M is for Mesa Verde

This is a repost but Mesa Verde is the kind of place that lives on in the imagination long after you leave the canyons.

Walking the Petroglyph Trail reminded me of the microscopic nature of our world. One man is a small speck in the great gorges out west and not even a pinprick in the vastness of the Cosmos.

In this borderless wilderness, we are all destined to wander companionless like Shelley's moon for much of our micro existences. The ancient people recognized as much when they carved the petroglyphs in Mesa Verde in the rocks that were once part of an ancient sea.

There is sad beauty to this park that shimmers in the afternoon sunlight. You feel it when you view the empty windows of the cliff buildings and imagine the world of the ancient people.

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 Verde 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 voice out of the past, not very loud, that went on saying a few simple things to the solitude eternally."

You can view the full post about Mesa Verde here.


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