Between Sleeping and Waking

The glorious evening was chilly with late monsoonal clouds entering Cedar Valley. They were on the outer limits of the city. Lightning exited a massive thunderhead that lead other cloud soldiers. Trees were bending and swaying to the relentless gusts that brought fine sediments in from the bone-dry Great Basin. It is getting late, the sun has already vanished behind bellowing clouds.

It is dark outside. No stars. In my sleep, I hear the rain and thunder as it plays out in dreams. I’m hiking somewhere in canyon country, surrounded by contrasting red and yellow cliffs, stained by desert varnish. In the vision, the cottonwood grandfathers are talking to me with their creaky branches in a creek bottom.

When awake, reality is a stunning vision. Life is not easy, but the beauty is constantly all around me. The mountains, clouds, animals, trees, rocks, and the rugged Southwest. Away from the towns, the manzanita and tammerisk grow wild. Sunflowers crowd the shoulders of dirt roads. Juniper choke the vast foothills. Off the beaten path lay the remnants of archaic peoples. Looking at sacred images on the rocks, it is hard to imagine the monsters that must have co-existed with humans. Were they supernatural entities? These rock paintings are alive and radiate with spirit. I leave them a gift.

1 thought on “Between Sleeping and Waking”

  1. Very nice imagery Nate! Did you go out to Lions Mouth recently? I read your west desert journal quite often, you have a strong talent in writing as you see.


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