Mark of the Ancients - A story by the late Michael Jackson
He had lived in the desert all his life, but for me it was all new. "See that footprint in the sand?" he asked, pointing to a spot by the cliff. I looked as close as I could. "No, I don't see anything.""That's just the point." He laughed. "Where you can't see a print, that's where the Ancient Ones walked."We went on a little farther, and he pointed to an opening, high up on the sandstone wall. "See that house up there?" he asked. I squinted hard. "There's nothing to see.""You're a good student." He smiled. "Where there's no roof or chimney, that's where the Ancient Ones are most likely to have lived."We rounded a bend, and before us was spread a fabulous sight -- thousands upon thousands of desert flowers in bloom. "Can you see any missing?" he asked me. I shook my head. "It's just wave after wave of loveliness.""Yes," he said in a low voice. "Where nothing is missing, that's where the Ancient Ones harvested the most."I thought about all this, about how generations had once lived in harmony with the earth, leaving no marks to scar the places they inhabited. At camp that night I said, "You left out one thing.""What's that?" he asked."Where are the Ancient Ones buried?"Without reply, he poked his stick into the fire. A bright flame shot up, licked the air, and disappeared. My teacher gave me a glance to ask if I understood this lesson. I sat very still, and my silence told him I did.