Sun down Travellers,
On our way around, traveling Pussy..Part 6…
First, the music… Because if we are talking of gods, Robert Plant and Jimmy Page are most certainly gods of musical ingenuity, are they not? This is music to soak into your skin and down to your soul… and my favorite version of this track…I digress…
After the Dunes, I drove to the town of Walensburg, Colorado and stayed in a charming little B&B.
They had a super tasty restaurant on the lobby level and the rooms were on the second floor. Again, I just really love staying in the little places that people own and earn their livelihood from. And for the first time in my life, I ate chicken fried steak..if you knew me personally, you’d realize how significant that is, but figure I climbed a dune and a waterfall, I can eat something decadent, right? Wish I had taken a picture, it was one of the yummyiest meals I’ve eaten. And there was a brussel sprout appetizer that, yea, SO GOOD!
The next morning, I was on my way to number one of two family visits in Colorado. First up, my brother from another mother and his family. In truth, we are first cousins on my mother’s side. I have wished many times in my life that we had been born siblings, alas we were not. And he has an awesome wife and two monkeys, which most people call kids. AND two dogs. Man, you are checking off all the life experience boxes!
I had to spend some time before he got off work, so he suggested I pass thru the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Have you been there? Because this is a very different flavor than the day before. Two VERY DIFFERENT versions of a natural formation attraction. This place actually felt like Jurassic Park minus the T-Rex chasing me, whereas the Dunes are more come as it is and was and will forever be. Also, there was an actual dinosaur fossil found at this park as well, so see, I’m not too far off!
Here is my favorite of the formations, it’s called kissing camels. It’s most likely the name that won me over. There were some large balancing rocks too, and some other interesting configurations but this is the one that stayed with me. They’re on top, I think they are sittting down, kissing.
Here’s another interesting one…my apologies, I don’t remember the name…maybe something about fingers? I think it looks like three hands being raised together.
The weather was not friendly the day I visited, it was very sharply cold and windy windy windy. I didn’t wander as far as I might have on a nicer day. In truth though, I didn’t like the park as much as I hoped I would, it just wasn’t moving me from here to there… To start with, Colorado Springs is essentially swallowing the Garden of the Gods. The city is slowly extending its tentacles and encircling the area. Houses, which I’m sure someone made a ton of money seeking land for and building, are encroaching on the park. Really just a stones throw away. It felt like an impediment to the energy of this place.
Let’s talk about reverence. Not as in God or any religious context. And no, I’m not about to launch into an environmentalist tirade or talk about Al Gore. I’m talking about standing in the presence of something greater than us. Places that were born long before us. And the inherent human need to turn a profit from something like this place. (No, there is no entry fee, but there is one heck of a gift shop installation.) The need to make it more convenient and really more of a theme park than perhaps what it was meant to be…
These places like the Dunes, the Grand Canyon, this place and all the other great parks, are they not naturally born cathedrals of this planet? Again, not in terms of the biblical God, but of Earth itself. Not as in made by God, but the uncontrollable forces of this planet. Perhaps set in motion by the energy that binds us in this universe, call it what you want. They are the reminders of what a wonderous world we were fortunate to be born to.
Perhaps they were meant to remind us of our ant like existence. Humans are merely mortal and these places have stood for centuries. Think about that. None of our lives will last anywhere near the duration of these places. I think we are meant to go and stand in wonder and remember our humility and what is left of our humanity, are we not? Are these wonders not meant to make us feel more human?
Again, like the Dunes, I like to imagine what this place was like when it was found by the Native Americans and later the pioneers. Our ancestors. Take away all the man made alterations (roads, sidewalks, parking lots, signage, houses) and just imagine. I took this image across the highway from the park, and from this angle, it looks as I imagine it looked to those first humans that encountered it and Pike’s Peak is back there under those clouds.
Later, I arrived at my cousin’s house, we had a version of this discussion, during which his wife pointed out that if they hadn’t paved roads thru the formations or put in side walks, the monument would be destroyed by us, the human visitors…HUH. That’s sad, right? I get the weight of foot traffic, but are we all kids in the Lourrve who won’t stop touching the art or trying to lick the glass on the Mona Lisa? Can we not just visit and BE in those places and that be enough?
I believe one of the most important lessons the other animals on earth teach us, pussy cats & pups included, is how to live harmoniously within our environment, how to adapt and not control it or change it or try to make a profit off it in a million different ways.
I have an old photo of one of our girls. I think she was one when this was taken. Let’s just say she has a lot of energies, so this stillness is rare. In this moment however, I believe she is experiencing the canine version of reverence…
One movie, here we go…Dances with Wolves. Simply put, it’s the story of a man who learns well, I won’t spoil that…But a great example of letting in the world you do not know or understand and allowing it to change you. There are some very sad moments in this one, but I think it remains some of Kevin Costner’s finest work.