November 8, 2009

November 8, 2009 11:15 am

JCP-in-Apache-JunctionThe Capitol Christmas Tree 2009 – Arizona’s Gift From The Grand Canyon State was cut yesterday.  Located about 5 miles outside of Alpine, Arizona it was estimated that about 850 people made the arduous journey to witness the historic event.  Chairman Ronnie Lupe of the White Mountain Apache Tribe began the ceremony with a blessing and reminder how man and nature coexist.  After my elk epiphany I was completely inspired by his message.

White Mountain Apache Crown dancers thrilled us all by dancing around the base of the tree, then across a pristine meadow and into a cleared area where we stood in awe.  Hooded and painted, the men transformed themselves into messengers of their culture.  As an Arizona native, I understand how rare it is to be a part of such a sacred Native American ceremony.  Photographing dancers is generally prohibited and it is a “life event” to be present at such a ritual.  Drummers led the dancers to a beat the seemed to pierce my body, but at the same time sounded very much a part of the natural sounds of the forest.

When the blue spruce was cut two giant eagles mysteriously appeared and circled above.  It was as though Chairman Lupe called together the forces of nature and man in celebration of this historic event.

Forest Service biologists and foresters have been amazed by the eagle’s visit.  They have all remarked that the majestic birds have usually migrated by now.  The pair graced us with their flight and soared above the tree that has become such a center point of so many lives in the White Mountains of Arizona.



United States Forest Service