For seven and a half weeks I left the beauty, comfort, familiarity, and peace of my lovely mountains and lost myself on a desert mountain in Northern Arizona. Here I lived, loved, and learned. For seven weeks I was not myself, but who the people of the Navajo Nation, the Shepherd Alliance, and St. Anne’s Mission needed me to be. I came to this desert haven looking for something, looking for peace and purpose. I found so much more than I ever dreamed.

Since the last time that I escaped to the desert around Phoenix two years ago I have craved the peace of the desert. And so, with this fond memory and craving I made my way to the village of Klagetoh on Memorial Day. I was in love from the moment I stepped out of the car. There is one thing that few people talk about or think of when the topic is the desert, and that is the desert’s greatest treasure: her people. And so it was with great wonder and thankfulness that I dove headfirst into the Navajo culture and allowed myself to be a part of their world. I learned so much from them. I learned to love myself, to trust the world around me, to laugh easily, to hide behind my eyes, to work for trust, to be flexible, and to relax.

The peace that Sister Desert and her children offered so readily to me will never be forgotten. And that is the greatest gift that either of them gave me or could have ever given me. They taught me how to take this peace and lock it in my heart so that it is mine forever, even over a thousand miles away. But I cannot stay in the desert forever. I am a child born in the shadows of the oldest mountains in the world. I was raised in North America’s Rain forest. I am a child of water. And so, with both sadness and joy in my heart I say “Hágóone’ (good bye)” for now. My mountains are being destroyed by the greed of the coal companies. They are crying and calling to me. They are calling and I must answer… May the peace that I have been given by the community of Klagetoh, AZ reverberate in the hearts of all who pass through that blessed village.

HOME

We will see each other soon, Sister, but for now I must go home….

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