Hózhó. Under a turquoise sky dotted with cotton clouds, Pat, the patchwork mustang I ride feels his tentative way between large boulders and slippery sand. It has rained hard the night before, leaving everything bright and fresh, but the horses are paying for it with the sudden and drastic loss of the topsoil that normally cushions the trail.
As we make our way past a final patch of juniper trees and crest a rise in the rich red earth, Canyon de Chelly, the sacred home of the Navajo for hundreds of years, suddenly reveals itself in all its stunning beauty. For the first time, I think perhaps I catch a glimpse of the meaning of the word the Navajo (Diné) use to describe a state of beauty and order, of being in harmony with the universe (Sandner, 1991).
The Navajo call themselves “Diné” meaning “The People.” They are cultural and linguistic relatives of the Athapascans who inhabit Canada and the American Northwest, having migrated across the Bering Strait in ancient times and.. (click title for more)