By James Anthony Curtis
Recently we visited the Pueblo ruins of Tuzigoot (Too-ze-woot), just east of Clarkdale, Arizona. The ruins sit high on a hill above the Verde floodplain, and command an incredible view for hundreds of miles in almost every direction. At one point this was a thriving community of the Sinagua people, with approximately 200-400 living in community here at one time over a span of a few hundred years. They sustained themselves through farming, foraging, and a trade network of various items such as food, cotton, salt, and stone, to a variety of crafts-work in weaving, beads, and many other items of both practical and spiritual importance with other communities in the area.
Standing on the summit of one of the high walkways between the ruins, my eyes close, and I allow the body to drift with the intense winds as they lift the soul in journey upon their current. The fertile valley echoes a small river gently moving past, while birds, insects, and wildlife scurry about this sanctuary. Allowing myself to sink further into the energy of this place, time folds to the imagination, and a people come alive in a way of life that pervades common cultural thought on how to live in a society. Their cares of this world and its daily life are much different in nature than where we stand in reverence today. But in either case, there are threads that tie us to each other, those that form bonds beyond the three dimensional reality of what we commonly perceive. Although we may be of a different race, culture, or societal structure, our humanity runs deeper in the eternal vibration of ancestral lineage where we share a struggle of evolution in nature— our spiritual metamorphosis in occurrence.
Visiting these sacred places gives us the opportunity to visit ourselves, to gaze into life purposes, and see the reflections of where we have walked etched upon the ether of the earth. There is a sense of timelessness in us if we go deeper into our relationships, where impermanence meets energy, and the ego gives way to the openings of an ongoing journey of wonder, enlightenment, and compassion. If we give our heart the space of abiding that is asked for, we ease the pain of living on a temporal path, and expansion leads the soul to a larger world of exploration, one in which we come to know our universal self intimately across previous borders and boundaries.
The Sinagua people of the Verde Valley are not that distant in partnership, and when we stand where they stood, walk along paths they moved, breathing the gift of life filling the body as they once did, gratitude begins to well for the precious space of our soul in pilgrimage here on earth. We see both the hardships and the joys in traveling the world, and come to realize our paths may cross more than we know as we embrace our humanity.
Today may we grant time for our ancestors, valuing our connection, and the many paths they have walked before us. May we see beyond our limitations by the holding of the heart in loving compassion, offering ourselves as a living sacrifice to the one who is emerging in us, the one we have been waiting for, in benefit of all beings.
May it be so, so it is.