In the piece of desert
where she feared finding a dead body,
now there are little dead soldiers,
and fast-food bags.
I moved to the boondocks to get some space. It was mostly dirt roads, coyotes, a six-foot bullsnake, jackrabbits, and various other plants and critters. The closest neighbor was a quarter-mile away and the views of distant mountains and dormant volcanos was incredible.
While I must admit that I was a part of the problem -I made animals shift their movements around my existence- I left most of my acre open and undisturbed and tried to not hurt or influence much of the wildness.
A covey of Gambel Quail looks like a military unit as they double-time across the yard.
It was slow, but things began to change:
- roads got paved
- people moved onto other plots of land nearby.
- mobile meth labs came to the desert hills farther out.
- a housing development (postage stamp lots with big houses) took over the land across the road destroying habitat for snakes and critters.
- a construction company started moving equipment onto the lots behind me.
- the coyotes moved off and jackrabbits disappeared.
- the development has become noisy with loud vehicles, fireworks for months, and the sounds of civilization.
This house has seen changes. Hopes of future, happy family, breakdown and depression, divorce, debt, and bankruptcy, pets playing… and buried in the yard… Ghosts and sorrow have overcome happiness.
Civilization has come and now I must run again. I look for a place where worries and noise will abate for a time. A place on the edge of the mountains with room to wander and write without concern and self-diminishment, to pick up pieces of the world that unlock dreams.
My acre has become a sanctuary for some of the wild things (I will miss them.) but also has the feel of a prison.
Adventures go through valleys where mountain-tops are just a memory.
The civilized bind together in their groups leaving wildness freer for the uncivilized.