Rock solid rifts, in their ancient wisdom, hold the bluff in wonder. A millennium message, perfectly silent memory, but shouting, bold and strong. Recently while wandering and plotting a new hiking path along a new piece of land we added to the farm I stumbled across the most incredible bluff of rocks, huge, maybe 50 feet high and 100 yards long they just cry to be climbed and scrambled upon. Or they offer a shady spot to sit and feel their ancient wonder. How long have these rocks been here? Millions of years perhaps! I am told that these mountains were higher than the Himalayas and represent billions of years of memory!
I can sit and just wonder about that for a day. The time that mankind has been created, evolved and threatens itself with self destruction is not even a chip off these ancient rocks. What a memory they have, such force, to remain just what they are. How settled they are to remain as they are for millions of years. I write about this in my novel The 65th Octave. This to me is almost unfathomable. But to sit there and ponder in this hidden, secluded shelter is so peaceful, it's fun.
Speaking of fun, I love running around in the woods. One never knows what surprise will pop up next (such as these rocks). I believe my love affair started when I was a teenager. On weekends my buddies and I would load up our friend's old blue 56 Ford station wagon. We called her the blue goose. We would head out in a cloud of oily smoke (the rings in the Ford were shot) into the Cascades, mostly around Mt. Hood, where we would hike and camp and fish and mostly at night sit round the fire and do things that teenage kids should not. I am sure this is the time I became hooked on woods and though I had thirty years of city living in Hong Kong, London and Naples, my desire to live in the woods never left (hence our lives now on the farm).One sad note to all this is how we as teenagers used to select a camp in the woods that had no other campers (as I said we did things we should not have been doing-like smoking and drinking the forbidden beer-best not to leave witnesses around-you never know who knows mom and dad!)
But today just try finding an easily accessed public camp of seclusion. Our population has grown so dramatically that it not only strains the cities but the country as well. This does not bode well for our kids who want empty campsites to enjoy.
There is a more serious problem than that. Life threatening! A recent article at the CNN website entitled “Asian Cloud” could kill millions.
This shows how serious it could be when it says,
“HONG KONG, China — A dense blanket of pollution, dubbed the “Asian Brown Cloud,” is hovering over South Asia, with scientists warning it could kill millions of people in the region, and pose a global threat.”
In the biggest-ever study of the phenomenon, 200 scientists warned that the cloud, estimated to be two miles (three kilometers) thick, is responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year from respiratory disease. Here is the whole article: http://www.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/08/12/asia.haze/index.html
This is a serious problem that threatens the world. As we consider great places to be, let's look for ways to overcome these problems. This is not only good balanced living, but is good for the pocketbook as well and such thinking will become increasingly important. This is why I predict that Smalltown USA and places like low population Ashe county – see https://garyascott.com/lostprovince/203/ – will grow as great places to be.
There are things we can do to improve our finances, make where we are a greater place to be and help save the world. Here is one idea shared with me by our son Jake who works with the National Wildlife Federation – see https://garyascott.com/nature/628/
I have also added a collection of notes about the cost of our wasteful economic system. Look for companies that offer solutions to these problems because these companies will be the big winners in the decades ahead and they will help this world be a great place to be for our kids.