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Expat Life

Esos lugares

I stood in a fairy-like glen, its grasses partially shrouded by the low hanging branches of paper trees. A mountain brook halved the narrow valley, the source of its gurgling waters a ridge on the Continental Divide less than a half-mile away from whence I had come. A soughing wind continuously stirred some ferns lining the brook’s rock-studded banks. The rocks were covered in tight-fitting jackets of moss, their color an other-worldly green. Tiny lichens sprinkled their rouge tint here and there throughout the scene. Deposited from slowly spinning currents,the froth of watery foam below a small waterfall looked like whisked milk to me as it spilled out in a fan-like pattern. Clouds raced each other through the sky, bent to the demands of strong gusts. The sun competed with them, throwing dappled patches of light across my path. The air was dry, invigorating, its cool drafts gently caressed my cheek. A mountain jay paused to scold me, obscured by gnarled and sinuous branches.

I seek them out, it’s part of my goal-sets to find them, to soak up their unbelievable energies and finish by recording them with camera, pen or both. Esos lugares, or “those places,” are the ones that have all their ingredients active at the right time. They ooze magic and power of a kind usually only known to the Hobbits and long-bearded dwarves who inhabit them. But, I seek them on my journeys and likely for similar reasons. I pay visits and tributes to those places yet unspoiled by the hand of man.

Perhaps some noteworthy words penned by a powerful poet and playwright may sum it all up, his words certainly reflect my own sentiments after traveling many a trail-weary mile.

And this our life, exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
I would not change it.

— Duke Senior speaks with Amiens and several other Lords in the Forrest of Arden. From Act II, Scene 1 of the play, “As You like It,” by William Shakespeare.

I’m with Duke, I wouldn’t change it myself.