Truly Powerful People (449)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

My great aunt Dorothy was wise. She lived a simple life in the mountains above Central City, Colorado when it was still a mining town – long before the casino conversion turned it into an amusement park. Dorothy pieced together a living with my great uncle Del. They moved through their days with the sturdy simplicity of two people content to be right where they were – alive and grateful for every day. Their aspiration was to walk the hills, appreciate the seasons, and learn the deep quiet of the mountain. In turn the mountain evoked the deep quiet from within them.

For some reason they welcomed their rowdy nieces and nephews; we’d stay for weeks at a time. We shattered their quiet and complicated their simplicity and they loved us for it. Dorothy cooked hearty meals on a wood burning caste iron stove in a house that felt as if it might slide down the ravine at any moment. She collected blue glass, kept the hummingbird feeders well supplied, and made sure Poncho, their ancient dog, was in the sunniest spot.

Once, she took me on a hike. We followed a path through an aspen grove and crossed a field into a stand of pine trees. On the far side of the pines stood the remains of two-story house. Trees grew through the floor and branches reached out the windows; it was as if the trees were wearing the house for a coat or a Halloween costume. We peeked inside and tried to imagine people living there. I’d never before seen the earth reclaim a house. As if she read my mind, Dorothy said, “You never really own anything, do you. It’s all on loan.” Her eyes sparkled as she poked the rotted floorboards with a stick before stepping on them. “Isn’t it beautiful,” she sighed admiring the dilapidation. When I wrinkled my brow she laughed and said, “I suppose you have to know you are on loan before you can really see the beauty.”

4 Responses

  1. I remember those great days with Aunt Dorothy – such great memories

  2. Love this! How lucky you are to have had her in your life.

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