Wow. As I sit here at my laptop, late at night, I look at all that has happened. As time passes by on it's long, steady journey, with little notice to us, we notice it with great detail. We notice every little thing that has occurred within it's frame. How we all find ourselves doing things we used to dream of. I'm still pinching myself, making sure I'm not dreaming. I watch as my friends find jobs, get married, try to live their dreams, and find myself just as well off.
I've been here in Arizona for nearly 3 weeks and find myself wondering where the time went. It seems like just yesterday I was driving through the desert and spotted the Ryolite cliffs from afar.
When I came over the hill and spotted the mountains in front of me, it was almost like coming home after a long absence. Letting my gaze fall over the cliffs and canyons that I had come to know last summer. While it is a beautiful place, I can never truly call it home. For now though, it is home away from home and will do while I'm out here.
As I drive into the canyon, I can hear the birds singing. Many familiar, some unknown to me. I would learn them all in time.
I headed directly into the small town of Portal. The Quail called from the roadside, the Thrasher sang his jumbled tune, A Wren trilled from the mesquite bush as I rolled into town. It was all so familiar, so known, yet unknown at the same time.
The days passed. I caught up on the songs of the western birds around me. They became my friends. Always in the same place, always dependable to be there. The Vireo in his mesquite bush, the Phoebe by her pool. The Owl always at his hole, watching all that goes on with a knowing gaze.
It seems sometimes, as if I have known the mountains forever and have found their every surprise. Yet, I have barely begun to explore these mountains and will never know them as thoroughly as they would like. What is hidden in some forgotten canyon where human feet never tread, only the creatures themselves can say.
One could spend a lifetime in these mountains and never even come close to knowing their secrets. I will settle for just skimming the top of their ancient knowledge. There are many other places on the planet that have yet to be explored to spend much time in one location alone.
Tomorrow, I leave for the Huachuca Mountains. A range so similar to the Chiricahuas, that when people finally arrive here, they come for only 1 bird.
Jacob Cooper and I will be spending Friday evening, Sat and part of Sunday morning searching the Huachucas for their superficial secrets and hidden birds.
On Monday, I take Dave to the airport and he will fly out, leaving me in charge of the house, feeders and clients for the summer. What will happen this summer, one can only guess. Will I even end up back home? eventually. One of my favorite verses, written by J.R.R Tolkien: "Roads go ever, ever on. Under cloud and under star, but feet that wandering have gone, return at last to home afar."
We always return home at some point. The only difference being what we call home.
I'll leave you with that thought. It is time to enter the land of never being and fantasy.
Til next time, may you live your dream to it's fullest. We all attempt to do so. Few actually succeed.