I live in the midst of low mountain granite mounds and stunning formations. I walk daily through narrow, ponderosa and oak dotted ravines; rock canyons that stun the imagination. It is the land of the granite spirits. They part the waters. Their earth brims with remnants of early cultures -- axe heads, points, pottery. On a near-by hill are the remains of pit houses.
There is a immovable staccato to these lands. Yet, the canyon wren's trill splits rock with ease. Phainopeplas (the black cardinal of the desert) zip from pinyon treetops. A gregarious family of ravens competes with Hobo for ownership of the two-legged hearts. Waterfalls of teensy new-hatched quail flow over rock, tarantulas make their hairy-legged way across the course dirt earth. Soft cottontails, the primo arbitrators of thorns, gentle the sandpaper rock.
It is monsoon time. The skies fill with drama as thunderheads swell and dump torrential rains within a mile in every direction. But they do not hit here. Only the occasional light shower wets and shines the rock. There is a mysterious diminishing here, a parting of the clouds that speaks of unseen power. Quiet presence, like the mountain lion I have yet to meet.
In rock, say the old ones, is the wisdom of the universe. Granite is a mix of quartz and feldspar. The Mayans and aboriginals worshipped it's sacred elemental powers of water and land. Sea and deep-rooted earth. Considered the great balancer of mind, body and spirit, the Egyptians included it in their pyramids.
On my altar is a gastrolith I found a few years back in SW Colorado. A prehistoric gizzard stone shined by juices in a dinosaur stomach tumbler. I plan to take it with me into the granite lands. Perhaps this stone and the rock people will chatter eon-speak in silent tongues. Share memories of time I only begin to fathom when I plant my bare flesh feet upon the scratchy ones.
Read about the discovery of the gastrolith and more in my latest book, Drive Me Wild: A Western Odyssey, nominated for the 2013 Colorado Book Award.