Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Navajo Night

As the sun set on Wednesday, in Chinle, we gathered at the Drapper home.

Baby slept.

Fire Ready.

William Yahzee treated us to drumming and songs of the Navajo People(the Dine) and other tribes from the Southwest.

He also played the flute and brought along some sheep...visual aids for a love song about herding sheep.

The evening was to honor Teddy Drapper Sr.  codetalker form the second world war.
William treated us to a song Teddy composed in Navajo when he witnessed the flag as it was raised on Iwojima.

We danced the Navajo two- step and did the circle dance around the fire.  Clockwise to let the good spirits in and counter clockwise to chase the bad out.

Large white flowers in my garden that only bloom at night greeted us when we returned home.  They are poisionous but also strong medicine.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Portugal Much in Common with Chinle...Some Not so Much

On a recent trip to Portugal I found much in common with Chinle, Arizona where I live now and that Eropean country.  OK maybe half of Portugal is bordered by the sea and I live in a desert but:Portugal
 Much of Portugal is rural.  All of Chinle is.  Both have free range live stock.
Both have amazing sunsets:

Guess where the sun sets over the ocean?

Yep we even have shells in the desert.  Possibly a billion years old.  They are not in the water.  Portugal?  They can be in water or on white sand beaches.

Wind and windmills?  Check.  Dust?  Not so much in Portugal.

Chinle not so old, not so new.

Portugal old and new.

Sheep?  Pretty much the same.  Loved and used for wool.  An age old tradition in both places.  In both places the tradition captures my imagination.


Great Hiking everywhere  Portugal or Chinle.

OK this is nearby Chinle but we have the Canyon de Chelly too.

Portugal has it all...trails to the beach.

and inland.  Or wait this might be the southwest.
There are even ladders for the steep bits.

Down to the ocean.
 Into the Canyon.
Just as much sand in Portugal as there is in the desert.
It just doesn't pile up on the window sills or creep under the door or block out the view of the house next door in a storm.

Cactus in Portugal?(above)  I managed to tame this yellow cactus from up on the mesa and get it to bloom in my Chinle garden.  They grow wild in Portugal too.

No hogans in Portugal but lots of tiled sidewalks in Chinle.  In Portugal they are all mosaic.

So what did I learn from this trip?  I could be living in Europe right here in Chinle?

Not quite!

 But with a cup of coffee at Changing Woman Cafe down the road(Not exactly your European cafe)

and a can of sardinesChanging Woman Cafe and Tours from the local Bashas grocery...maybe I can pretend.Changing Woman Cafe and Tours

Chinle will never have the ocean although maybe a few billion years ago it did.  And I will always be a beach and sea kind of gal.  I love the energy of the ocean.  Give it to me rough or calm.

But I have found some peace here and lots of friendships.  The mesa has become my beach, the big sky my ocean.  Portugal is for journeying and learning a little more about the world and about me and about the connections that I so revel in.