The Rock House (Book exerpt)
The rock house still stands though the roof and inner walls have long since crumbled. The mesquites have taken root within, yet the windows still stand, framing the same view as they did long ago. I sit on one of the sills, the wood frame still held fast by the sandstone blocks, each one carefully cut and laid in place. When was that? Could it have been one hundred years ago? Yes, easily, when men were strong and determined. They knew no other way and had no other option. Weakness was not an alternative. I miss these men, who I have never met, love them as I have never loved anyone else. No man, except maybe for Wes, has ever equaled that image; he was cut from that same mold as they were.
The sweep of the mountains to the south ends abruptly at the end of a mesa. I want to stand on its crest just as those men once did; they had to have in order to see the view beyond there. The country was familiar to them but would have been brand new from that perspective, like my life viewed from this window with the frame of the next laying at my feet. I sit here; loving these men I will never chance to meet. I can see their broad shoulders and strong arms in the ruins of their workmanship, admiring them as I have no other in flesh and blood. Where are they who I would go to now and never look back, no matter the hardship? Sourdough and fatback, fresh deer meat packed from up the canyon, carried water from the creek, the cook fires burning every night, long gone.
The rocks still stand, a monument to those men and women who lived and died here. Whatever brought me here has allowed for it to belong to me for one long moment, sitting here in the sun with the wind in my hair. I will never get enough of this, but it is mine to take along when I leave. I will always remember it and my words will recall the moments which I sat here, they will have to suffice!
I take a few pictures, the light here is ever changing and I want to preserve every aspect of this memory. Today this place has spoken to me as deeply as ever, those long dead men revealing their presence, coveting me as I have them. I am looking back into a past I shall never live, they to a future they will never see. Such visions are awe inspiring and stir something inside of me which is buried as deeply in my spirit as their bones are in this earth. It is eternal and precious, unsullied by any modern presence, far too genuine for that! As difficult as it is to leave I know that I must go, stepping lightly over the eroded gully and walking back to my truck. It is time to move on.