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On The Petroglyph Trail at Mesa Verde

Back east hemmed in by the heat, the tall buildings and trees teeming with insects, I often think of the west and its honey-colored canyons.

Being in the desert fulfilled a dream from long ago when the swing would point west and I would close my eyes in the setting sun and think of cowboys, stream trains and cacti crowding the skyline. The old cliff dwellings of Mesa Verdi in Colorado live on in my imagination now. I think of the faraway world of the ancient people and the words of Willa Cather from The Song of the Lark.

"From the ancient dwelling there came always a dignified, unobtrusive sadness; now stronger, now fainter - like the aromatic smell which the dwarf cedars gave out in the sun - but always present, a part of the air one breathed. At night when Thea dreamed about the anyon - or in the early morning when she hurried toward it, anticipating it - her conception of it was of yellow rocks baking in the sunlight the swallows, the cedar smell, and that peculiar sadness - a …

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