Now I begin. For almost a year, I have been drawn to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela like iron filings to a magnet. I never understood why. When I try to explain this strange obsession to myself, I find no reasonable explanation. Instead a list “virtues” bubbles up to the surface. These are my intentions in walking the Camino.
Simplicity: All I truly need can be reduced to a very few items weighing less than ten pounds. The many things I own, are all “frosting in the cake,” distractions from what is really important. I intend to carry home with me a sense of simplicity, and appreciation of how little I actually “need.”
Clarity: My life is cluttered with too much busy-ness. I intend to sweep away my attachment to all those busy things that fill my days, and to come home with clarity of purpose. I will have more energy to dedicate to those things that are truly important.
Penitence: I am burdened by the memory of all the times I have fallen short, times I have been hurtful, negligent...
It's almost as exciting as winning first prize at the high school track and field day. The analogy is apt. It feels like I've stayed in my lane, jumped the hurdles, kept my mind on the finish line, and won the race. It's also a bit like giving birth, with many doubts and worries, a much longer gestation period (two years), but without the pain. "Soyala: Daughter of the Desert" is out there in the world. Will anyone notice her? Will anyone appreciate her? I'll do my best to support her and encourage her. To my mind, she is a beautiful creation. I hope others will agree.
Ghost Town tour started out as mildly as summer day in the high country. A smooth paved road wound its way up Castle Creek. It was a pleasure to escape the devilishly hot weather on front range and luxuriate in mountain scenery.
First stop on our tour was the town of Ashcroft, 12 miles south of Aspen, at an elevation of 9,500 feet. Now Ashcroft is a huddle of nine or ten ruined, weather-beaten buildings. This is all that remains of the great dreams and high aspirations that created the town. The first dreamers to envision prosperity in this high mountain meadow were C.B Culver and W.F. Coxhead, a pair of prospectors who believed the area they originally called Castle Forks City showed as much promise of riches as the boomtown of Leadville. Within a few short weeks they attracted prospectors, laid out streets and built a courthouse.
The Tam O’Shanter-Montezuma and other mines above Ashcroft originally produced a bonanza of silver, and the town mushroomed to...
Here's a teaser, the opening paragraphs of the story I'm now working on. What do you think? (Thanks John Hemmen for Raven image)
The raven’s glossy wings sliced through the dry air, iridescent blue-black flashes reflecting the hot summer sunlight as he banked to the right following the ridgeline below. From high above, the raven searched for food. At this mid-day hour, he had the skies to himself; the other birds had long since abandoned their dawn chorus and sought shade andshelter among the three-leafed sumac and saltbush. Raven glided almost effortlessly on strong currents of warm air rising from the heated land below.
The landscape unfolded below his outstretched wings. High mesa tops, pocked with juniper and pinion pines, erupted irregularly from the dry scrublands. The mesas might offer astringent juniper berries or dark red chokecherries to eat. Spacious rolling dry lands below the mesas looked barren from this height, but the raven knew that the sagebrush, saltbush, and rabbitb...