14 March…This is a leaving the rocks and the mines and the fantasmas behind…There are over 50 assay rocks on board, over two hundred pounds, and much mystery…old roads, old mines, old places, deep canyons, long arroyos, great ranges, holding the rocks, the imprint of time, balancing the resources and the reality, blanketing the sources, the ‘mother lode’, the heart of the treasures…
It is not our destiny to find it, to become rich, to live like kings and queens and millionaires. Instead, we are destined to seek the ‘mother lode’. Our journey, our life is created by acting towards this. Adapting as we move across the landscapes, to the wind and the dryness, the heat and the limited water, to being clean and being dirty, to pooling our resources and meting out our meagre supplies, to making do with what we have with us and within us.
Our destiny and so our reward is the life honestly lived, the use of the physical body, the exposure to nature and its elements, the connection with the past, natural and human, the surface of a rock revealed by the hand lens, seeing its story unfold as it lies in our hand, like a flower blossom unfolding. To travel over surfaces intimately, with our feet, our soles, our eyes. It is a making love, a subliminal gesture feeding our spirits, defining our limits, humbling our esteem, broadening our boundaries by releasing our essence, revealing our essential natures.
We are revealed microscopically at a place where inside becomes outside, that place where two surfaces meet.
What is prospecting? First, shed the stereotype of a guy with a grizzled chin and cheeks under a battered broad-brimmed hat, leading a burro or a dog packed with pick, shovel and a gold pan. Prospecting is a metaphor for the art of moving through life. Full of secrets, the rocks teach. Always leave some magic in the mountains, they say. The rocks lead you there eventually. There, into solitude and silence, where the ring of ancient bells echo and the dog’s spirit wanders. There, from rustic camps and living spaces. There, where there is no water. There, on tired, hungry bodies bent forward with the weight of the pack full of rocks.
“Leave no stone unturned.”
NEXT WEEK: The Art of Prospecting: Erosion