Leaving Utah

Last week we adventured close to home. I wanted to get my fill of Utah.

We were in Southern Utah and I feel like I experienced the America that was the source of life before the continent was conquered. Many feel that America has a young history. This week, walking among the ancient petroglyphs and lands of the Native Americans’, I reflected that below and around our modern world there is a rich primitive history that is often missed. Customs and religion forgotten, lands and canyons taken and renamed.

One day we ventured into Zion’s National Park, I was riding up the canyon in the shuttle bus listening to the audio recording.  I was touched to learn that Zion Canyon was originally named Mukuntuweap; meaning straight canyon. It was wrestled from the Paiute natives by white settlers who not only claimed the land but took cultural possession by re-naming it. I felt torn listening to this history of my state. I’ve been reflecting more on the heritage than the hikes and felt a sentimental loss for the Indian name it once held.

My journal scribblings from the day turned out to be a bit more poetic but I like the feelings behind the memory.

The fertile landscape of dust

Growing native bones like vegetables

on these naked cliff walls.

There are beautiful nooks and crannies

where the Canyon Wren grew wings

and as I watch it fly

I gain this sense of being alive and realize

The red dirt here rests easy in the lines of my hand.

 

1Comment
  • Liz dreves
    Posted at 20:16h, 26 June Reply

    Love Zion. Been there twice and to us Aussies it is a huge place. We have mountains but nothing like. Zion. Our favourite state for national parks was Utah. It has so much contrast. Glad you got to play tourist in your home

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