The transfiguration story is dramatically staged on a mountain peak
lit with a bright, even blinding light. The mountain setting is
familiar: as an Arizona native, the landmarks of my world were Squaw
Peak, Camelback, North Mountain and South Mountain. Long before
Christianity was brought to this lower Colorado River region, the native
peoples understood that these peaks were the sacred dwelling places of
their gods: Shiprock for the Navajo and Hopi people; Baboquivari for the
O’oodham; Picacho Peak, Pilots Knob and Muggins Peak for the Quechan
people in the Imperial Valley.
“This is the place where I can listen to my maker,” one tribe member said.
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