Thursday, November 18, 2010

Before Winter came

November's nip has set in. The first snow has fallen and I with my lack of appreciation for the chill in the wind and the first flakes fluttering in the air look longingly backwards to the namesakes of the Romans emperors and no less so that period of days named in celebration of Augustus's defeat of Queen Cleopatra of Egypt. Because even though I love Christmas (as it will soon become apparent to all) I have simply always hated the cold and the older I get, the less tolerance I have for the Jack the Frosty One. So, in nostalgia for those warmer days, let us meander to a warmer time...    
Thirty minutes drive gets me to the foot of the Rocky Mountains
Library work has not the stress of an educator nor the pressure of retail but nevertheless the public is as demanding as any child (and sometimes worse) in the course of the day and it becomes essential to feed the soul if there is ever an effort to put pen to paper... or finger to keyboard as the case may be.
Ambitious cyclists here too.. fortunately this one passed us quickly
So, it becomes necessary to find quiet paths to tread, and the burdens we so carefully trundle through our daily lives have been left behind, well nearly left, so that we might enjoy the beauty of the afternoon. We occasion to mention the vexatious political scene, the scandal of this Democrat or that Republican (all of them!) raping the public trust to aid the Corporate State in its continual takeover of the land we love, but then, shush, shush, there are lovely flowers and busy bees busily feasting at our feet...    
The world has massive problems which are perhaps pronounced by our presence here. We indeed are very small  and very young next to the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains which gained their foothold long before there were humanoids of any kind on this soil. Long after we have worn out our welcome... long after we have brought about our own destruction with pollution and global chaos... our presence will be wiped away. The things we have built will disappear expeditiously and the fine things we have created will fade into oblivion but these mountains shall speak of the glory of beauty and nature. So we are humbled...
and humored by the signs which humans have left to mark the trail. "How is it," one wonders, "that the trail has been accessible to the handicapped thus far?"   
While I completely understand the desire of anyone... young, old, on two legs or four wheels.. to come to this place for just such vistas, nevertheless, what is it that makes this path less accessible than the path that is to come? Perhaps... 
"it is the hairpin curve." We muse, with a laugh at the trail-makers expense. 
We wander on, enjoying the sunbaked paths and pine green limbs stretching into blue sky. Occasional billowed pillows float by, shading us and offering a change of texture to the solid sky that is it's own shade of blue. "What will happen," We ponder, "when we can't afford to keep up these paths and parks anymore? What happens when the public funds run out and it's no longer important to keep these places pristine for walkers? What happens when the protecting of flowers and nurturing of wildlife is extravagant?" 
And here I will admit that I left out a picture of a couple of bicyclists because the picture was blurry not because I wanted to pretend we were all alone the entire afternoon. 
A thought too horrendous to think about while hiking amidst our oasis from the craziness of "civilization" we decide hastily and push the thought away. Unfortunately, it is not a thought that can hide itself for too long. As we hustle on toward "fiscal austerity" with the apparent intention of reducing the deficit (which as far as I can tell really only means that the poor and the less fortunate will suffer more while the wealthier will continue to thrive with tax breaks and more bailouts whenever they have gambled the world onto the brink of financial disaster again-- there is no real intention of balancing the budget) then places like this will become extravagant. Already many of our national forests are cared for by volunteers...  
as the trend continues, more and more of our public lands could be sold for development as cities and states need money (and some of this land is National Forest, I would guess that money would go to U.S. treasury)... Or, simply be left to public use without park rangers which most likely means people (and not all of them would but there are always the few who damage things for the many who don't) would simply destroy the environment as they often do when there is no oversight -leaving trash and fire in their wake. 
So alas, we return to our city in the valley knowing that all is not well on this soil that we love although we feel the refreshment of an afternoon away from news and emails and phone calls that remind us of work... or children... or bills... or broken down automobiles... or our dying planet... or politics... a democracy which is also broken.  
There is time enough for that tomorrow and enough of that tomorrow. 

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