Lately I have been reading through the Navajo mysteries by Tony and Anne Hillerman. What I wish I had done first was opened the cover to “Hillerman Country” by Tony and Barney Hillerman, a look at some beautiful country.
The book has commentaries about various places around the area. There are excerpts from the mystery series. All of it is trying to help others see what the Navajos have known for centuries: Desert the area may be, but it is truly beautiful in its colors, its immensity, its shapes.
I have been in Navajo country. It was long ago and some of the memories of this beautiful country are dim now. And, beautiful as they are, the photographs in “Hillerman Country” don’t really convey what it is like to be there.
That is true for anywhere. The United States has many spectacular places and more people should take the time to visit them. To fully find their beauty, turn the smart phone off.
My Ozark hills are not spectacular in the way the redwoods or Navajo country or Yosemite are. Yet I can find some of the beauty on them I found in those places.
You have to stand there and let the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feelings seep inside of you. If you are thinking about how to tell someone else about the place, you can’t do that.
The experience is unique to you. Even if someone is standing next to you, it is still unique to each of you. Beautiful country speaks to each of us differently because we are different.
Those differences don’t make one person’s experience better or worse, more or less valid than another’s. Recognizing that we are each unique helps us create a better society.
There is another very valuable resource in “Hillerman Country.” A map spreads across two pages.
In “Song of the Lion” Bernie says the morning prayer to the dawn. It asks to be allowed to walk in beauty. That is a prayer all of us, no matter where we live, should relate to. Perhaps if we aspired to walk in beauty in how we see our world, ourselves and each other, we can find the peace so many of us search for.
See some of why I find my Ozark hills beautiful country in “My Ozark Home”.