Let your heart be a portal for the songs of the universe.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sunlight, Shadows, And Frutas Amarillas

The first rays of sunlight find Cooper and me slogging down red dirt ranch roads. Recent snows are but a memory. Subfreezing night temperatures harden road surfaces and tire tracks into intricate arrays of grooves and ridges. Frozen water puddles heighten the drama of light and shadows playing across the ruddy complexion of the less-travelled prairie passages. The crystalline sheets resemble ice flows on a muddy river. Their shimmer invites brief pauses, pokes, and foot stomps. I savor a few moments of childhood memories.

Soon the raw reality of biting westerly breezes encourages us to push on. We end our ice road trek and thread our way down a Cholla Flats game trail. Cooper lives for these morning jaunts. Daybreak activities and wind borne scents of prairie denizens rouse primal instincts. They whet his desire to run. He leaves my side and disappears in the prairie grasses.

"To’sa-mocho ta’yetchy," whispers the wind. "White beard who rises with the sun...there is great medicine among the cholla. Close your eyes. Drink the timeless elixir of life." Eyes shut I erase a century of time and connect with the people of the Llano Estacado plains--the native inhabitants our forefathers new as Comanche. What would they make of such a fine day? They would embrace the power and austere beauty of the prairie. Similarly, the raw wilds of the Llano Estacado help to define me. I choose to walk forever with the people in harmony with the land.

I open my eyes. Splashes of distinctly yellow cholla fruit dominate the color palette of the sun-drenched winter prairie. In the tongue of early Mexican traders the bright yellow gems are frutas amarillas de cholla. What a glorious sight. Winter on the Llano Estacado is good for ailments of the heart and soul.

© Ilija Lukić 2011

Ice Road Trekkers
(Cooper and El Llanero Viejo)

Comanche Spirit Warrior

Stalking The Llanero's Shadow

Frutas Amarillas De Cholla
(cylindropuntia imbricata aka Cane Cholla)

On Cholla Flats Trail

Winter Colors
(Cane Cholla fruit)

Daybreak Jaunt

Preaching To The Choir
(El Llanero Viejo)

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