Leon J. Podles :: DIALOGUE

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It is Finished in Beauty

May 2nd, 2010 · 5 Comments

The two-week hiatus in posting blogs and comments was caused by my trip to the Southwest. While there I found a Navajo guide who took me into Canyon de Chelly.

First of all, never tell a Navajo guide you are up to a challenging hike. The only time I have ever come close to puking from fear is when we were crawling up a rock dome above a 500-foot precipice in 70 mile-an-hour winds.

The weather was variable. The first day, hot and sunny. The second day, warm and 40 to 70 mph winds. The third day, snow showers. Perhaps for that reason, I think we were the only hikers in the whole canyon. Other tourists came in my truck along the canyon floor instead of climbing in and out. They didn’t get the full experience or accumulate several ounces of red dust (it took three baths to get rid of it) and about 50 cactus spines. We hikers suffer for our art, but it is worth it.

I am no expert on the Navajos or their religion, but I have read a number of books and have observed Navajos’ off-hand comments. They recognize the existence of spirits, the Ye’i, which seem to be much like the Hopi kachinas, who are messengers and bringers of blessings. But the Navajo also seem to be monotheists, and constantly refer to the Creator and His intentions for our lives and our world.

The religion is a religion of healing, both bodily and spiritual. Evil is being out of harmony, out of the Creator’s plan of beauty for the world. This beauty must be restored by a Sing, which involves dances, songs, and the sand paintings which are the portal through which the Ye’i enter our world.

All their prayers end with the equivalent of Amen, Hózhó náhásdlíí.

In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk.
With dew about my feet may I walk.
With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

Hózhó náhásdlíí

Tags: Southwest

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Father Michael Koening // May 2, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve read that many native or aboriginal peoples living close to nature are monotheistic. That echos what St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans and Vatican I proclaimed a doctrine in the 19th century; the universe bears witness to its creator and that we can KNOW God exist from the created order. The guide you had may be more pleasing to God than any number of priests and prelates.

  • 2 GuillermoSantiago // May 4, 2010 at 6:40 am

    Beautiful Post! Thank You.

  • 3 HL Duran // May 8, 2010 at 7:00 am

    Yaa-te-eh!
    I grew up in Dinétah, though not born Diné myself, my father and I worked very closely with the People. Their Way is Beauty and Beauty is their Way - there is no other means of putting it, there must be harmony, to be out of it is to not walk in Beauty. This is Sin actually, more than just the juridical description of an offense, the offense is against that which is Good and that which is Good must necessarily be Beautiful. Sin is ugliness and by its ugliness offends, Justice demands balance and beauty which must be restored. The perception is simple and the Law and the Balance are evident to the pure heart as St. Paul to Romans wrote:

    “For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity” Rom 1:20

    If you have experienced this in the red rocks of Dinétah then you have got more out of your walk than the usual tourist who comes with romanticized notions of “nature” and “Indians”.

  • 4 Rothang Move // Apr 18, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a remark is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any means you can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  • 5 Remote Spiritual Healing // Aug 14, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Thank you for the informative post. Spiritual healing is definitely one of the most powerful alternative therapy methods.

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