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The Hopis Love of Clouds

A couple of days ago, I visited with two Hopi silversmiths on the second Mesa, the owner of Sewukiwmas Arts and Crafts and the owner of the Rising Sun Gallery.  They both talked to me at great length about the natural symbols they use in their art and their way of life.   Their way of life depends on natural cycles since they practice dry farming in washes or along irrigated terrace walls, utilizing only precipitation from rain and snowmelt.  Clouds, rain, lightening, are all very important symbols, and they particularly love clouds, as they bring the rain that sustains all life.

Weaver, a truly gifted master silversmith and the owner of the Rising Sun Gallery, and I had a very deep discussion about living close to the land and the harm that man is causing the earth through pollution and not protecting water, the veins of life that keep us alive.  Weaver told me that he believes that recent tragic weather events are the earth's way of rebalancing itself to compensate for what we are doing to her.  He said in farming, they clear all the weeds underneath the crops so they can grow better and that he believes this is what the earth is doing on a larger scale when fires, torrential rains, and typhoons come.  His words seemed rather harsh to me when I thought about  all the lives that were lost in the Haiyan Typhoon. Yet,  I felt the truth to what he was saying.  Nature is not intentionally trying to hurt us.  She is just responding to all the harm man is causing the environment and trying to rebalance herself.  As Sandra Ingerman, Weaver, and many others who believe in the wisdom of native cultures repeatedly stress, if we can bring ourselves into better balance with nature, the earth will heal itself and we will heal too.

Living in balance and harmony and working with what nature provides to sustain ourselves does not devastate the environment in the way western farming and industrialization does.  When I looked on line to see if anyone was trying to apply dry farming principles, I learned the Hopi Tribe is assisting researchers at the Crown Canyon Archeological Center on ancient corn-growing techniques.  At the end of our conversation, Weaver said it was so unusual to hear someone speak the same way about nature coming from such a different culture.   When he handed me the bracelet I bought with bear claw marks and a turquoise stone and the tortoise pendant with the water symbol, he said that his prayer for me was a long life filled with courage to live in harmony with water.  I got chills when he said this, as my desire to inspire people to protect water grows stronger all the time.

After I left the Hopi Mesas and began driving to Holbrook, I saw the most amazing cloud looming over the desert that I have ever seen.  I pulled into a dirt road and made this image, so that I would always remember how divine clouds truly are and how important they are to our survival.
Divine Cloud as I was Leaving Hopi Land ©Lynne Buchanan

As I continued along the road feeling how the world smiles on us when we live in harmony and understand that we are just one small being in an interconnected web of life, the light broke through the clouds and lit up the earth, making her glow.  There was a little pullout off the road and I got out to make this photograph.

Glowing Desert Earth ©Lynne Buchanan
Then the sun set and the sky turned beautiful purples and pinks as the moon rose over two formations linked together as one, while still retaining their separateness.  I stopped the car again and was overcome with a sense of deep peace as I made this image with the help of mother nature, the greatest artist of all...
Desert Moon Rise ©Lynne Buchanan