Thomas Doty – Storyteller

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A Shasta Sweat Lodge

On a warm afternoon in May, the hot wind rushing through the oak trees, I sit near the rectangular outline of rocks that is all that is left of a Shasta Indian sweat lodge. On this flat above the Klamath River, heatwaves curl off basalt like steam. Birdsongs swell the sky.

With the recent years of drought, the creek that normally flows through the ruins of the nearby village of Coyote's Paw is dry. But it is easy to imagine icy pools deepened by snowmelt, pools just right to jump into after the sweltering steam of an hour in the sweat lodge.

I sit near the outline of rocks. The rushing wind sounds like water. In the oaks, birds sing through the heat of the day.