by Dale Wright-Lonheim
While in New Mexico this past November, we stopped at one of our favorite places outside Santa Fe, at the Pre Historic site of the Tsankawians. Located on top of a butte, (protected as part of the Bandelier National Monument) are the remains of this tribe’s dwellings and even chars (pieces of their pottery) can be see amongst the vegetation. Enroute to the site you follow the trail worn in the sandstone they made as well as having to climb replicas of the wooden ladders they used to traverse up the steep cliffs.
As I made this journey I am always amazed at the strength I feel literally “walking in their foot prints.” However this time what struck me the strongest was the connection I felt as I climbed up and then down the ladders. On my way up I felt the strength of bringing the gifts from Mother Earth that gave their bodies life, and as I traversed down the ladders I also felt the strength of purpose to go and receive this precious gift from Mother Earth.
What “ladders” and “foot prints” from our past do we honor in our lives? How do we honor these experiences? Do we only Receive? Do we only Give? Is there a balance in this process? How do we also acknowledge these gifts from Mother Earth and our Ancestors?