Cloud Girl’s Legacy – Excerpt from Chapter 12 of Turquoise Interlude – A Counterculture Memoir of Free Love, Drugs, and Personal Growth in New Mexico 1968-1970

 Cloud Girl was my soul sister, pulled from my child’s storybook, she became part of my being. Her winter home was a hogan in Arizona near the border of New Mexico. In the summers they camped with the sheep where the forest smelled fresh, its piñon trees shining after a summer rain. I identified with her and yearned to be Navajo. On that trip my parents bought me a velvet-clothed Navajo doll. Her turquoise skirt and brown shirt were belted by a silver conch, her black hair tied back with yarn. I treasured that doll, imagining that she could have been Cloud Girl’s mother, or Cloud Girl grown up, or me in another life. 

Seventeen years later, finally drawn back to New Mexico, I was alone and searching, finding my way in the high, thin air among the rocks and relics, wet, warm earth, and dry sun. Living near the Taos Indian Pueblo, the most Northern of the pueblos strung like a belt of unpolished diamonds across New Mexico, that strong Native American presence drew me in again. I felt called to be there and things were easy for me. New Mexico opened her doors and kept welcoming me. I was in heaven. The seeds sprouted and became ready to bloom. 

©2021 Marianna Mejia

Now the Bracelet had Joined My Life – from Turquoise Interlude

The small, teardrop stones were blue and green, calling me as their pattern radiated outward. The grey-braided woman watched intently, her rotund body leaning toward me over the brown Pendleton blanket where she was seated. My fingers rested on an old Zuni pawn piece she had placed among the newer jewelry. I fell in love and paid for the large, stiff bracelet with wrinkled green bills extricated from my pocket where I had stuffed them. Cloud girl again came alive, as I wondered, “Who am I? Who am I to wear this sacred jewelry?” The three-tiered Zuni turquoise earrings had been my first purchase in the Taos Indian Pueblo. They had become a part of me; I wore them every day. Now the bracelet had joined my life.

©2016-2021 Marianna Mejia

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