In doing so, Ziegler pointed to the words on the plaque at the Sitting Bull monument along Temelpa Trail on Mt. Tam, saying that those “words need a physical embodiment – possibly the idea of the mountain holding you and serving as a nurturing force.” The result was the mural he dubbed “The Mysterious Thing.”
The link between the latest creation of one of Mill Valley’s hometown heroes and the mountain he grew up exploring caught the attention of local filmmaker Gary Yost, one of Mt. Tam’s most creative and prolific supporters. So Yost did what he does best: he captured that nexus in “The Trace They Leave Behind,” a short film about the mural, by filming Ziegler at the monument and letting him explain the inspiration in his own deeply profound words.
“Behold my brothers, the spring has come; the earth has received the embraces of the sun and we shall soon see the result of all that love! Every seed is awakened and so has all animal life. It is through this mysterious power that we too have our being and we therefore yield to our neighbors. Even our animal neighbors. The same right as ourselves, to inhabit this land. Yet hear me, people, we have now to deal with another race; small and feeble when our father first met them but now great and overbearing. Strangely enough they have a mind to till the soul and the love of possession is a disease to them. These people have made many rules that the rich may break by the poor may not. They take tithes from the poor and weak to support the rich who rule. They claim this this mother of ours, the earth, for their own and fence their neighbors away; they deface her with their buildings and their refuse. That nation is like a spring freshet that overruns its banks and destroys all who are in its path. ”
– Sitting Bull 1877