I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this majestic, mysterious and unique landscape called “Mystery Valley” more than once. Each time it is both peaceful and a special blessing to stand on and behold this land. With “Thanksgiving” this week, I am also grateful for the majestic and mysterious experience that we call our life journey. Each day we have the unique opportunity to navigate and explore our own emotions and ways to respond as we greet the challenge of all new experiences. To all who read this blog, I wish you peace and special blessings as you stand firm and behold your sacred journey to be, to live, to experience joy. Happy Thanksgiving, 2017!
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson
This is one of my favorite places in Monument Valley. It is on restricted Navajo land and requires a special Navajo guide to get to this pristine area in the back country. Mystery gardens and unique land formations are everywhere on this sacred land. After being here for several hours, one can feel the energy and special blessings of the earth.
Mystery Valley is definitely one of my favorite places “to be.” I use the phrase “to be” because the experience is the allowance of being present on sacred land. It is a privilege to witness this magnificent landscape; it is a privilege to experience this tribal reservation land with all of one’s senses.
“Go forth in peace. Be still within yourself. Know that the trail is beautiful.
May the winds be gentle upon your face, and your direction be straight and true as the flight of the eagle.
Walk in beauty and harmony with God and all people.” ~ A Navajo Blessing~
Aspects of black and white photography include tone and texture. These images highlight both as they convey the landscape of Canyon de Chelly and Mystery Valley.
“A great photograph is a full expression of what one feels about what is being photographed in the deepest sense, and is, thereby, a true expression of what one feels about life in its entirety.” ~ Ansel Adams
The featured photograph was taken in Mystery Valley on the Monument Valley Navajo Reservation. It is quite the off-road drive to reach this magnificent landscape with the rippled rocks and formations.
The second photograph is of ruins on the South Rim of Canyon de Chelly near Spider Rock. The ruins were nestled in an area of a very, very tall canyon wall.
I converted both images to black and white and used toning and sepia effects to create the “old west” look.
“Nearness to nature …keeps the Spirit sensitive to impressions not commonly felt
and in touch with the unseen powers.”
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.
Only through the experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened,
ambition inspired and success achieved.”
Mystery Valley is a place of eloquent beauty. The Navajo people believe this sacred place holds great spiritual power. It does not have easy access and must be approached with a Navajo guide. Once there, the experience is other-worldly as it is filled with texture, design, shapes, valleys and secret gardens.