Years ago, my husband and I ran away at Thanksgiving. The kids were occupied, my mother was content to be in Ft. Lauderdale, and we needed some time to just hike, hug, and hold hands. Our run-away spot was a corner of the Southwest that we had only read about; Sedona, AZ.
We discovered magic in the red rocks, the canyons, the vistas, and the legends of the indigenous people who lived in the state. But it was a short presentation we heard from Donald Nelson of the Masi Fire Clan, Third Mesa, Kykotsmovi Village that really captured our heads and our hearts.
The Hopi date their time in Arizona back to more than 2000 year. But their history as a people goes back many more thousands of years. According to their legends, the Hopi migrated north to Arizona from the south, up from what is now South America, Central America and Mexico.Today, Hopi are part of the 21 tribal nations that make up the Inter Tribal Council of Arizona.
Nelson told us that Navoti knowledge is gained by hearing, not by sight and experience, but rather the stories that are repeated down the ages. According to Nelson, the Hopi believe there is a proper way to live life through ritual, caring, ceremony, meditation, and caring for children.
From his childhood memory, Nelson relayed his grandmother’s wisdom for a happy life… wisdom that holds true for all of us today:
Eat Hopi food - mostly vegetables.Run to the fields. Exercise and like the work you do.Don’t worry.Be happy - enjoy every phase of your life.Continually pray to the Creator.Greet each other with the words, "Um Pee-Too". Translated, this mean, “Are you here?" Only the present matters.
As we enter this last month of the year and find ourselves running in circles for work and family, I really like that last idea; Um-pee-Too. Are you here? Am I here? Do we show up in the present moment, not fretting about what to buy for Uncle Clarence or Cousin Jane or relieving our past offenses from sister Sally and hoping she doesn’t come this year.
To show up in the moment means accepting what is given. It means neither agonizing over the future or re-playing the past. Where are YOU now? Um-pee-too?
PS: I hope you enjoy my photos of this breathtaking Sedona land.