I went to Canyon de Chelly for the first time 3 years ago. I stayed with Jon and Lupita for a week on a poetry/trek adventure.
This summer I spent my fourth time with them on their land. Ever since the first time I stepped into the canyon, I have felt at home. The second time I went back, I heard the canyon whisper a welcome back to me. It brought tears to my eyes. There is something very sacred about this place. Each year I have heard the poetry of people that are experiencing the canyon for the first time. Each time I hear a resonance of the sacred echoing through these new poems. Each person is touched. No one can not be touched by this special place. It seems to be infused with a sacredness that no one is immune to. I have met some of Lupita and Jon's friends and family and have learned a lot about Diné culture. To connect with them on their land, and in their homes bridges the gaps that we sometimes have in understanding our differences. It's true what Lupita says, "once your footprints are in the canyon, you are part of the canyon." I felt myself become a part of the canyon on my first trip there. I carry that with me now and each time I reconnect with the canyon I feel that I've returned home.