Personal Empowerment / 5929 Views

Written by Erica M. Elliott, M.D. and Narrated by Marie T. Russell.

The last manmade structure shrank to a black dot in my rear-view mirror as I drove down the cracked, potholed highway without a car in sight. The unmarked turnoff to the left was barely visible between juniper trees and sagebrush, the place where the pavement turned to dirt. I had already explored this region of southern Utah once before during my time off from teaching, but this particular turnoff had escaped my attention.

Although I spent most of my weekends taking the students in my class to their remote homes in and around Canyon de Chelly, this weekend I had decided to return to Utah to explore the back-country.

After I left the paved highway behind, the next forty miles of deeply rutted tract led me into vast stretches of high desert wilderness. Red rock slabs, towers, pinnacles, and cliffs soared into the cobalt blue sky. The crisp air smelled pungent with the essence of piñon pine and cedar.

Coyote: Mythology or Warning?

I could tell from the faintness of the ruts that this stretch of road had not been traveled for a long time. As I meandered along, daydreaming about my new life among the Navajo people, I saw something tan out of the corner of my eye. A coyote with a long bushy tail darted in front of my slow-moving Bronco.

Farther down the road, I suddenly remembered what one of the kids in my classroom had told me during our informal discussion about Navajo mythology. He said, "If Coyote crosses your path, turn back and do not continue your trip. If you keep traveling, something terrible will happen to you. You will get in an accident and get hurt or killed."

I wondered if I should turn around and go home. But I decided that the Navajo cultural beliefs didn't apply to me...


Continue Reading at InnerSelf.com (plus audio/mp3 version of article)


Music By Caffeine Creek Band, Pixabay

Copyright 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Printed with permission of the publisher, Bear & Co.,
an imprint of Inner Traditions Intl. InnerTraditions.com.

Article Source:

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert: My Life among the Navajo People
by Erica M. Elliott.

159143419XSharing her life-changing deep dive into Navajo culture, Erica Elliott’s inspiring story reveals the transformation possible from immersion in a spiritually rich culture as well as the power of reaching out to others with joy, respect, and an open heart.

Fulfilling a Navajo grandmother’s prophecy, the author returns years later to serve the Navajo people as a medical doctor in an underfunded clinic, delivering numerous babies and treating sick people day and night. She also reveals how, when a medicine man offers to thank her with a ceremony, more miracles unfold.

For more info and/or to order this book, click here. Also available as a Kindle edition. 

About the Author

elliott ericaErica M. Elliott, M.D., is a medical doctor with a busy private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Referred to as “the Health Detective,” she has successfully treated patients from across the country with difficult-to-diagnose health conditions. She served in the Peace Corps in Ecuador.

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