Capital’s Hand


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Capital Reef National Park, located in central Utah, is noted for its striking geologic formations. These rocks, most of them massive in scale, jut from the Earth’s crust reaching for the sky. Layer upon layer of ancient rock are exposed, revealing the story of the Earth for all who know how to read it.

Modern day humans were not the only ones show knew about this area. Ancient people were here, perhaps even making their homes here. We know this because they left behind petroglyphs and pictographs, some of which have survived from the ages past to tell us that someone else was here.

This hand is one such pictograph. Sheltered in a narrow canyon, it has survived remarkably well. It seems to reach across the ages to us, fingers spread wide, palm toward us, although its meaning has been lost in the murkiness of time. Is it welcoming us in peace? Is it telling us to stop? Is it something else entirely? We can’t know the answer, and we are not even sure which culture left this. We suspect that it was those that we call the Fremont, but that is, at best, an educated guess.

In any event, Capital’s Hand reaches out to us even today.

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