After a delicious Sunday breakfast buffet and a quick photo walk in downtown Parkersburg, Steve and I headed back into Ohio toward the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. Steve has always been drawn to Native American archaeology and has experience working for the National Park Service at Wupatki National Monument. The information we gathered at the Hopewell site was truly fascinating. The native Americans in the Scioto River valley constructed enormous earth works, mounds and borders of giant proportions, geometrical shapes duplicated exactly many miles apart. The burial mounds contained artifacts made with materials from distant regions. The scope of this culture, the complexity of the ideas they represent, is amazing. Of course, our conjectures about the meaning of the clues they left behind will never be verified. Mystery will always surround this place. The sense of a sacred reverence hangs in the very air, though. It felt, to me, very similar to what I felt when I visited Chichen Itza in Mexico. Time, space, geometry, astronomy, mathematics, religion, life and death coming together in physical art. These were a people who understood the interconnectedness of all things and represented that in a conscientious way. To say that it’s “primitive” misses the mark completely. It certainly seems more primitive to plow over the entire area time and time again to plant corn or bulldoze the hill to quarry gravel…which is just what the white settlers did and still are doing.
We spent the afternoon slowly embracing the place and then drove home in the dark on speedy Interstate highways. We were back by 11pm. On Wednesday, we continued our research on Native American mounds and early Wisconsin history by going to Madison and visiting the Historical Museum on Capitol Square and the UW Madison Arboretum (which has an impressive bookstore!). We are still in the process of discerning how we will contribute to the conservation of this sacred planet on a local level, to what work we will devote our energy, and how we will live in awareness of the impact we make here. It’s a time to stay open to possibilities and opportunities and to be ready to move with a purpose when a specific vehicle of conveyance appears pointing toward our goal.
Scilla, these are gorgeous photos!
A beautiful day, a sanctuary of space. I’m pleased they turned out well!
What an adventure! Terrific pics.
Thank you! Glad to hear from you while you’ve still got power, Elena!
Wow! What gorgeous color! :)…
October in southern Ohio, ladies and gents! Gotta love the river valleys.
Beautiful photos and beautiful words at the end of this piece Scilla..
Thanks, my friend!
I’m all for being ready to jump…but waiting for a specific vehicle of conveyance…??
………this sounds a little passive for my idea of you……….
(Oh yes..more lovely photos…)
Maybe the vehicle desire stems from being unemployed again? And, really, passive is pretty much where I come from, AND it’s not where I want to go anymore. Steve is all for the spontaneity. I’m getting better at it by degrees.
‘Coming from’ and ‘going to’….
That smacks of non-passivity to me….
See? You can teach an old dog new tricks!
I’m betting it’s only a matter of time ’til you get your head around ‘travelling aimlessly’ (I love this phrase)…..a purpose in itself.