Thursday, January 30, 2014


By Greg
--a further attempt to catch up on our autumn activities

Dry summer. Dirt dried to dust. Wet areas turned to mud then cracked under the sun. Color burned out of the land. Grass cured to beige. Soil and stone faded to pale. Smoke from distant fires muted the sky, scraped the detail from nearby cliffs and mesas.

As summer turned toward autumn, the weather turned, too. Moisture plumed from a distant ocean. Clouds crowded the sky and roiled upward over the hot land. The sky darkened to blue. Water returned to the desert.

Streamers of rain brushed across the ridges. Drops came down, painting the dust and stone. Dirt drew the moisture into itself. Droplets were drawn together into rivulets. Rivulets gathered together to stroke the bottoms of stone canyons. Mud spattered. Expectant roots drew water into poised plants.

Quickly. And slowly. Water returned color to the land. Dry stone quickly turned rich. Powdered slopes darkened to red, blue-green, mauve. Old wood was magnified. Dusty pine needles were rinsed to bristled brown.

Slowly. Plants gathered the moisture. Autumn hillsides were bathed in spring-like green. Blossoms punctuated the edges of trails with red, purple, pink, yellow.

* * *

We step outside after a storm. Under skies washed clean. Into a small secretive canyon. A stone canyon where water and time have carved curved vessels where water can linger. The stone nearly white. Nearly blond. Splotched with black lichen. Streaked with yellowed layers.

Within the hollows of white stone. Water. Cupped and gathered. Pooled and held. Spilled from recent rains and cached in stone. Flowing wetly to low places where it waits. Collecting within these hollows of stone.

Within the water. Stone. Pulverized to powder. By time. By water. Stone stained rich by iron. By air. By time. Stone reduced and suspended. Saturating water with vibrant earthy red. Turning clarity to spectacle.

Red water in white stone. The flow of time. Of wear. Of slow change. Traced. Clearly drawn. With water. With color.

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