Seeing to the Bottom

mountain meadow with creek

I wonder if there are frogs as well. Might be too cold for them!

Now this was quite a treat. There I was at over nine thousand feet in the freaking wilderness, somewhere between Tres Piedras and the Brazos Cliffs, walking toward a marsh. Well, a creek, but spread out wide and marshy. An actual wetland shimmering in the sun. No birds or elk, though, surprising only if we hadn’t made a racket falling down the hill to get here. My friend saw tiny fish—I didn’t, but marveled at the water striders. (Always did like water bugs.) A stream like this is something of a primal magnet for me. The water was alive and clear.

When I was a lad and even younger, wherever there was water, I ran straight down to it. If there were bugs or fish or tadpoles, I’d go nuts; just give me a pail or jar and get out of the way. I don’t know what it is, exactly, why it pulls me so, but clear, fresh water with living animals and plants, a pond or stream with these rare qualities today, can put me in a trance. So what am I doing living in the desert? Someday this question will be answered. Anyway, sagebrush ocean be damned: we drove and climbed and bounced and found some water, and it was good.

Later I decided that the most important thing for the rest of my life was living in joy with the one I love. An image came to me, a daytime dreaming, of the two of us in a cabin by a lake, no other people around, just us and trees and peace and water and green growing things. I held this in my thoughts and all my rancor disappeared. I was light and happy, living my own truth in my imagination, and the truth became the way it was, and there was tenderness again and no one worried.

John Hamilton Farr lives in Taos, New Mexico, U.S.A. with his classical pianist wife. “Possibly the only place I can get away with this,” he says. As New York Times best-selling author James C. Moore (Bush’s Brain) put it in a review of John’s first book, Buffalo Lights is the work of a man attuned to the world who sees it differently than you and I and writes about it with a language and a vision of life that is impossible to ignore.” John is the author of BUFFALO LIGHTS, TAOS SOUL, ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, and THE HELEN CHRONICLES. He has been publishing online since 1996 (Zoo Zone, Farr Site, MacFaust, GRACK!, FarrFeed) and blogs regularly here at JHFARR.COM. See also → John’s Twitter profile, Amazon Author Page, video channel at YouTube, and website photos at SmugMug. To email John, please see CONTACT INFO on About page.  

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