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Chapter #142: Navajo National Monument Sunset - January 12, 2010


Carrie McCoy at Navajo National Monument, Arizona - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com)

This Magic Moment, So Different And So New...

 
In April 2007, I traveled from Los Angeles, California to Moab, Utah. On the night before my arrival in Moab, I stopped at Navajo National Monument. There, they have a free campground that sits high on a west-facing ridge. That evening, the sunset was beautiful. Far from the nearest city, the quiet night soon filled with stars. 
 
Only a week before, I had met Carrie, at her home in Simi Valley, CA. Now I was on the road, heading to Moab, over 800 miles away. Having met her only twice, I knew that she was the woman I had searched for all of my life. This new relationship would last forever, I believed. The only thing I had not yet done was to tell Carrie that I loved her.
Kokopelli Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, not for sale on the Navajo Indian Reservation or Kayenta, Arizona - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
After reading for a while that night, I felt lonely and alone, far from friends and family. Since I was fifteen miles off U.S. Highway 160, between Tuba City and Kayenta, AZ, I assumed that there would be no cellular telephone service. To my surprise, a strong signal reached my coach, perhaps from Tuba City. From the 7200-foot elevation at Navajo National Monument, there was a sixty-mile sight-line to Tuba City, at 4960-foot elevation.
 
As soon as I saw cellular reception on my mobile telephone, I dialed Carrie. That night, she was staying at the historic Santa Maria Inn in Santa Maria, CA. We talked for over an hour. I told her that I loved her. She told me that she loved me too, but as she did, the cellular connection buzzed in my ear. Not knowing what she had just said, I did not want to ask, “What did you say?”
 
During the conversation, she invited me to fly back to LA for my birthday, on Cinco de Mayo weekend 2007. It was an offer that I gladly accepted. Later, she called me back and asked, “You did hear me when I said, ‘I love you too’, didn’t you?” From that moment on, Sunset Campground at Navajo National Monument became a special place in my life.
A toast "To Our Love" - click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
Two and one half years later, in October 2009, Carrie and I shared our first sunset at that magical place. She and I were traveling from Moab, Utah to Casa Carrie, in Simi Valley, CA. Leaving Moab before noon; we arrived at Sunset Campground about an hour before sundown. That gave us time to prepare a toast to that special place. Our wine that evening was a Kokopelli Vineyards Arizona Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
As sunset fast approached, we took our glasses out to the rim of the campground. There, at sunset in that beautiful place, I proposed a toast. It was, “To our Love”. Since Kokopelli plays such a big part in the energies of that area, we toasted to him, as well.
Kokopelli in the sky with diamonds - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
Soon, the sun dipped behind a large cloudbank hovered on the western horizon, many leagues away. Distances in the Four Corners can be deceiving. There is a sight-line from the monument to the San Francisco Peaks, ninety miles away. For that reason, it was impossible to know how far away the clouds really were.
 
Although I had once experienced an overcast sunset at that place, I had not seen the sun set behind the clouds from there. Perhaps because of a false horizon and perhaps for reasons more magical, our sunset lasted for longer than expected.
A cloud-being rests atop Navajo Mountain, Utah - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
As we looked to the western sky, shades of gold showered from the clouds above. Looking like fiery red creatures, deep red colors shone through many holes in the cloudbank. Above the darkening horizon, in clear sky the color of faded turquoise, we saw splashes of golden light. As we watched, coded swoosh-dot-dash lights hovered above the horizon. The brightness and intensity of these celestial features were unlike any clouds we had seen before.
 
As the sunset slowly faded, the intense display of light remained. For many minutes, features in the cloud-cipher barely changed. Whatever message it had to impart, we had time to marvel at the beauty of nature in that time and place. Turning to Carrie, I said, “It looks like Kokopelli in the sky, coming to greet us and bless us in this sacred place”. Pausing before she replied, “It is a magical place. Thank you for inviting me to share this special place with you.” If it were not for my need to keep taking pictures, I might then have melted into the sandstone of the ridge on which we stood.
Navajo Sunset, Navajo National Monument - As Kokopelli offers his gold to all who desire it, a dolphin heads in the opposite direction - Click for larger image (http://jamesmcgillis.com) 
As the sunset faded in the foreground, an angel or cloud-being came to rest atop Navajo Mountain, over thirty miles away in Southern Utah. At 10,385 feet, the peak stood out against a darkening horizon. Mimicking the shape of the mountain below, the being’s arms rested atop the pillow of air that separated mist from rock.
 
As darkness closed further around us, we turned again to see our sky bound Kokopelli, still shining, low in the western sky. Since all good things must end, we turned to face the final moments of our private sunset. Golden light flowed across the land, cloud beings rested atop nearby peaks and Kokopelli showered sparks of golden light before us. For both of us, it was a magical moment.
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