A spring in a big rincón, westward-facing. Water, with help from prevailing winds, had carved out an arching cave in the sandstone perhaps 30 feet high. Its ceiling was dotted with grapefruit-size nests of cliff swallows. The birds flew over us, alarmed and crying.

On the arch is a Navajo “star ceiling,” probably Cassiopeia. Look for the stars, red ochre Xes. Then look more closely: there are faint, perhaps earlier black stars as well.


4 thoughts on “Starry”

    1. The star ceilings are rare in New Mexico, I am told. Supposedly (brief online search), in Navajo mythology, Cassiopeia is Náhookos Bi’áadii (Northern Female), “a woman lying on her side. She represents the mother of the home.”

  1. Wow….you take me places I know I’d never get to. This is magic. Thank you! mikki

    Sent from my iPad


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