Etched Into Our Memories
|Painted Rocks site in Arizona|
"Line by line, moment by moment, special times are etched into our memories in the permanent ink of everlasting love in our relationships."
Ninety miles southwest of Phoenix, Arizona there's a spectacular petroglyph site that features over 800 images etched into basalt boulders by the Hohokam people. On an incredibly hot day in August, I visited there with my teachers, Maria and Lynda Yraceburu on our way back to San Diego, capping off our trip to Canyon de Chelly. It was at least 104° with waves of heat shimmering the blacktop in the distance into a mirage of oily wetness on the roads. Hot enough to cook eggs on your car hood.
|Maria serenades rocks|
Maria showed us depictions of snakes, spirals, concentric circles, ladders, spider webs and animals. It was a spectacular gallery, to me as symbolically rich as any art gallery. Full of mystery. Why here? Why this amazing display of so many stories, messages, and symbolic imagery? It was like dropping into an early day chat room featuring a very lively discussion session. The historic/cultural marker displayed a few of the images with attendant speculations on their meanings.
I remember being torn between wanting to linger and absorb the wisdom of the rocks, and feeling like I was about to meltdown. Maria pulled out her wooden flute and echoed back to the stories in stone our presence--letting the ancestors know someone still comes to look, listen and learn. Softly serenading grandmothers and grandfathers of old with a song of thanksgiving, praise and honoring.