Alpine Lady

Honoring the natural world through prose, poetry, music, sounds, photographs and musings.

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Weaving of the Sacred

The Weaver picked up a thread from her basket of many colors, placing it on a rock next to her simple, upright loom. The thread was turquoise, reminding her of the dawning sky just at that moment when the sun rose above the mesa and pierced through the deep purple, adding light to Earthʼs stage.

The Weaver chose another thread from her basket of many and held it up against the backdrop of tan and red stones. This thread was green; she would string it on the loom where the great river cut through the rock layers and claimed the bottom land. The last she chose was black, the color of charred wood from the cooking fires of the spirit peoples passing through on their way to somewhere.

With her loom threaded, her colors chosen, the Weaver of the Sacred closed her eyes and imagined a scene, deciding on a modest, modern design. Sitting on the ground in the moving shade under her stone shelter, the Weaver placed the batten and heddle sticks; then began the laborious through, over and under strokes of forming pattern on the loom while the day passed into dusk.

Day after day, week after week rarely stopping even to stretch, she wove her songs, her night chants, and morning prayers into the threads until at last the weaving felt done in her bones. Her gnarled fingers aged, knuckles sore and stiff from placing and pulling the heavy threads, her back bent, her voice strained from the dry desert air and dust, the songs and chants.

The Weaverʼs skin dried and cracked for no moisture fell to soften the skin, to harmonize the land. Perhaps she had chosen the wrong pattern…perhaps a traditional one would have brought the rains, though the Weaver felt a new design was needed. She let her hands drop to her lap, still clutching the weaving comb, her turquoise and silver rings in striking contrast to the deeply oil-stained brown comb.

Discouraged, she sighed; a tear formed and fell from the corner of her left eye. The tear slowly made a streak along her wrinkled cheekbone before falling into her hands and splashing onto the sharp point of the weaving comb. She felt her skin sucking the moisture from the drop which left a salty residue of white crystals on her dry skin, on the weaving comb. Her heart knew the rugʼs pattern was right for it contained magic; the Weaverʼs salty tear was a sign to her the rains would soon draw near to ferry the salt into creation.

The still, quiet air grew expectant; a gentle breeze blew a wisp of ancient hair across her face. She smiled, for the breeze also carried the fragrance of rain her way across the soils while slender tendrils of clouds formed in the desert sky.

The rain arrived and splashed onto the sandy ground at her feet, creating a pattern of red and brown splotches. The Weaver held out her hand, the rains sought the crystalline residue from her tear, dissolving it, forming it back into a drop. She cupped her hands receiving more rains until her hands brimming over, became a living chalice.

Zion Canyon sunrise.

Zion Canyon sunrise in late autumn.

The Weaver shook her hands and the waters ran onto the parched soils and made mud. From the mud she molded life, lives to be found on the desert. She picked up the weaving fork, stood and walked the desert floor, poking the sharp end into the rain-refreshed soils.

As she crossed the land, at each hole a plant sprung up until the whole was planted with silvery-skinned herbs, cacti, juniper and leathery-barked mesquite. Next to the river, new life also sprang up replacing the drabness with a verdure of twining plants, tall cottonwood and aspen  trees hanging over the river, keeping it cool.

With a sense of completion and exhaustion she walked away from the desert, returning to the mountains as the pattern emerged from the loom, spreading down and out, interweaving with the land wherever the plants beckoned.

Behind her the wispy smoke of cooking fires, the sight of golden eagles soaring, and the sounds of morning prayers at the moment of sunrise, the laughter of children spilling out of the doorways, and ravens circling the restless corrals of goat and sheep herds filled the warming desert air.


I am of this land; I speak for no one but through me voices speak. This work was inspired by a talk given by Sajah Popham regarding the Doctrine of Signatures & Correspondences in plants and the work of herbalist and plant spirit guide, Pam Montgomery. “The Weaving of the Sacred” is my attempt to explore the salt level, the morphological level of plants. I do hope you have enjoyed it. Thank you and see you on our next journey!

© by Patricia Mayana DeMarco