At the Head of Mother: Naatsisʼáán


By |  Kevin Niehaus
February 2019




Laying here,
surrounded by the trill of toads and the guttural gurgle of frogs,
amidst the glimmer of endless stars,
I'm reminded of all the life around me and my position within it.
I give thanks.

Thanks to the opportunities and accidents that brought me here.
Thanks to the wondrous mountain and her playground of canyons.
I know I must return.
When I'm not so distracted.

I want to spend days exploring her flanks and labyrinths.
Searching her hidden grottoes for life still undisturbed.
I need to feel lost among the possibilities and wild places,
craving to feel at home among the undiscovered.

Now that I'm here I realize this place is not about the bridge,
it's the cultural landscape and the idea of a paradise not quite lost.
I long to see its undisturbed past,
but rejoice in knowing it's wild days are not yet through.
The Labyrinth lives on.

And while I cannot say that it's the landscape of my soul,
it has become the landscape of my imagination.

One day I shall explore her lost worlds.
Not as a traveler obsessed with existing,
but instead as a welcoming explorer,
In search of the wild place my soul still longs for.
I must no longer ignore this search,
shoving it off for later dates.
I must learn to enjoy the life I've spent here and obsess less on the outside world.  

Next time I will follow that slot canyon.
I will explore that hidden alcove,
and I will rediscover my wild and passionate self.










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The Dust Magazine is a 501-c3 nonprofit organization under the umbrella of Moab Arts Center and run entirely by volunteers. We rely on business sponsorships, reader contributions, and donated submissions to continue the mission.


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Interested in contributing to The Dust Magazine? Check out our submissions page.





The Dust Magazine is a 501-c3 nonprofit organization under the umbrella of Moab Arts Center and run entirely by volunteers. We rely on business sponsorships, reader contributions, and donated submissions to continue the mission.