Thursday, September 8, 2005

Travelin' Rainbows

Rainbow over Twin Rocks

A few days ago, I heard Jana shout up to the house from outside the trading post, "Steve, come down here and look at this." Out here in this wonderland of magical, mystical things and unusual occurrences, that directive generally means: (a) there is a beautiful sunset in the making; (b) there is an extremely large lizard scurrying about; (c) there is an unusual bug to be seen; or (d) Kira, Grange and Tarrik have done something requiring a massive cleanup effort, often involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

On this particular occasion, I was confident it was not option (d), because Jana is usually behind the messes that require heavy equipment to repair, and is not so animated when bringing them to my attention.

As soon as the kids were able, Jana, much to my chagrin, allowed them to run the water hose behind the house and create massive mud baths. The kids would then spread mud from one end of the property to the other, and fill the bath tub with red dirt that took a small front-end loader to muck out.

The first time this happened, I shouted, waved my arms and jumped up and down, trying to avert a reoccurrence; all to no avail. Jana patiently explained that mud was good for kids, and allowed them to develop creatively. In an effort to put an end to this mud based creativity promotion, I turned to Barry for support; I found none. Standing firmly behind Jana, he explained that he had recently read an article confirming what she was saying.

Once I realized I was powerless to stop Jana and the kids from engaging in this muddy madness, I decided the only thing to do was clean them as best I could before they made a dash for the house. So, once they were done splashing in the mud, I forced the kids to strip down to their underwear and stand on the rocks in front of the trading post, there to be hosed down with cold water. Initially, I thought the hose might moderate their enthusiasm, but it only made matters worse; they loved it.

Since it was early afternoon when I received the call from Jana, I realized the sun was probably not going down so soon and it could not be a beautiful sunset that had captured her attention. The only reasonable conclusion was that Jana had spotted an extraordinary bug or gigantic lizard. To my surprise, it was neither. Jana was standing by the cars, looking east at a beautiful rainbow that curved over the Twin Rocks and ended in the hay field just south and east of the trading post.

Navajo Weaver Elsie Holiday

I was immediately reminded of Elsie Holiday, who had come in not long ago and informed me that a rainbow's end had landed on her Douglas Mesa home. That, I thought, must be good luck, so I cautiously advised her that good fortune may have smiled on her. I was cautious because these unusual occurrences have a way of costing me money. It was indeed a lucky incident she informed me, but only after the appropriate ceremony is held, and that would require a substantial loan. If the ceremony was not done, the Rainbow Gods might drain all her wealth, and that would surely adversely affect me. The ceremony could be held for only $200.00, and, if I advanced the money, she would ensure it also brought me better business.

My enthusiasm for this new rainbow was much more keen than for Elsie's, since I knew for certain I would not have to loan the owner of the farm a few hundred dollars to guarantee his prosperity, or mine. As I stood next to Jana in the misty rain, looking up at the rainbow, I unconsciously reached into my back pocket to secure my wallet. I felt a little foolish, knowing the local artists frequently give back more than they take, and also knowing the reason these things keep happening is because Barry and I enjoy having the Navajo people come in and share their stories.

We have been told that rainbows play a particularly important role in Navajo culture. For example, Talking God gave one to the Hero Twins as a means of traveling long distances. Their rainbow was only a finger length long, and could be folded and carried in a small leather pouch. Using their supernatural powers, however, the Twins could extend the rainbow and make it long enough for any journey. By stepping into a jewel basket, the Twins traveled at great speed along the rainbow path.

My Subaru is rapidly accumulating miles, so I am considering trading it in on a new, 2006 Rainbow compact, with the carrying pouch option. I will, however, have to get my $200.00 back from Elsie for the down payment. Oh the places I will go.

With Warm Regards,
Steve, Barry and the Team.

Copyright 2005 Twin Rocks Trading Post

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