There were a people in the mesa.
Fashioning juniper branches with fingers of purpose and freedom.
Canvasing earth bound homes,
castles of memory and might.
With sandstone and mortar beamed echoes of family and community.
There’s a magic in the mystery of the silent cliffs.
There’s a strength in the soil of no goodbye.
A strength that I know bubbled in the bellies of my people.
source of growth and maintenance.
strong like roots fastened to the center of the earth.
At one time,
we were all outside.
We were all dancing, and singing and loving all on the trees.
And the wind.
And the sun, she was ours, and we were hers.
intrigue and interest of king and queened sophistications
shipped cobblestone culture of me and my.
We bent shape and built fortress from the we to I.
And the value for dirt lost all of its majesty.
We moved inside.
Frowning at the savages that embraced organic masonry.
Updating social status from the seclusion of our penthouse watchtowers.
Fading to forgotten with no artifacts of value from lone culture.
We forgot the togetherness of the we, for the I.
We’re all connected.
There are memories of the people we used to be.
We move in opposition to the I,
And find ourselves in tune with the universe.
Exchanging rivers of smiles and new beginnings,
tossing perspective into the scalp of the trees,
with ferns for rackets and the stars for points as we gaze over the massiveness of
the Milky Way.
making connection with the mesa again,
finding clues about the togetherness in the preserved kiva roofs,
creating a collective sense of the magic that was.
And the people.
And each other.
No longer strangers.
But a we.
Whitney Mitchell participated in the National Park Foundation’s 2015 Find Your Park Expedition. She is a visual artist and collective impact strategist, creatively working to address health disparities in New Orleans, Louisiana. You can follow Whitney's adventures and connect with her on Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Snapchat using TwoMacks, and on her website.
Photo credit: Victor Wei