all the resources needed for everyone’s survival. And when they killed, they did it out of respect for the cycle of life and death. They thanked the Earth for giving them the means of their survival.
They did not go to the grocery store and buy a pound of ground beef or get a taco from the taco truck. No, they worked for their food. They harvested plants and hunted deer for their meat. Today, we are so disconnected from our food that we don’t realized where our food comes from. We need to see this. We need to be out in nature and see the animals, hear the birds chirp, see the art left by ghosts from the past and how they were, we humans, were once a part of it all.
The truth is we are still a part of it all, no matter how hard we try to disconnect ourselves from nature. We cannot separate the human-made world from nature. We are a part of nature.
You may think I am stating the obvious. Of course we are a part of nature, everyone knows that, but the more time we spend in our cars and office buildings, the less time we have to observe how life really works on this planet. We need to get out of the city once in a while and experience what life is like without concrete and plastic.
Nature finds ways of showing us that. There are little reminders infiltrating our cities, from falcons perching on high rise buildings to mountain lions and bears popping up in suburban backyards. We cannot escape from the natural world because it is our world; the only world we have.
The Story of the Stones
These stones whisper a story.
A story of the human animal living along side many other animals.
A story of a watering hole in the desert.
A gathering place for all.
Water cooler chit chat.
Water cooler art.
An acceptance of all,
recognizing fundamental need.
Trusting the Earth to provide enough without greed.
Respect the mysteries of life.
Hear the story of the stones.
Listen with your heart through the pages of time
and you will know you are home.
Imprisoned by our commodities,
we have forgotten from where we began.
Our complicated lives are really quite simple,
it has been the same since the beginning of woman and man.
Remember, we are still a part of humble beginning.
The truth is, we can be nothing more,
no matter how many black Friday deals you think you get at the store.
Even are “advanced” society cannot make a machine of a human.
We live, we breath, we eat, we drink.
We laugh, we cry, we anger, we think.
And if we ever do become a systematic, well oiled machine,
the odds are, we’re causing suffering.
So, remember the story of the stones.
Hear the whisper of ghosts’ past.
Know we did not get here alone,
and we will not be the last.