It’s just a matter of Time…

I am a Man who has been to the Mountain Top and I’m forever changed by what happened there. I lived wild in the Deserts and Mountains of Utah and Nevada, Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. Rivers, streams, seeps, weeps and springs have wet my tongue. Moons, Suns, Planets and Galaxies have lit my way as I followed the skinny trail.

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I’m trying to understand what changed me in Wild Places. What is it that heals and restores me at the foot of a mountain, in the high meadows and under a shining Moon – To dance as a child, naked and unafraid?

I have searched my mind and the Wild Places of my past for answers to this question. I have driven thousands of miles to my old camps – To stir through the ashes of my fires – To sleep on the same Earth – What caused this change in me?

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This is one thing I’ve noticed.

In my wanderings I search out Time Monuments – Places where I witness the face of time, undeniable and obvious to all who care to look. Places of bent rock and upthrust which I can measure my own existence against – spoken in a language of gray stone and erosion. In these places I glimpse the Eons.

In Earth’s strata I imagine my place, my grain of sand existence. In the face of time my Ego is stripped from me. It’s not possible to stand with Time Monuments and be filled with boastful pride. Rather I am often knocked to my knees, face to the sky as tears streak my cheeks. I am Awe struck and firmly in the Place I should be. I feel my roots to the center of the Earth and my connection to the Sky above. The Animal within me Howls.

Healing can begin when the Ego is diminished

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I have an ability to sense emotions in Others. This both served me and damaged me during my Law Enforcement career. To be able to smell Fear and see a lie saved me many times. But then to knock on a door in the dark night – To tell parents their child would never be coming home crushed me night after night and in my sleep. Emotion sticks to me.

To be in Solitude and in Wild Places I can be sure all the emotions I experience are genuinely mine. To trust in Self – This is why I search out wildness – These places are my Church, my retreat, my Sanctuary.

This is to live in the Truth of Self – A place to discover Self Love.

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I am Michael – I am the smooth stone at the foot of a Mountain asking how did you change me – I am the ripple on a waterfall pool asking from where did I come – I have always been a part of this – I am Michael

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© 2016, Michael Fulcher. All rights reserved.

Wild Places

I am a fortunate man.

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For most of my days I had Uncle Frank as a role model. He was one of those rare men that lead by example, not words. Uncle Frank died about a month ago.

Unk, as I called him, was a strong man with thick hairy forearms and a shining face always wearing a real smile. He was a man who cared for many and many cared for him. He touched lives quietly and without ego. I Loved him more than any man I have ever known.

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Unk walked the walk. He gave when he had nothing left to give. He taught me how to be strong without raising my fists. He showed me that Words and Actions matter and that we should all try to be better People. He did this without thumping his Bible or preaching, without Hate or Bigotry. He taught me the Art of Kindness and how to be kind to those that cannot return it. I witnessed what he gained in the giving, the gift of the gift.

Unk showed me a Path into the Wild Places where I remain today, healed and better because of my connection to the Earth. Grounded to safe places, my untamed Sanctuaries.

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I’ve decided that the second half of this book, or whatever it will become, will be about what I learned in the Wild Places and how I was healed there. I can only hope it helps someone, anyone, to a better Path. I’ll still write the blood and guts Cop shit but my story is more than that. I AM a Better Me because of Unk and Wild Places.

I just returned from a long road trip to visit these camps and dug through the ashes I left there years ago. I wanted to remember how and what changed me.

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To Perch:

As the edges of gray find me I roll out of my sleeping bag barefooted on the damp red sand, wiggly toed and alive. I had finished another glorious night sleeping in the open, no roof of tin or tent to block my wide eyed view into the center of the Milky Way. The evening before I had laid out my coffee pot and stove to be next to me and ready to be lit. Within minutes I had my hands wrapped around a warm mug of cowboy coffee, black and strong. I clutch it closer to my chest to draw in all the heat it could give up. The purple light pushed against the absolute blackness as Night begins to give to Day.

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In the red rocks above my camp I notice an unkindness of Ravens, maybe a half-dozen in number. They have staked out their perches of high rock. What do they watch for, what do they wait for? I begin to wonder and decide to solve the riddle through experimentation.

I climb atop the nearest big rock wanting to witness what they would witness. A Raven hopped away with a cantankerous caw expressing his displeasure with my trespass.

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I Perch, my feet shoulder wide as I squat on my heels. Long shafts of yellow sunlight pushes across the landscape, behind the Joshua tree and into the narrow canyon. My back against the cool red sandstone, my face to the West.

For some dark shadows are reminders of places of ambush, of danger and death, of threat and trouble.

I began to see not the advancing light but instead the vanquished shadows. I watch as they were beaten back and away from me, in retreat they crawled into smaller pools. I celebrate the death of the gloom with a caw into the morning sky and a thump of my chest with a fist.

The Ravens take flight and circle over me.

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I watch as the Raven soars with his lifelong mate, locked in their sky dance. Just the two of them, flirtatious and weightless, teasing and tempting while renewing their affection. Inky black against blue sky. A natural commitment grows between them.

I witness Love.

I am thankful for the lessons of Unk and the Raven

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© 2015 – 2016, Michael Fulcher. All rights reserved.