I go to a secret place, alonem amd sit on a ledge above the canyon labrynth choked with brush. The numerous finger canyons remain unknown to most. In the summer, the heat soars into the triple digits. Winter is the best time venture in this area, because the Mojave Rattlers hibernate. It is rich with human prehistory. I listen for those that once lived here, and died here. I feel the warmth of the canyon. It is incredible. It starts to get late in the evening, the sun fades. The skeletal mysteries of the night begin to creep. I listen carefully for the noise of the unknown river, it is flowing tonight, I should maybe go to it.
As I am traversing up a windy canyon, I can see all the footprints of the little creatures that dwell in that canyon. I see the clouds and the sun, and feel Earth’s awesome beauty. If I could find a way to dwell in this place forever, I would.
In a dream, it came and spoke to me. Now when I’m awake, I cannot ever put the beauty down. It is in me, and I see the mystery in every sunset.
It is what happened long ago. The thunderclouds have been coming to this land long before the Mormons, and before the Mexicans. The Southern Paiute have always had their life ways, and they moved about this ancient place. Hundreds of generations have gone before me. This land is where I was born, and it is where I will die. It is the only land that I know about. I will never forget those before me though.
I watch the big earth movers tearing the ageless soil from it’s grave, and it hurts to see them digging into it. I don’t know why it hurts so much? But this is how I feel about the Colorado River being damned up too! For some reason, I think the Colorado River really feels trapped. She needs to flow with red water again. If the national park service can find a way to do that with the dams, then that would be good.
I constantly drive around the outskirts of Saint George, to look at all the latest ?development???, it is tearing me a part. It makes me sad, There’s nothing I can do to stop it. What hurts the most though, is the fact that they have to tear up the soil; removing it from where it belongs. Up in Cedar City, It makes me angry to see all the Juniper trees they uprooted to build houses in ?new??? areas. Those houses are costly. People don’t need to pay so much to build such things. This is America, and the developer is destroying the land that is most important to me.
I’ve noticed that there isn’t many places for the deer to go in the winter now. Their winter feeding areas are being invaded with these new houses.
Southern Utah is a beautiful place, and people are going to move in and change everything. It is okay for people to come here, but it’s the destruction that bothers me. They are changing the landscape, and the desert is filling up with people, noise, big box stores, cars, and houses. Pretty soon Saint George will become a big city.
I cannot understand why I feel this way, but something is going to stop all of the development. Maybe this is my emotions communicating with me, but something is going to change the American landscape. Something is going to end the occupation that is now over five centuries old. This urgent feeling is in my gut. Something is coming, but it will show up unexpected. I will awaken one morning to the sound of this change, and by golly, I hope it will preserve my life. Because I don’t want much except to be happy, be with my family, and have the rugged landscape to live in. I wait for those lights to go out. I’m trying to break the windows of everything I know.
The land is beautiful today.
When I dissapear into the aged mountains, I don?t miss dreadful cities filled with uncordial human beings who are too busy, too rushed to know what nature sounds like. The uncanny wild is waiting for me, almost calling me by name. My companions are the faceless shadows that wander the landscape. I am mortal, but I know the personality of the wilderness, what she has not forgotten. If humans go to far, she will eventually stop them.
The people around me are so persistent, always persevering; they march forward with psychotic dreams of progress. They believe that they can conquer nature, and the Earth Mother in order to advance. They believe that somehow nature must adhere to them, and serve them. I’ve never put the wilderness above human welfare, but I am against those that exploite and would destroy beauty. Some can go into a deep canyon, and never really see anything. I sure do feel sorrow for their lack or sight. I believe people can listen to the strange things in the forest, or the mystifying roars of a river, and care for such things. Let the unknown continue it?s enigma, and secrets remain.
Yes, I prefer the dazzling vistas of cloud and rock to the monotony of everyday life. Like everyone else, I am plugged in. Like a virus, I wait.
At two thousand feet above sea level, the desert?s a frying pan. Everything is sizzling in a mirage of buzzing locusts and deep blue sky. The sun glares on everything. In deep sandstone canyons, desert varmints can find some type of relief from the relentless heat under the cover of red rock cliffs. Right now is not the time for me to venture too far out, snd I was pondered why I hadn?t been visiting too many places. It is still inhospitable out there. Summer will remain in Dixie until around the first October. That is when summer starts to fade in red rock country. Later in the fall, this area opens up more. Rattle Snakes are gone for the season but the desert still blooms.
If I can, I am going to venture out to Toroweap, a three thousand foot drop down down to the Colorado River. The Arizona Strip is a phenomenal place. I can guarantee that it is one of the quietest and unearthly spots on Earth. When you pass over the strip on your way to the overlook, you?re actually passing through another world of surreal wasteland desert.
So I am waiting for the weather to cool off in Dixie, so I can travel down into the mysterious labyrinths of this ancient land. If you?re a city dweller, and I took you to some of these places, you?d never want to return to your old life. There is a beauty, a silence that human beings have broken their ties to. Like some, I have not forgotten certain things. I know of a beauty that I will never put down. Ever since I was little, I had a soft spot for the wilderness and its purity, but I don?t see it as pristine; humans have been apart of this land since the beginning of time. The mystery is in all the generations upon generations of human being that come and gone.
One day, things will change. They always do. Civilizations come and go. In geological time, it is the twinkling of an eye. For a very short time, I will enjoy my small, small existence on this beautiful planet that we know as our mother.
Even though my sandals were worn out, I could not leave the red canyon behind. There was big cottonwood monsters in the river bottoms. The sand and air was warm. It was a frying pan, beneath the desert sun. The locusts buzzed like power lines, and the wind whipped those magnificent Cottonwoods. I even heard the mourning dove repeat his lonely call, over and over. Everything was so peaceful. I couldn’t leave the red canyon. I wanted to be there forever, even when the winter snows came…
…In the sage brush valleys of the Great Basin, I look out across them and they are some of the most isolated areas on the planet, and covered in fierce beauty. To the untrained eye, they would be nothing but useless desert. Cloud ships journey and cast their dark shadows upon the sage. When I am not physically in the Great Basin, these valleys are in my head, and in my dreams.
The voice of the dust storm roars, as the sand pin-stripes the vehicles that glide through the desert. Down the blue highway, they move in a line, like UFOs. It is dusk, and the sun has gone to bed. All is quiet with the sand plummeting into my vehicle, running over the highway. I leave the radio tuned into static, but a Mexican radio station fades in and out. The radio follows the RPM of the engine. It sounds mysterious. The time is drawing near, and something waits…
The clouds are like monsters descending upon the plateau, with shadows that blanket the landscape. The rain comes in February, in place of snow. When the desert is sweet, and quiet, nothing moves but the occasional wind. The sweet smell of rain mixes with fresh smells of Juniper, sage, and even the aromatic sand. I can feel spring coming, on the horizon; coming like a cloud shadow, to greet me. Spring comes to my window, song birds come to the trees.
On another note, I keep thinking of myself as an old man. I fear the thought of being prepared by some mortuary. To my future children, please don’t let these villians do this to me! I want you to haul me out into the middle of nowhere, and let the coyotes fill their stomachs. Let the hungry raptors feed their young. I don’t want to be stuck into one of those airtight coffins.
In the dark mansion of space
I ponder the old ways of this world.
Will we ever return?
What are humans without?
With every traffic noise
and every humming car
The silence remains there afterwards.
A silence greater then humans.
The pine tree quietly waits,
the forest is waiting.
The mountains keep covered secrets.
There is a greater cause
weaving into us, illusions or truths.
With every lifestyle and luxury,
Death eventually comes to everyone.
Death converts humans to the quietness…
of the flowing river,
and the natural flow.
I’m waiting for the mystery
to carry me away
over vast distances of knowledge.
I have a home beyond death.
I ponder the still endless
wastelands of the desert
onward, into dreams.