I am now ensconced in the Enchanted Retreat, a lovely little locale just north and west of Mancos, Colorado. On my list trip here, six years ago, this was the little cabin-ish location that I had stayed at before. Here, its quiet, peaceful, and the wildlife is teeming right outside the window. So far, I have seen a Blue Jay, some chipmunks, hummingbirds, and a few other birds that I cannot readily identify. Right now, I am watching two hummingbirds playing a game of chase around the feeder. The only sounds I can hear, aside from the various birds, is the hum of the fans laid out throughout this small house, blowing air around. Yeah, its hot. No central air to the location, which is perfectly fine. In a way of thinking, it’s a much simpler life than I am used to back in central Tejas. It is peaceful, tranquil, and exactly what I need at this point in my daily life.
I had many intentions in coming back here – mostly to reset things in my life. One was to hike the Petroglyph Point Trail in Mesa Verde National Park and leave an offering to Crow. My offering was intended to be loose-leaf tobacco, some water, and a few words of my own to give thanks. However, I have learned that the National Park Service does expressly ask for offerings not to be left within the Park. Two of the First Nations elders that I speak with frequently via Email have also stated that it is best to follow the advice of the National Park Service. One noted that I could hold such an offering of thanks in my own backyard, along with a small fire. “Crow will not care where the offering is made, so long as it is made.” So, my idea to walk Petroglyph Point Trail to specifically leave an offering will transform to something else done back home.
As I have noted before, I am not of the People, the People specifically being the First Nations people. I follow and work with two First Nations Gods, but my purpose is not to enact the rituals and ceremonies of the First Nations folks. I am not here to become one of the People. Their culture is specifically theirs, not mine. My work with Crow and Coyote is far different, and much more personally between myself and Them. However, I have gathered relationships with some First Nations peoples, who follow a similar Spirituality, and I consult with them whenever I feel I might be stepping over some boundary that I shouldn’t be. Just sayin’, for all those that would accuse me of “cultural appropriation.” Many may still see it that way, but I continue under the perspective that the Gods call who the Gods call.
In the meantime, the trip here to south-western Colorado will continue with other pursuits. There is a narrow rail train that travels between Durango and Silverton (further up the mountain). A large portion of the trip is alongside the banks of the Animas River. This river has its own draw for me. The river was named “Rio de las Animas Perdidas” by the Spanish explorer Juan Maria de Rivera. The name loosely translates to “the river of Lost Souls” which reportedly was to commemorate the people who had lost their lives in the river. Whatever the case may be, the river has a quality about it that suggests that life is its primary function or purpose – or at least it does to me. In Durango, there is a large section of the city that is near it, which has that natural feel of home for me. Were I able to afford such a move, this is where I would probably live.
Another day trip will be taken into an area known as “The Canyon of the Ancients.” From what I have read, this is a rather primitive area, and my truck’s four-wheel drive capabilities may be utilized. I am not sure what to expect, though there are warnings of mountain lions within the area. Going too far from the truck will probably not be a good idea.
As I said before, this trip is my chance to put a lot of things into the “reset” basket. Life has not been particularly easy over the last eighteen months. Here, I get the chance to be away from a lot of the distractions that I see, while taking the time to sort through some of the bigger issues that I still must deal with. Last night, by the way, was one of the most relaxing, undisturbed nights I have had within that eighteen months. I have; however, had a chance to digest a lot over that same time frame – enough to know what I do not want. Now, its just a matter of putting all the rest of the pieces together into a coherent picture and moving forward from that point. First, however, I have three days to enjoy an area of the United States that I can truly describe as “home.”
Photos from this trip will be posted on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/tommyelf022/