Posted by: highmountainmuse | April 3, 2009

Wild and free

Look down the Rio Grande on our hike with the kids yesterday.

Look down the Rio Grande on our hike with the kids yesterday.

Wild places, wild spaces. A space you find deep within you, enwrapped and enriched by the world around you.  A simple world, untamed and free. A place where man has not cut down, ripped open, leveled, or paved. A place where a kid can run around secure yet unbound.



There are few places left we can sit on the mountain and as far as we can see, there is no disturbance from man’s heavy hand. 


My brother’s children are seeing this, feeling this, for the first time.  They are young, impressionable, open, unbiased. They have left behind the hand held video games and TVs and computers.  They have left behind the traffic, the noise, the pressures, the rushing around, the mini van world.  And for just a few days, they are left open like leaves in the wind, caught in a joyous whirlwind on this wild mountain, so far from their “real” world, far from schedules and competitions, far from their vehicle. Stuck, in a way.  Forced to unwind, relax, let go… slow down.  Exposed to the elements of the mountain, the still and silent world of fresh snow falling in giant flakes or the wide open night sky with the infinite stars deeper and farther the longer you stare, the life struggle of a foal and acceptance of the herd, the time to think to feel, to dream.


It is beautiful to see.  I wonder if they, like others have, fear the unknown on their trip up to our mountain:  What will I do without my cell phone, sports games, constant contact, instant gratification, ringing and buzzing?  Ah, to see how simple it is for a child.  They are blooming before my very eyes, up here on the mountain.  They are talking about their next trip, why can’t they stay longer, couldn’t they live here too?


Don’t we all need a place like this, for just a little while, every year, to remind us of the big picture?  We can see that big picture up here.  We become small, are humbled.  And in that process, are set free.

Looking back towards the Ranch and up the river beyond.

Looking back towards the Ranch and up the river beyond.




  1. You are so right about the mountains setting us free. I guess for some people it might be the ocean but not me…I’m a mountain girl!

    Before our trip to Jackson Hole I had been struggling with a letter I was going to write to an organization because I did not think they were treating people (me being one of those people) respectfully. It was literally causing me to lose sleep as I would wake up thinking about how I wanted to word things.

    After I got home from my vacation in Wyoming, the need to write the letter had simply disappeared. I still felt the organization was in the wrong but I no longer had the need to let them know about it.

    The mountains and the peace that God provided in them had healed me and set me free!

  2. You sure make it hard t0 wait for spring How is Artemis ?

  3. Artemis is doing OK. Still scouring, but bright yellow, no blood, no foul odor, TONS of energy. She’s fascinated with the snow, and it’s snowing big time.

  4. Karen, I’m the same way – even up here. Get so worried and worked up and upset. Then I go for a walk, a horseback ride, a snowshoe. I think it over when I’m out there. And the mountain helps me make sense of it all. Most of it becomes less important. And I think about what IS important. Even when I’ve lived in cities, just getting outside and walking would help balance me.

  5. I got up this mornng feeling blah and needing to read something solid, to connect with the real thing in another soul. This blog is it and this particular post took me to the best of nature’s medicine. The birds are singing… it’s going to be okay.

  6. I was born and raised in the Appalachian mountains. I was used to being able to roam the hills by myself from around age 8. I played in the yard alone. I fished with my dad. Outside was my space in a creation that protected me. I became as much a part of it as it was of me. When my husband and I moved to Louisville for a time, I never got over the constant alertness I felt I had to feel. I had to watch my back so to speak. The culture shock was never ending. Then, I had my girls. As my oldest grew, I realized she would never be able to play in her own back yard without me out there as well. I was sad. We moved home and off-grid. I finally feel free again. My daughters will know the earth and its beauty and strength. They will breathe.

  7. JRuth, it’s been a really good day here. Snow is falling, Artemis is out running with her mama in the yard. At times, I wish life was not such a roller coaster. Other times, I am so glad to live, to feel, to experience both the good and the bad.

    It means a ton to me to think of being there for each other, even just to pick each other up with words. Felt like you’ve been there for me, thank you, and so glad if I can pick you up too from time to time!

  8. Kentucky gal, this is great to read, I love to hear stories like this, thank you. I wish every child could feel what it’s like to be safe, to not have to “watch your back,” and to be comfortable in nature. Even for just a week every year… just to know what it feels like.

  9. Great to see Artemis romping with Tres!!! Understand why you must be exhausted. Looks like you guys have more snow coming. Hoping that Momma and baby will not have another below zero morning.

  10. me too Gin…great comfort…and so glad to hear of Artemis’ progress! Hugs…Ruth

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