Many years ago, there was a little town in the middle of a huge desert. Its name was Cucapah. Every night, the moon was shining and her light fell over the huts. During the day, the sun nourished the earth and caressed animals and plants that lived together with native people. The wind was strong and cleansed the environment. The nicest season was fall. Waters in rivers were fresh and clean. The best climate of the desert. A respite after the warm summers. People ate fruits of the desert, some roots, vegetables and cactus.
However, wars obligated people from faraway places to emigrate and they wanted a quiet place to live. In their search, they found Cucapah, and they decided to stay because it was surrounded by mountains and people felt safe behind them. Native people accepted in silence the presence of foreigners, they thought the desert was enormous and the universe could bless all who needed it.
At begins, native people were reserved with new people. Later, they helped them adapted to the desert. They learned what kind of plants were edible, how to find water, how to build their huts. Thus, they felt a heaven of peace.
Over time, the news of the life in the desert spread around the world, and more people crossed countries and oceans to come here and run away from wars and other monsters. Also, the news said that this desert was an open door to paradise: “If you cross the desert, you will find a new great life”.
With the arrival of foreigners, life in the desert began changing. People needed more food, then they began eating all the animals and cut short the plants they used to build their houses. The fruits fermented and they made drinks that altered their senses. Some Cucapah women were kidnapped by strangers. They travelled with weapons, and killed animals, and persons too. And they used the power of arms in order to subject others.
Native people were very sad. The Elderly tried to save the town through reasoning, but men only trusted their weapons. More and more people came to the desert and it was transformed into a big city with buildings, factories, cars, drugs and big money. Rivers dried while buildings went up and men hunted other men.
Then, Cucapah people decided to move to a hill far away from the town. On this hill, there were no rivers, and fruits were scarce. Some natives let themselves die, others desperately looked for ways of surviving.
During a dark night of the crescent moon, a little girl looked up at the sky as she sat in the dry land. Her parents talked of how to protect their daughter, who was the last one little girl left in the tribe. Suddenly, the moon called the girl, and she put attention in her words.
–My little girl, you are the person who can save your folk. You have the power to heal the desert and to give the love that it needs –said the moon.
–How can I do that, if I don´t know –answered the girl.
–I will give you my powers of light, and your love will transform your community — life again.
The girl closed her eyes and extended her hands to the sky. The moon sent her light to the girl and covered her in a circle of love. When the girl´s parents called her, they saw a different shine in her eyes. The parents asked to her what happen. And she touched the hands of her parents. Her parents understood what the way to save the community was.
The next day, the parents talked to the community. They said that needed to come back to the town, but before, they needed to collect all seeds of the surroundings and pick up the animals to return them to their place.
Thus, native people followed the girl´s advice, and they return. People from the city saw them as strangers and felt sorry for them. Some women gave them water and food, and others mocked them.
However, the little girl touched the hand of these people and the ones that had mocked them, now they were helping them. Native people looked for a place to live and sowed the seeds recollected in the hills. They took care of the animals. And they were transforming the city again. New trees began to grow, beautiful flowers in fall, and the soil was nourished. They created big gardens around factories. People breathed fresh air again and their hearts were calm. The stars reappeared in the darkness.
Since then, the moon shines full every month for this place as a blessing of the universe, whereas the girl disseminates her love to this city that was born in the desert.
Photo by Guadalupe Lizarraga