of the greatest trading cities of the Indian world was not far from here.
It is in Ohio, where Inuits and Dakota and Navajo traded. I turned off
my flashlight, and let the blizzarding snow fall as I stood with my snowshoes
on this ancient Indian burial mound, in the middle of an oak forest on
a Peninsula in Southern Minnesot
is something eerie about a graveyard in the night, and this one particularly,
perhaps because it is some 500 years old, and the dead below me are so
unknown...So foreign to the midwesterner, who knows nothing of his history.
From meandering here and in the desert Southwest, I have learned that
the history of the Indians, and therefore even the Midwest, is tied to
the Spanish, who came south of here and introduced horses and wheat and
goats and massive slaughter and disease and eventually the creation of
new nations and independent states and countless mission communities and
next morning on Flight 56 to Amsterdam, I remembered the daughter of the
Royal Family of Mallorca. She told me that the difference between her
people and my people was that, "We can pick up the dirt under our feet...you
know...and smell it, and feel pride in our country and know that there
is a history here."