Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The River

Yesterday I helped take two truckloads of cattle down to the buyer. It was a nice, mostly clear fall day and good for travel. We crossed the river were it breaks up into multiple channels. The trees and surrounding brush are turning now and the lush browns, tans, golds, and russets are breathtakingly beautiful. The richness of color as far as the eye can see. The Indians followed and lived along this river for many, many centuries before the Invaders came and took it all away from them. In truth, this river has run with blood in many places.

But now it makes its peaceful way along, visited by the ducks and geese, swans and cranes, on their annual pilgrimages in both directions. By deer and elk and all the other four- and two-leggeds that depend on it. I think of it as a sacred place, blessed by the Great Spirit, and endangered only by us, the newcomers. I hope we are worthy of it, but sometimes I have my doubts.


Anonymous said...

But those Indians killed off whoever held it before them. Human history is a cycle of getting land, then losing it. Take a look at what's happening in the U.S. today, the "Invaders" are flooding across the border and marginalizing the current inhabitants. Eventually, someone will replace those people.

Rio Arriba said...

True enough. Practically none of us are where we started out, whether genetically or individually. But at the time that "we" arrived, this country was pretty firmly in the hands of the Sioux and the Cheyenne and we did take it. Like all land grabs through the ages this one was pretty ugly.

Interestingly, we are used to the assumption that the Sioux, for example, had been here for ages and ages. But we know the exact year they arrived in their sacred Black Hills. It was 1776. Not quite "ages and ages."

BobG said...

"Practically none of us are where we started out, whether genetically or individually."

Very true; the Navajo and Apache migrated down from Canada just a few hundred years ago, and started raiding the Anasazi people of the Colorado Plateau. That's why the word Anasazi means "ancient enemy" in the Navajo language.