April 3, 2007

And the red sun sinks at last into the hills of gold...

Built by the Adena Indians.

It is the largest Serpent shaped mound in the entire world. Sacred and holy to the indigenous Indian tribes of its day it still retains an essence of spiritual mysticism that leaves one filled with a sense of wonder. Built between 1000 and 1500 A.D. the mound is a monument to man’s endless search for meaning and his special niche in the great cosmos.

The great serpent winds across the landscape for a quarter of a mile. It wraps around trees creating intimate enclosures where families may have gathered a thousand years ago after a long pilgrimage for prayer and worship. Of all the sacred artifices upon the face of the planet it is amazing to me that this one is located in Ohio. In a place named Peebles.

The moment was right and the elements of weather, hours of availability and free time were in perfect alignment for a spring pilgrimage. I tried for two days to gather friends together, offering to do the driving and even pay for gasoline myself. Not one single young person I know could be coaxed from the cozy confines of their bohemian coffeehouses or encouraged to come out from behind the electric glow of the almighty computer.

A drive through eighty miles of farmland.

It is a two hour drive from Dayton, Ohio through some of the most beautiful farmland to be found anywhere in the entire Midwest. There are breathtaking moments when you crest the top of a hill and are greeted by the view of an emerald countryside that seems to stretch forth into infinity. The air is clean and filled with the scent of wildflowers. It is as heady and intoxicating an experience as any Latte you could ever order from a coffeehouse.

The Woodstock Leather Goods Emporium.

When I arrived at Serpent Mound in spite of the hours posted in an article in the Columbus Dispatch (and on the official park website) the gates were closed to the public. Both I and the van filled with two mothers and their sons were surprised but nonplussed. We stormed the gates and ventured forth to walk the sacred grounds of the ancient artifact.

If it were possible to convey the wonder of a one-quarter-mile-long earthen work serpent winding its way slowly back and forth though a grove of pine trees I would post that picture and amaze you with it. It just can not be done. The picture however is indelibly etched into the memories of Diana, Sean, Maryann, Luke and I because we walked the quarter mile together.

As we walked upon the earth following in the footsteps of countless Native American pilgrims across the centuries we shared our stories as we shared the warmth of a perfect spring day. We laughed and talked and the spirits of those who'd journeyed so long before us seemed to gather close and share with us the secrets the Internet never seems to capture.

Diana and Sean -------- Luke and Maryann

Tomorrow my young friends will try to impress me with whatever sweet new video they discovered on their travels across the Internet. Some will try to impress me with some daring half naked photo they posted of themselves on their blog and they will bask in the adoration of those who doted upon their beauty in the comment boxes. They believe themselves to be bold adventurers leaving a monument of their passage upon the world of tomorrow. I feel sad for them because long after their adolescent pixels have faded from the make believe world of the Internet there will still stand in rock solid reality a monument built of earth to the real glories of man and the true beauty of the human spirit.

No, I didn't capture the image of the serpent,
but I do think I managed to grasp its message.

Thank you my new friends from Columbus, Ohio for making today such an enjoyable one. Diana and Maryann, you have raised two good sons who are well mannnered and filled with gentle spirits. I hope our paths cross again.


Blogger Dirk_Star said...

Is anyone else out there having blogger issues?

I've had a tough time posting and doing anything at all with my site the past two days.

Is there a bug or something?

April 04, 2007 11:51 AM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I just sent you an email on that. Now for the gushy stuff. You're great, man. If I am ever in Ohio I AM coming to your door.
Be my guide.
I'm in for the ride.
I'll try not to hide inside
Help me open the doors wide
Take me to the other side.
Random poetry, never know what will pop out.

April 04, 2007 12:21 PM  
Blogger Dirk_Star said...

danielle, thanks! Nice poetry.

April 04, 2007 12:25 PM  
Blogger Kati said...

Sounds like a fabulous day had by all!!!!

April 04, 2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger Crabby said...

Yeegads, Dirk. You live pretty close to me. I think you might be an hour away? Not sure.

Nice job, painting Ohio. Personally I think Ohio in springtime is one the most beautiful places there is. All those rolling hills and perfect mid-seventies days.

We have a burial mound not far from here that's very private. It's in one of our parks and sits off the beaten path. I go there some days when I want time to myself. No one has ever come by when I've been there so it's pretty special.

April 04, 2007 2:00 PM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

sounds like a great ride

April 04, 2007 2:58 PM  
Blogger Craig D said...

Y'know how blogger be! It seems like they have "rolling blackouts."

April 04, 2007 3:38 PM  
Blogger whimsicalnbrainpan said...

Looks like you and your friends had an awesome time.

April 04, 2007 3:57 PM  
Blogger DNR said...

Wish I had the time to see some of these things.

E-mail me if you get a minute tonight.

April 04, 2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger Danielle said...

I just had to share. My oldest saw your page and as I was scrolling down to show him the mascot pic he said wait wait go back up to Sean and Luke.
I asked if he liked them after explaining who they were.
His reply: "I like them. They're cool. I think they're my friends."
I love when he talks like that he is a hippie down deep in his soul.

April 04, 2007 5:39 PM  
Blogger Zen Wizard said...

Once I discovered the bars on High Street in Columbus, I never made it to the Serpent Mound.

April 04, 2007 5:42 PM  
Blogger Wizened Wizard said...

I liked this post, Dirk. 'Made me want to visit Ohio.

Unfortunately, Ohio will have to wait: I'm off to our nation's capital for a few days. While I'm gone, could you kinda keep an eye on things for me? Maybe catch the diver? Thanks.

April 04, 2007 7:43 PM  
Blogger SignGurl said...

Who's to say the half nekkid pictures won't be around forever? LOL!

April 04, 2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Todd said...

Woah, weird 8th Grade flashback. Sitting in Mr. Johnstone's Ohio History class and looking at a picture of Serpent Mound.

You can always tell a native Ohioian because we know how to pronounce Cuyahoga correctly

April 04, 2007 8:37 PM  
Blogger Pepper said...

I couldn't leave a response and left it elsewhere. I have all sorts of problems, some of which are created by the master - me.

April 04, 2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger Dorky Dad said...

I read this post this morning and for some reason couldn't make a comment. It drove me nuts, because I really wanted to make a comment. Now I can't remember what I was going to say, other than I thought it was an excellent post.

I know lots of people from Ohio. Some actually still live there. Others live in South Carolina.

April 04, 2007 11:09 PM  
Blogger Life at Star's Rest said...

Wonderful post...I've always wanted to visit that site. We have some amazing ancient spots here in New Mexico too. I'll trade tour guide duties if you're ever out this way! Carmon

April 05, 2007 8:05 AM  
Blogger Smalltown RN said...

Ok you are a man after my own heart...your commented the other day on my turkey photos....well doing what you did just getting up and going for "road trip" as my hubby and I would say...is just up my alley. I love to just get out...no where in particular....camera now in hand...and attempt to drink up the beauty that surrounds us....I remember when I was in England and my girls where with me and we visited Hadrian wall...it is a wall and fort built by the Romans in norhtern England....we too had to walk for a bit to get to the fort but oh when we got there...it was breath taking....like you I thought who were these people who walked here before I...what were they thinking whilst creating such a place.

And I love that one of your companions shares my name! I feel like I was there with you all as well!

Thank you Dirk....

April 05, 2007 8:32 AM  

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