First light broke the horizon in the hilltop notch. In ancient times, a sun follower would have kept track, marking an alignment through a door or a window. From the 1100-1400s, Salado people called this place home, a sheltered cave overlooking the edge of the Sonoran Desert. Saguaro cactus grow below, their territory spreading south into the Phoenix basin. With views of the Salt River (now dammed into Roosevelt Lake) the ancient potters made bright red ceramic vessels painted with bold designs of black and white, and cotton weavers made cloth with complex patterns. Life in a cave seems safe and solid, yet one day, these people migrated onward, the missing community leaving these walls and windows for us to wonder.
Tonto National Monument, Arizona.