Nature is your church? Not so fast, says an Indian reservation priest. If there’s a spirituality of the land, it’s tougher than any religion you might be escaping. The article starts:
The early morning air around Fort Phil Kearney is pristine and cuttingly cold. It is the first day of my drive west, and Wyoming is spectacular. As in the Dakotas, the prairie rolls by like a pale green blanket tossed over the earth, but here the land is choppier – the blanket after turbulent dreams. A dawn rain has painted a gloss over everything, intensifying the colors; even the asphalt seems blacker. The dirt roads and gullies that gash the hillocks are shockingly red, like fresh cuts of beef against a lettuce background. From the highway I notice pronghorn in the distance with their funny, bouncy run. But at the site of the fort – the buildings were torched by the Cheyenne at the end of Red Cloud’s War, so only markers remain – I notice the wind.