Magical Moments

Have you ever noticed magic in the natural world? I witnessed several magical moments while exploring the rim of Mexico’s Copper Canyon last month, and when I examined my photos in depth, I discovered an additional mystery.

The original moment occurred at sunrise, an event I rarely attend. Strolling along a large point jutting into the chasm, I watched a herd of goats feast on tender leaves.

Goats breakfasting, Copper Canyon near Divisidero
On a rocky ledge along the rim, I saw someone greeting the sun — presumably one of the Tarahumara Indians who live in caves beneath the rim. I crept closer and snapped a quick photo through a bush.

Tarahumara Indian at Copper Canyon
Then I circled back and found a rocky perch of my own with a stomach-clenching view hundreds of feet straight down.

Copper Canyon morning
From here I saw two people sitting in meditation in the exact spot the Indian had been. Apparently the person I saw had been joined by someone else. I snapped another photo before the misty vista’s grandeur worked magic in my soul.

Morning prayer along Copper Canyon
Yesterday I examined those photos, zooming in on the people. The photos were shot about three minutes apart. Nobody else had come along the rim, but the two photos appeared to show different people! The woman in the first shot was clearly a local Indian, judging from the splotches of colorful clothing showing through the bush. Although dark and indistinct, the people in the second seem to be dressed in hiking clothing.

How eerie! How could this happen? Where did the second person come from? How did either one get there? I hadn't noticed anyone else in the area.

This morning a possible answer came to mind. Later that morning our tour group traveled along the rim to another spectacular view point. Our guide showed us a sturdy log ladder in a crevasse. Within two minutes, a series of Indian women ascended that ladder with bundles of baskets and babies tied on their backs in colorful rebozos. Children scampered along to help sell the baskets and other wares to turistas like us.


That must be the answer. There must have been a ladder or path from below to the area I saw at sunrise. To naïve Anglos, the Indians seem to magically levitate up those cliffs, unbound by gravity. If we had grown up on ledges only a few yards wide, we’d also know how to scale sheer rock faces like mountain goats and think nothing of it.

Were the second people I saw also Indians, in slightly different dress? Did the light play tricks on my camera and eyes? Did they climb a ladder or path? Or perhaps these people have discovered the secret of genuine levitation or “beaming in” ... . Whatever the case, the moment was magic while I was in it, and it remains magic as I remember, which I will continue to do on a regular basis.

What magical moments have you experienced? Were they occasioned by natural beauty and splendor? Unexplained phenomenon? Or maybe something else? With or without photos, tenderly transforming them to words preserves the magic. What better gift to the future than a bubble of magical joy?

Write on,

Sharon Lippincott, aka Ritergal

Countdown: 63 days until the release of The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing on July 1. Stay tuned for ordering details.

2 comments :

Tara said...

What beautiful photos (loved the goat one :) )!

John Elder Robison said...

Your images remind me of my own time in Mexico. My first wife, my son's mother, is an anthropologist who spent time working with the Mayan peoples around San Cristobal in Chiapas.

Thanks for sharing them.