Wind from a Distant PastIf you pause high in the lonely, windswept land that once composed the ancient Anasazi civilization from a period of possibly 1,500 years before the time of Jesus up until about 1700 A.D., you can almost hear the music of children laughing and playing, catch a whiff of cooking smoke coming from high among the cliff dwellings of Mesa Verde, Chaco, Keet Seel, and others, glimpse hunters returning from below across the arid and barren countryside of the Four Corners region where the modern states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah join…

Then you realize it is only the wind teasing your imagination from the distant past. The Anasazi have been gone for centuries, disappeared mysteriously into an archaeological past that has been the destiny of humankind throughout our existence. The wind is a lonely sound playing through the ruins, and through the dead hopes and aspirations of peoples that once laughed, loved, fought, and lived here—and now are gone.

It is a scenario that has played itself out over and over throughout human history, a reminder in the age of the current world Coronavirus Pandemic that mankind and civilization are merely fleeting images for future peoples to ponder over. Sooner or later, others will be standing in the ruins of New York City, Beijing, or Moscow and listening in the wind for the sounds of children laughing—before realizing once again that it is only in their imagination and in the wind.

As a historian/archaeologist, I am most intrigued by the ancient cultures of the Anasazi, the Maya in Latin America, and the ancient Israelites that I have visited repeatedly in attempts to understand what happened to these peoples then, and what their fate portends for the modern world.

Perhaps the Bible says it best: Civilizations, like individuals, are only here for a short time.

I listen to the lonely wind mewling through the ancient ruins of Keet Seel. We are indeed here for only a short time and should strive to do our best for God, country, and people while we are here.

Charles W. Sasser is author of over 60 published books and thousands of magazine articles. In one of his latest books, Crushing the Collective, America’s Last Chance to Remain Free and Self-Governing, he explores the rise and fall of all civilizations. “My great misfortune is that I am now witnessing what can only be the cultural, political, and economic decline of the United States of America and the fall of Western Civilization.” Available at bookstore,, and from the publisher, WND.