The Cradle

As you leave Pueblo and head down I-25 towards Colorado City, suddenly a great weight lifts and you can breathe freely. I don’t know why I always feel this as I head home on this expanse of Interstate connecting Denver to Trinidad in the south. I feel a bit of pressure as I careen around the steep incline before hitting the off-ramp to Colorado City. I pass by noticing how green this area is. But so happy to get past it even though grateful for the presence of majestic Greenhorn Mountain, an actually pretty jolly soul even with all the churches trying to claim it. My shoulder blades are opening up now as I stream down the freeway, opening up like wings. I think my Subaru will just start to float upward now just because Wahatoya is looming large in our vision. The closer I get the more relief I feel. This happens every time I come home. I take the Walsenburg offramp through the town down Main Street heading further south past the old Courthouse on the right and the progressive Museum of Friends on the left. I make a right on 7th street at the Carl’s Jr. Oh yeah, the wheels have settled back on the pavement and we are skating towards the edge of town where the 160 Hwy begins and makes its trek between the Spanish Peaks, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains on the South and Silver Mountain, Mt. Maestas on the North. I feel the Cradle start to squeeze me gently in a big HUG as I curve out of town. My cabin is coming up on the right about 3 miles out. It is hidden by Pinion Pine and Juniper trees. Mabel, a tall, proud Pinion stands guard in the front. She is no one to mess with.

I live far away, far away from The Cradle now. I don’t let my roots sink too deep here in the shallow soils of the L.A. Basin. I want to make it easy on myself to pull them back up into me when I suddenly decide to sprint my way back Home. Don’t get me wrong. The land here has flowering trees and waving palms and I do appreciate them and walk in the nature preserves of my city. But…

the air is polluted and the land is packed with desperation, 10 million souls. This is 2022, is the pandemic over? Maybe Covid is on its way out, but a pandemic of homelessness, disease, starvation and war for many is just beginning. Big Sky Country calls out to me for my return. But my family is here. I’m not one to desert family. I wonder, am I still willing to go down with the ship?

If the Ship goes down, her name is Earth. What happens on just one part of Her affects the other parts. Some of the inhabitants of Huerfano County are having dirty water problems. They talk of installing water filtration systems. Lots of fracking has been going on in these parts. Big cities are in your face. Small, rural counties in the Rockies, not so much. Ok, I’ll be on this Ship that goes up. Nothing carbon lasts forever. Scoop me up, Spirit Mother when the time comes.

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