sharpchick_2011: (Caddo solar cross)
I never seem to remember this park until I have occasion to take the I440 bypass from I30 to I40.

Then, I see the exit again, and mentally kick myself for never having made this little side trip on my journey. It's really so close to home.

So I went yesterday.

This was a spiritual experience for me.
Archaeological digs at this site date the construction of it from before 700 CE to about 1050 CE, when inexplicably, the Plum Bayou people left and never came back. In later years, Quapaw Indians used the site for a period of time, and then they too abandoned it.

Tilling and farming of the rich fertile soil by white farmers destroyed most of the original mounds.

But a few have been preserved.
Photos cannot capture the grandeur of these mounds. Standing a few hundred yard away from them was breathtakingly awesome for me.

Left to right, Mounds C, A, and B (C behind the tree):
 photo 1moundscAandB.jpg


Archaeological evidence showed that this area was used year round to house the spiritual, and perhaps tribal, leaders and their families, with no more than a few dozen individuals living there on a year round basis.

This was a spiritual,cultural and ceremonial center for the Indians named the Plum Bayou People by the archaeologists. At a minimum, during solstice and equinox ceremonies, hundreds of people gathered at the site.

Mound A is the tallest at 49 feet. It backs up to Plum Bayou, which used to be a bend in the Arkansas River. I think it's possible this platform mound had the temple on top of it.
 photo 2mounda2.jpg


Mound B is also a platform mound, and is 39 feet high.
 photo 3moundb2.jpg


Mound C is not a platform mound, but has a rounded top. Other round top mounds in the southeast United States were often used as burial mounds. The digs in this mound showed it to be the only burial mound still surviving at the site.
 photo 4moundc2.jpg


Digs at Mound S showed it to be a mound where feasts were held.
 photo 5moundsforfeasts.jpg


Plum Bayou - accessed up close and personal by the boardwalk
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The bald cypress trees
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And their fruit, which was about the size of small grapes. I had no idea these trees had fruit that large, and it probably accounted for the number of birds who were not real pleased with my appearance in their Eden.
 photo 15fruitofbaldcypress.jpg


The back of Mound A, as seen from the boardwalk deck on Plum Bayou. Can you imagine pulling your canoe up to the shore when you arrived for the solstice celebration, and seeing your temple - or a majestic dwelling of your spiritual leader - rising up in front of you?
 photo 11backofmounda.jpg


Dugout canoe on the boardwalk deck
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I kept hearing splashes as I walked along the boardwalk. It was the turtles, one of the food sources for those Indians of so long ago.
 photo 16turtles.jpg

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 photo 18turtlecamo.jpg

Something that struck me as so interesting is that the distance from one mound to another for the ones surrounding the plazas was exactly 47.5 meters. No one knows what significance that had, but I think it possibly could have been related to the geometry needed to locate and situate Mound H.

That's the viewing mound, just barely elevated...mere inches.

It's where you can see the alignment of the sunsets with Mounds A and B during solstices and equinoxes. Viewing from Mound H is open to the public.

And you better bet I'll do everything I can to be there for the winter solstice.
The journey is good.

Sometimes we can have the same view as the ancestors.

Namaste.
sharpchick_2011: (Default)
Something really cool is getting ready to happen - I can tell.

It will have something to do with my obsessive quest to document folks in my family tree.

I'm thinking probably the Williams, Baldings or Chapins.

The signs are too clear to dismiss.
For those of you who know what I'm talking about, this will be old hat.

And I am well aware that there are those of you who, if we met in person and I told you this, would plaster on that stiff, straight smile of the disbeliever who is just too damned polite to say, oh, bullshit, and would listen, but would also be looking out of the corner of your eye for a handy exit.

That's okay. I'm good with it. I've had my whole life to deal with disbelief.
In the wee small hours of Friday morning, I suddenly awoke.

I tried to figure out what woke me, so I listened carefully to see if the cottage felines were partying hearty and knocked something over.

All I could hear was silence.

I'm always reluctant to get out of bed and hunt down shit like that because 1) I have a hard time going back to sleep, and 2) at least two of the cats magically appear from where ever they were, circling my ankles and looking up at me, saying well yeah, since you're up, how about a treat? (Life must be at least a little bit of a bitch when you are born without opposable thumbs.)

I wandered out into the kitchen and living room, and looked around. Everything was in order. Stoney and Tig approached, whined, and got their treats.

I beat a hasty retreat back to bed before Emma could rouse and want treats too, which would mean treating Stoney and Tig again to keep them outta hers...
Friday morning when I got up for real, I wandered out to start my day. As I was pouring coffee and cat food, I noticed something just wasn't right.

Couldn't put my finger on it.

It wasn't until I walked by the living room gallery of dead relatives on my way to the den to feed the birds that I saw it.

Every single picture was tilted. The bottoms of all of them listed to the left.

After I fed the birds, I straightened all the pictures and contemplated that. The week before, I had taken two of them off the wall to get photos of them for the genealogy blog, and I considered that maybe I knocked all of them askew when I re-hung those two.

Uh uh. I am way too Type A to live with crooked portraits of the ancestors for a week or so. I am too Type A to let you do it, either.

So I called my next door neighbor and asked her if I had slept through a thunderstorm or a sonic boom.

No, she said...why do you ask?
She's one of the ones who gets *that look* on her face when I talk about this kind of stuff.

Except she wants to believe. I can tell. And I think she probably almost does, since she witnessed my haunted bathroom light switch. It's her brother that does that. He died in 2007.

One of my cousins got the straight, tight-lipped smile when I told her about my haunted coffee pots (plural, mind you, plugged into three different kitchen outlets) and my haunted computer printer.

Then, she had her own close encounter with the printer one day over here at the cottage, and now...she believes.
My ancestors have been giving me signs for years...

I think the first time I understood how important it was to take notice of the signs - even if I don't know what they mean in the moment - was the week long experience I had with clairaudience that began on October 9, 2006 and ended on October 13, 2006, never to be repeated again.

That one culminated in the suicide of a really, really sick man, who tried to kill his wife with a sword, got arrested and hanged himself in his jail cell, after being continuously denied bail because he kept telling the judge if he got out, he was going to go back and finish the job.

She swears I saved her life.

I say I just paid attention to the signs.
The portraits that were tilted on Friday morning tilted again on Friday night while I slept. Yesterday morning I straightened them all up again with a shit-eating grin on my face.

The journey is good.

There are signs along the way.

Namaste.

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