Mountain Woman

I just got back from a trip to Crested Butte and I was thrilled to experience the beautiful wildflowers and striking mountains surrounding the town. Crested Butte is the crown jewel of the Colorado Rockies and the wildflowers are saturated with color. Blue. Orange. Red. Purple. White. The colors stand on their own and don’t apologize for being so flamboyant, but are best appreciated in bouquets still rooted in the earth. The mountain sides seem brushed with color, a lavender swipe there and a yellow swipe there. My phone was “click, click” with photos, but I was also very conscious of keeping my focus on the 3 D beauty right before my eyes and the memories I was creating. Susan, my best friend and traveling companion, and I were a little affected by the altitude. At almost 9000 feet, Crested Butte is about 4500 feet higher than Fort Collins, so we did have a bit of Rocky Mountain High. ( couldn’t resist)

We spent a night in Fairplay/ South Park—yes that South Park! After dinner we went down to the river to watch the sunset and check out the views. We were very excited to crash a housewarming party!  Well it was really a beaver dam-warming party and they were working like you know whats. We watched them glide through the water and carry branches in their mouths to their dam construction site. Beavers are actually pretty big and these measured between 3 and 4 feet from the tip of their nose to the tip of their broad tails. We hoped they would slap their tails in the water to warn each other of our presence, but apparently we were not threatening. One of the beavers decided to take a rest on the shore and we rushed (quietly)to get a better view and a photo. Of course the beaver slid into the water as soon as we got closer. The beavers put on a show that was better than T.V..   Meanwhile lots of fish were jumping out of the water and the sun was setting. We slept well that night.

Where were the best hiking trails? The locals had lots of ideas and just as many different directions to the same trailhead. Throw in afternoon thunderstorms and things got more complicated. One late afternoon we decided to go for a walk and headed to the edge of town to a gravel path and just kept walking.  “Green Lake Trail” the sign said and this was the “Just go to the end of this street.”  the locals told us about. We weren’t looking for it but we found it!  The trail thru the forest was breathtaking and we were so grateful for the quiet beauty. Yes! And I almost forgot, I saw a bear in the trees as we were driving down a mountain pass! 

Sometimes I just want to throw the fish I catch back in the water and ask for another that is more to my liking.  If I just keep fishing I will catch the “big one” many times in my life. My bait  is perseverance and hope. 

Writing on Writing

Threatening or welcoming, depending on my mood and inspiration, the blank page begs to be filled with paragraphs of inspired writing.  Sweating bullets, but not sweating the words I want. I love words, and vocabulary was my best score on all standardized tests. How boring to use  mediocre words when there are awesome words to use. He’s “nice”, but how about  he’s “pleasing” or of “good quality. Nice is just “nice”.  So how do I write? One. Word. At. A. Time. Teasing, demanding, and cajoling my brain and imagination for the perfect word. As we all know perfection is unattainable, so a “good enough” word is indeed “good enough”.

The tongue pierces deeper than the sword.   Hazrat Ali

There is one realm where words often fail: emotions.  I am “angry” is not the same as  “makes me want to hurt other people”. Whoever first said: “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”, was obviously not in touch with their feelings. Instinctively, people protect their bodies when they sense they will be hurt physically, but words attack too quickly and  blows to the heart can strike without any self defense. Words can be lethal weapons when used to injure another or a relationship. We can all remember a taunt from a bully or words a lover used to end a relationship.  Some words are so loaded with pain or venom we don’t say the whole word like the “n”word or the “c” word.

Love is just a word, but you bring it definition.    Eminem

No matter what language “I love you.” is spoken in, the heart translates and cherishes the feeling of being loved. Words can encourage and comfort when giving up seems the only option. “You can do it. I’m here.” may be words that keep someone on the road to their dreams. Iconic speeches have moved our nation: “Four score and seven years ago our founding fathers ….” or “I have a dream….” both directed citizens to love each other and fight for what is right. Before these words were spoken so elegantly, they were composed and written on a piece of paper.  Words are powerful, double edged swords so thinking before you write or speak is better than having to eat your words and wash them down with regret. 

So sentences are words strung together, a piece of cake right?  A subject and a verb and off we go. Not so fast!  Some days I don’t feel like talking let alone writing. Maybe I just don’t have anything to say, so I write about “not writing”, or having nothing to say. I write angry. I write sad. I write happy. I write bored. I just write. Writing is good exercise for my imagination, I create pictures in my head and find the words to paint the picture. Some day I hope I am  inspired to write a masterpiece.