Cracking heads

I’ve seen a spring.
I have.

We used to hike through the simmering sand and sagebrush to the closest mountain. Not far really, inside of a few miles. Other side of the airstrip. Hot and bright. Snakes in mind. Not much for a northern Nevada mountain. Maybe a thousand feet. Maybe.

Enough to pucker my starfish at ten years old.

The west face was closest, that was the side we climbed. A rockslide almost all the way up. Mostly volcanic I think. Pretty treacherous. The top was high enough to be cold with wind enough to make your jeans flap. It furnished an amazing view. Enough to put a choke in your neck when thinking about the same way down.

Scared the crap out of me.

The base of the mountain ended in a shallow canyon between it and a much smaller hill. Just behind the mouth of the canyon was a spring.

I clocked it’s greenery on the way up and wondered.

Very happy to be there after the way down.

Water pushing desert sand along with itself from a dark, half dollar sized hole at the bottom of a small pristine pool. This pool feeding a larger one under trees with cattails, reeds and grass growing lush. There were rabbits and birds and snakes.

Yellows, greens and blues with much sun and sky.

I had an epiphany that day. Frogs. The climb was the scariest thing I’d ever done. There was a gust of relief. Synapses lit up and dancing as I grasped the little oasis in a single swipe.

What I suddenly understood floored me.

We spent a little time. Maybe forty five minutes. Grateful to be there. I soaked it up. Moss, bees and dragonflies. Sunflowers and bubbling.

Was I a little late? I don’t know. Life’s complexity and requisite for balance began to reveal itself. An improbable ecosystem in an unlikely enviroment. Yet it thrived and sang. It vibrated and I knew why. I could see how and why it worked. It made sense to me. Scared me a little.


I emptied a quart of sand from each shoe that day. That night I stared at the sky. I never stopped dreaming about that place one way or another. It allows me to contemplate the universe.

It frightens me now. It informs my nightmares. I’m sure it’s a scarier place today. Polluted.

The first time I remember my gaze landing on the big picture. The powerful gift of cognizance despite the self.

See what I’m saying?

Drinks for my friends.

“We don’t smoke marijuana in Muskogee;
We don’t take our trips on LSD
We don’t burn our draft cards down on Main Street;
We like livin’ right, and bein’ free.” -Merle Motherfuckin Haggard

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