"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

07 March 2010


There was a time when forty-one quaint American degrees on the fahrenheit scale was not something I would consider warm, bordering on balmy, at times. That was in a time before I found my Kashmir here in Morocco, Colorado. Before I lived through winters without direct sunlight and wind and slabs of snow, first born in autumn that only grew, and temperatures that rarely climbed above that of frozen water. Before then, forty-one quaint American degrees on the fahrenheit scale was a little cool, bordering on chilly, at times.

Those slabs of snow begin to recede a little. I can see patches of grass, still dull brown and khaki in context of the season. The ice shelves along the river begin to loosen. I wonder about the wisdom and safety of the ice-fishermen down on the Long Loch. The dirt streets are mostly mud. Where there were once ice sheets, there are now puddles of standing liquid water.

So, I went for a walk through the township. It was too nice of a day not to. My Kashmir was quiet, as a small living ghost town in a mountain Sahel would be in the waning days before the vernal equinox. It's still ski season, after all. Tourist season, when Morocco sees a little more activity, doesn't start for another month and a half, at the very least.

But that's okay. I like the quiet. It is one of the many reasons this place is my Kashmir.

Finches have started to appear at the bird feeder, and for the first time in months, I find myself filling it with seed more frequently. There will be more birds coming; cowbirds, grosbeaks, juncos, sparrows, swallows, robins, and more. Along the side of the house, there are buds, ever so small, ever so slowly, poking up out of the dirt. Crocuses, most likely. I silently named this spectacle hope. The hope of rebirth and renewal and the hope of the new season, which is just around the metaphoric corner.

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