Thursday, August 20, 2009

Keystone,Colorado

Growing up in the mountains of Appalachia was the cornerstone of my life, the foundation of who I am, who I was and who I hope to become.

I ran and played in the hollers, climbed the hills and wandered the mountains.

I watched the mist inch down at dusk and saw it flee daylight. I sat quietly on cabin porches and listened enraptured to treefrogs, night birds, owls and insects.

I marveled at the beauty of those ancient hills. the hills of Appalachia.

Now I have traveled west, seen the Rockies, been stymied and befuddled by the majesty of these giants.


As I climbed my breath was quite literally stolen from me. Standing in the cold of summer I gasped to regain my breath and gloried in what God had wrought.


It was a different beauty, like an ice princess that has never been warmed by a lover's kiss.


Traveling through the deep valleys brought thoughts of the life pioneers must have lived... gold rush miners, settlers trying to find passage to the west and California's temperate land. How they must have suffered, smothering in their bedrolls for lack of air, freezing in the winter, wishing for the heat of summer even in August.

The towns, like those in Appalachia are small, tucked under the shadow of mountains so big they carry names; Elbert, Massive, Harvard, Crestone Peak, Mount Wilson, Maroon Bells, Pikes Peak.


Mining towns like Georgetown covey close below, almost afraid to grow close the the mountain, for fear of reprisal.

They are neat, close, kept and warm, almost causing one to forget what looms overhead.












It was a place of hidden beauties.





Of Alpine glories.






It was a place that stole my breath...









Again...
And Again...









The window of a store
shows a hodge podge
of items and forgotten relics of times past.



They seem somewhat incongruous with the majesty all around.

It is as if someone took them up from another alien time and place

And placed them in the window, as if to show how life could be in not so challenging a landscape
.





I watched a distant storm chase over the peaks.

Oblivious to me, to anyone or anything huddled and cuddled in the ruts below the mountains.

Purple with rage, angry and wicked it dumped rain onto the pines and aspens, it drenched the naked rock faces below with little regard for men.

It thrilled me.

It frightened me.

For in the hills of home we could creep close together and warm ourselves in the bosom of the sweet mountains, hidden by the night.

In this foreign and threatening place the air does not flow into my lungs, I am not reassured as I am by the enveloping arms of Appalachia
.

It is rugged and ragged, it is glorious and wonderful. It is majesty hewn and sculpted from the heart of the world. These mountains in summer are draped...are wrapped only slightly by the warmth of soil and trees.

I was thrilled, but yearned for worn down old hills, trodden down mountains, old when the Rockies were born. Gentle hollers, branches, hills and peaks that welcome and call me back to the place I belong. that sing a siren song of home
.
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