by Jane St. Clair
I have always loved the way the ocean is ever-changing and moving so that it hypnotizes and yet at the same time relaxes your mind. To me, she has light feet and dances the samba. But now I live in the mountains, and they are more sober than friend-ocean. They play great thunder music – symphony, not samba.
My own mountain is called Pusch Ridge but that is such a prosaic name for a huge everest that looks like a gigantic dinosaur.
I am not the only one who sees this mountain that way. A Feng Shui master took one look at Pusch Ridge and proclaimed him to be a dragon protecting our valley. Like China we too have crouching tigers and hidden dragons in our mountains. A dragon protecting your valley, though, is considered very very lucky.
He is never the same from day to day or even hour to hour. At sunrise he wears a halo.
At sunset he turns bright red and then fades to black.
During monsoon he is green; during dry heat, he is brown. In some lights he is purple mountain majesty;
in others he is maroon with a white top of snow.
Sunlight and moonlight can drop into his holes or a cloud can turn parts of him into gray umbrage.
I greet him every day. I love him. I trust him. Like friend-ocean, he is eternal and forever.
In beauty may I walk.
All day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk.
With dew about my feet may I walk.
With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty all around me, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty
–Navajo Blessingway Ceremony
Henry David Thoreau once said it is wise to fall in love with your own small and special piece of real estate. He had Walden Pond, but I think he would have loved Pusch Ridge.
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Jane’s essay on Emily Dickinson placed in the 2015 Tom Howard/John H. Reid Essay Contest. See “The Colonel Catches A CatFish”. Read Jane’s funny flash fiction in The Reject File “Husky.” Jane’s story “The Man Who Liked 1959” placed in a contest from Twisted Road Publishing and will be included in a print anthology of stories from that publisher.