And the red sun sinks at last into the hills of gold...
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
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.
It is a two hour drive from Dayton, Ohio through some of the most beautiful farmland to be found anywhere in the entire
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.
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.
but I do think I managed to grasp its message.