It created a nostalgia within her. She was listening. He was chanting. Chanting and beating his drum. It was beautiful and rhythmic. Unlike anything she had ever heard before. He was Navajo by blood and would never make complete eye contact. It was a gift. To the untrained eye, he could convince someone he was staring into their soul, that he knew them, that he understood them, that he was there for them. However, if you looked more closely, he was looking just right of their soul, into their cheek or the corners of their eyes.
His chants were smooth and deep and habitual. He was imitating nature. Nature was his religion. Nature was where his priorities lay. Nature is what he knew and loved. She had come to his home to learn about this pastoral respect for the red rock and the wild horses, but this was his beautiful reality. As he chanted she didn’t look into his pseudo eye contact. Instead she looked up. Towering over her and her group was a red rock that was once under water. Time had turned this underwater basin, into magical mesas and buttes that seemed to defy gravity. This towering red rock had a hole in it, making it imitate the profile of an eagle. It’s eye looking into hers.
Thunder rolled through. It did not deter his chanting. She felt the eyes of her fellow group members fixed still on the rock filled with different red layers of millions of years. Some faded, some vibrant. They were unmoving. They were unafraid of the rain coming. They continued listening to the mix of thunder and chanting. Many got goose bumps, despite the heat in the desert. Others felt tears rolling from the corners of their eyes, down their cheeks, and suddenly this man’s pseudo eye contact made sense to her. He was looking in all the right places.
The chanting ended and the thunder continued as they made their way to their shelter with a hole in the roof. He told them that he and his people were thankful for rain and thunder and lightning. And so her and her group slept in this Hogan with its hole in the roof. Toes were rained on but they were grateful. They followed his lead and did not complain, but were respectful. The feeling, that night as they fell asleep with their wet toes, was excitement. This was only the beginning.
Her new lifestyle had commenced and it was more than she could ever imagine