Sand Painting from the Denver Museum of Art and the sign beside it.
Like most people I want to protect and share what I love, but some things were meant to be ephemeral, just a taste of beauty not something to be put in a jar and preserved. I have very mixed feelings about this. I have brought home my share of seed pods, feathers and water-polished stones only to find that they lose some of their essence without the sunshine, the bird calls or the river sounds.
This sand painting is beautiful as it sits in the museum and I am grateful that the Navajo made it possible for us to view. I can also understand why they typically destroy them after completing them: In the ceremonies. It is the process rather than the product that is important.
I once trusted that the beauty in nature would be there when I returned with my children or grandchildren. Now I have my doubts. So much is being sacrificed to corporate greed--not only the beauty but our children's health and well-being. I recently bought a cookbook which contained a page listing types of fish and categorizing them as "Safe to eat, safe to eat once a month or less, unsafe for children under 12, and fish to avoid eating." How tragic that we must limit our food choices because manufacturing companies have lobbied for--and received--the right to dump more mercury, which causes brain damage prenatally and up to five years of age, and other contaminants into our waterways and oceans. I can celebrate the ephemeral as a process but our food sources are necessary live-sustaining products and should be safe to eat.