Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rural as "mom"? as sanctuary?

A story in the New York Times today tells of a federal program to tear down and re-build homes contaminated by uranium, mostly in the Navajo Nation. The dateline is Teec Nos Pos, Arizona, population 799, in the four corners area. Teec Nos Pos is in Apache County, population 69,423, and with a population density of about six persons per square mile. In other words, its pretty rural. The story features the Slowman family who lived in Farmington, New Mexico, population 37,844, and "miles away" from their Apache County home, while it was being re-built. This quote is from Mr. Slowman, following his explanation that a traditional Navajo medicine man would bless their new house before they moved in.
“In our traditional way, a house is like your mom,” he said. “It’s where you eat, sleep, where you’re taken care of. And when you come back from the city, you come back to your mom. It makes you feel real good.”
To me, the use of the city as foil, suggested that the rural setting was as much the "mom" or sanctuary as the home itself. It's a nice metaphor.

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