Don’t worry, I have a lot to share.
The last big trip I wrote about was a trip to Hong Kong. In the meantime, I recently traveled to Nicaragua. Please see some of my information from that visitation at this other link from my Faithless Faith blog: https://faithlessfaith.wordpress.com/2016/06/02/nicaragua/
Maybe I’ll find the time to detail that experience. In the meantime, I am preparing for a November 2016 trip to Morocco. I am currently living on the Navajo Nation as of 2015, and so I have become acculturated in many ways. One of these ways is my consciousness regarding the position and relevance of the Four Sacred Mountains.
To Navajos, the four sacred mountains bound the traditional land given by the holy people. Navajo maps have the east as “up”, which most conventional maps place in the north. The sun rises in the east; that weighs largely into this decision. The traditional Navajo land is defined by four mountains that sit in four directions. So, starting up at the east, we have Mount Blanca, east, in Colorado; Mount Taylor, south, in New Mexico; the San Francisco Peaks, west, in Arizona; and Mount Hesperus, north, in Colorado. Although Navajo territory expands through NM, AZ, and UT rather than CO.
In April 2016, I had a Navajo ceremony. It used these mountains. At the time, it felt like the ceremony failed me in ways. But today I realize the ceremony is working in its unique, indirect ways. It is eliminating from power people who do not belong there; it is giving me opportunities that very few people will ever see; it is keeping my health in check. As I come into August 2016 and realize that my graduate school endeavor is about to being, I am seeing my need to honor this ceremony and its tradition.
So, today, I will be driving to Colorado. I am on a tight budget, but I believe I have to respect the ways of the world I live in. Tonight, I will drive towards Alamosa, Colorado and park my car along a rural route. In the very early morning, I will start the 17-mile-round-trip job up a trail that circles many lakes, including Lake Como, to arrive finally at Mount Blanca peak. This mountain is the eastern sacred mountain for the Navajo people. I will collect a baggie of soil and rocks from this peak, as many medicine men do, and return. The next mountain this week will be Mount Taylor.
I will climb all Four Sacred Mountains this week. I will collect a baggie of each mountain and bring it home. I will bring these bags to my COP22 retreat in September in California, and I will offer a small sample of each mountain to all of my fellow delegates.
This feels right and this is the best way I can represent who I am today through the people who have helped me and held me up in the past year. I need their traditions to carry through the work I will do this Fall in Morocco. I have confidence in this approach. And I am thrilled to be climbing the four sacred mountains.
I promise, should all go as planned, to post my experience scaling these four mountains.