Mr Sage has taken to wandering the mesa with his metal detector. He finds wonderful treasures, bits of history, and strange metal things that make us wonder about the people who, long ago, made this place their home.
He has dug up coins, silver spoons, old bullets and even an antique pocket watch. We've found caches of tin cans and bottles from the 1920's and 1930's. We've found old homesteads, sheep camps, and everything in between.
While he wanders, metal detector in hand, I wander with the dogs. I sometimes feel like a shepherdess when I hear the dogs' bells jingling as we walk.
And I also find amazing things, usually under trees near the places Mr Sage explores.
Last trip to the mesa, I found the old license plate, bottles, and a tin canister. I scared up an owl and found nearly 40 to 50 pellets under his tree! (Of course, I took a few choice pellets home for further inspection and dissection.)
Oh! I also came across, high on the mesa, near a small pile of rocks, a rusted band-aid tin with a mining claim dated May 1959 tucked inside! The dreams those people must have had! The lives they must have lived!
I sometimes feel we are the last ones to walk this mesa. We've become the keepers of its secrets, the explorers of its forgotten roads.
But mostly, we find peace. We become lost in Nature, lost in the history of the mesa, lost in the lonely place that stole our hearts. And we happily leave a little more of ourselves behind every time we drive away.
Isn't it strange how we find a place....a place we wander and explore and listen to and learn from and somehow we decide it's our place. It belongs to us. And then, one day, after years of wandering and believing it is ours, we realize that we belong to that place.
We belong to the sun and the moon and the long dirt roads. We belong to the sage and the storms and the treasures we find.
We belong to the place where the earth meets the sky.
Bless our furry, red-bandana'ed hearts, we belong.
There was no cell phone reception. (I love that.) There was no wifi. There was nothing there but what was meant to be there.
Never mind that Lucky went into full-blown heat two days before we left.
Never mind that there was a fire on my mountain. Never mind that my new Merrell Siren Sport hiking shoes blew out after
just fourteen days, or that my water bottle opened inside my backpack, and my pack was filled with water.
We explored a new dirt road and a new corner of the mesa. We found pieces of the mesa's history. We watched the sun go down and the stars come out. And we became a part of that mesa....till nothing else mattered but sky and stardust and sand and sage.
I am having a hard time plugging back in. While I try to figure it out, I give you....the mesa.