You feel the breeze.
Easy and gentle as a baby's sleeping breath.
The ravages that storms can bring
Don't occur in these parts.
Semi-arid, semi-drought conditions are the norm.
No temperate rainforest for the Sierra's.
Hot, peaceful almost weather to say the least.
With sometimes enough wind to stir the oak leaves and rattle the grasses.
The sound of flags and banners flapping in the wind.
Raised outposts spread upon the southern boundary waters,
Of the mother-lode of the old empires.
As the rains sweep clean the gardens low,
We turn our eyes towards the hills in velvet.
The sound of a thousand bells in the distance.
The fountains welling up in the ephemeral.
Pumping to the heartbeat of the hillsides.
Lifted with the springs as the mountain releases.
Thundering in brooks tumbling over coarse gold.
Reverence brought to the surface.
Sons and daughters racing American Paints
Down evergreen hills christened in succession.
Hoofs shod with rose quartz
To grind the granite and stir the dust.
Generations rushing at our feet
With the power to move mountains.
As if to outrun the words.
Stories of grace and mercy and victory
Following one after another.
Welcoming those who journey West.
Spirit breathes life into these moments.
Floated by the currents and pulled along.
Cooling this furnace fired glaze
That's sealed in hopes and prayers.
Grains showing through the polish.
And as these waters rise,
They gather stones to swirl holes in boulders.
They create light reflecting off the surface,
To shine above the fog settling in the valley.
What is a creek, becomes a river.
Becomes echoes in the wilderness.
Cheers of thanks between deep, deep breaths.
Taking in the cool sweetness of it all.
These seasons turn, and turn once more.
Each time wearing grooves upon the surface.
Making round from what was square.
Bringing peace like a creek born again.
Through glens and dales and hills and streams,
The gardens shake awake from dreams.
To follow down to river bend.
The greens with whitened lace to mend.
For little Dashiell. My brother's boy. Welcome to the world young man.
A great horned owl takes two steps sideways
On his branch chosen for its prominence
Blinks his eyes wide and clacks his beak in anticipation
Cocks his head as he leans forward into the pre dawn light of the waning night
His wings spread clean and react to the gravity of his choosing
He glides above the fresh fallen snow
Where his wings leave angel sized prints as his hunt becomes circumstance
Outcomes of these agendas play out day after day through the ages
Cycles of returnings amended in these forests
Streams meandering through the meadows in slow cessation
Life left to thrive as the mountain looms above
These mountains enter our lives first seen from the high passes
Or rather we enter the mountain's life as companionship is welcomed
And while some fade away worn down to foothills to greet the plains
Some stay as hardened granite baking in the sun
Grizzled and dark
Jagged peaked and talus sloped
And worn smooth in the depths of its valleys
Yet all that the mountain rears to stand tall on its own
It provides the basis for life in this world
Sheltering from the winds blowing across the sea
Gathering snows when the storms roll in
Slowly releasing waters ever on from glaciers hanging in the shadows
Fissuring the stone for springs to pour forth and sustain
Growing grasses for rams in alpine meadows
Stocking forests of cones for the woodchuck to store away until the freeze
Building rivers to tumble the boulders
Slowing pools for reflection in the early morning light
Playing out sands in the widening bends
Covering nuggets for miners to pluck from the stream beds
Mixing soils for roots to sink deeply
Darkening hollows for owls to seek shelter
The mountain is and always was
Still there to cast his cool shadow in the warm summer afternoon
Still there to reflect the last light of the day in burning alpenglow
Ever present as is his way
Remember the mountain
He will see you through
......For Darlene and the girls......
In Memory of Alan Rondi - June 1957 - December 2015 -