A Porch of My Own

A Porch of My Own

Monday, December 19, 2016

Walking The Line

We're in a holding pattern out here at the Rockin' RS, waiting on the contract to sale to be finalized. We've found a place we like in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, a cabin in keeping with what we've loved all these years here, and the only thing it's waiting on is for the ranch sale to close. I'll share more about that later. Today our daughter Sarah is writing the blog post below. The photos are hers also. When I saw them I was struck by what she chose to photograph, the tiny things that so many people overlook, the beautiful textures even in the dead days of late Fall. She is her father's daughter. She came back from her walk with her backpack and pockets loaded with all the variety of rocks on our place. Here's her thoughts on that day -  

“You must know that there is nothing higher and stronger and more wholesome and good for life in the future than some good memory, especially a memory of childhood, of home. People talk to you a great deal about your education, but some good, sacred memory, preserved from childhood, is perhaps the best education. If a man carries many such memories with him into life, he is safe to the end of his days, and if one has only one good memory left in one's heart, even that may sometime be the means of saving us.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov
Yesterday I walked the line to "Shotgun Ridge," where we scattered my dad's ashes. Even in the gloom of winter there were so many beautiful textures and patterns. Here are a few.

Barring help for my mom's move, this was my last visit to the Rockin' RS Ranch, a place that's been my second home for nearly 30 years. Because of this I felt obligated to take a million pictures and pocket every bit of natural ephemera I came across, but it wasn't necessary. I have so many strongly visceral memories of this place that it will stay with me as long as I live, even if I never see it again. Anxiety disorders really jack with your memory, but my memories from here are so happy and stand out vibrantly in my mind, too many to describe, ones for all seasons, ones quickly resilient with sights, smells, and sounds.
My dad was a great naturalist, always pointing out types of plants, bird calls, easily missed signs of animal life. He taught me a lot about the Texas Hill Country, about this parcel of 54 acres in particular, but the nice thing is these skills travel well. He took them with him from the piney woods of Mississippi, shared them everywhere we went on family trips - including the Four Corners - and I plan to take them with me to Colorado, as Bixby trades the life of a ranch hand for that of a mountain man.
See you in the Rockies, dad. <3 span="">