Rocky Springs

Rocky Springs-A Town That Isn’t

Rocky Springs is, or should I say was, a town in Mississippi. I say was because it’s no longer there. All that remains of this once thriving small community is a church, cemetery and two rusted safes.

photo-3-6

A Growing Population

The settlement of this little hamlet along the Old Natchez Trace, began in the late 1790’s. Among those that thrived here over the years were carpenters, doctors, clergy, teachers, cabinet makers, cotton gin makers and blacksmiths. Parts of the 440 miles of the original Natchez Trace can still be seen here and you can walk on that section of history. The lovely little Church was erected in 1837. All in all the town flourished by 1860 to a population over 4000 people including slaves that are, sadly, not actually mentioned in the population statistics.

 

Bad Luck Strikes

Unfortunately there were three elements of bad luck destined to strike at the heart of this little burg and seal its fate. The Civil War, which began in 1861 and lasted almost exactly four years, killed many of its inhabitants. U.S. Grant himself came to Rocky Springs in 1863 and used the church as his headquarters for a short time. His desk was set up where the pulpit now stands. He planned much of his campaign here while the war raged on and put this poor town on the road to destruction with it.

After the war, Yellow Fever devastated the town in 1878, further killing many townsfolk including numerous small children. The cemeteries in the area, heavy with sadness, are filled with headstones that read ‘infant’ or have an angel or cherubim atop with dates that span only a year or so.

cemetery

A short time later, in the early 1900’s, the boll weevil killed crops and put the final nail in the coffin of this town. Interestingly, after everything that happened here, the spring and namesake for the town dried up. Did the spring know the town and the people were gone?

The last store closed sometime in the early 1930’s and all that proves this place was here are the church, and a lonely and worn cemetery with dates disappearing on the stones through the harsh hand of time.

Cemetery Stroll

If you visit here, and I recommend you do, there is no longer any evidence of a spring, but it was once as strong as the town. Pouring out fresh water for the people and the crops. A spring powerful enough to have thousands of people build their entire lives around it. Only to have it dry up and disappear with the town itself. Nonetheless, it’s an interesting and beautiful place to visit; quiet and peaceful with the ghosts of the past on the wind. Take some time to walk the deserted paths and enjoy some reflective time in nature. Sit in the church and enjoy reverence in a place visited by many from the past, but not so many now.

church-from-cemetery

An Afternoon In A Forgotten Place

We enjoyed walking through what remains of Rocky Springs. As many more years pass, there will be absolutely nothing left of this place to find. Walking the paths, we were moved by the history of roaming on some of the original pieces of the Natchez Trace. Covered in trees and brush in some places, it was hard to see where the path used to be. Those paths that were crossed by slaves, traders, and bandits. We noticed the earth eroding all around where this town and its inhabitants once worked, loved, and made lives. Tread slowly and listen to the wind in the trees. Going into the church one could be still and hear nothing but the echoes of people now gone. There are no cars, no city around for miles. If one listens hard enough you may hear the footsteps of the townspeople, soldiers from the war, people baptizing their children, or having funerals here to bury them. The people of this town, and the town itself, are now long gone, but I enjoyed being here in this place. A small reminder that life; whether during good times or bad, is precious and to enjoy every moment you can before it disappears.

7 Wonders Of The World

Do you know what the seven wonders of the world are?

If you click on the link you’ll find out.

I’ve been, so far, to only one of them.

The gorgeous and spectacular, Coliseum in Rome, Italy.

Here’s a couple pictures I took there.

 

Coliseum In Blue

Coliseum After Dark

I would love to get to all of them.

Has anyone been to all of them???

 

 

Sistine Chapel

 

The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome, Italy is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen.

The first time I saw it, I was overwhelmed with emotion and began to cry.

If you haven’t seen it, then you are truly missing out on one of the most magnificent pieces of art ever created.

But it’s in danger.

The Vatican has put in a new A/C system, but if it doesn’t cut down on the damage that pollution is doing to the fresco, they may have to limit visitors.

Either way, it’s a tragedy.

If you get to Rome…go see this treasure.

While your there, say a prayer that they find a way to save it.

Food fight anyone?

There are so many wonderful things to see and do in the world.

Climb mountains, swim in rivers, kayak around icebergs in Alaska, bike to castles in Ireland…you name it it’s out there.

But…how about a food fight in Spain?

I must admit…I would never run with the bulls, but this I would do.

Cusco, Peru

As it says in the article, most people only stop over in Cusco long enough to settle in then head to Machu Picchu.

I myself have always thought it would be nice to spend a week there before heading up to the mystical mountain.

It’s a UNESCO site and my research has shown that they have numerous churches that I will want to visit.

If you have doubts, take a look at this article on Cusco, Peru and if you plan to go there, plan to stay awhile.

My Home

YOU’RE MY HOME  ~ Lyrics and Vocals by Billy Joel

When you look into my eyes and you see the crazy gypsy in my soul
it always comes as a surprise when I feel my withered roots begin to grow.
Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
but that’s alright my love cuz you’re my home

When you touch my weary head and you tell me everything will be all right.
You say use my body for your bed 
and my love will keep you warm throughout the night.
Well I’ll never be a stranger and I’ll never be alone
wherever we’re together 
that’s my home.

Home could be the Pennsylvania turnpike
Indiana’s early morning dew
high up in the hills of California
home is just another word for you.

Well I never had a place that I could call my very own
but that’s all right my love 
cuz you’re my home.
If I travel all my life 
and I never get stop and settle down
long as I have you by my side 
there’s a roof above and good walls all around.
You’re my castle, you’re my cabin and my instant pleasure dome.

I need you in my house cuz you’re my home …you’re my home.

 

Rocky Mountain High

John Denver

Words by John Denver; Music by John Denver and Mike Taylor

He was born in the summer of his 27th year

Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before

He left yesterday behind him, you might say he was born again

You might say he found a key for every door

When he first came to the mountains his life was far away

On the road and hangin’ by a song

But the string’s already broken and he doesn’t really care

It keeps changin’ fast and it don’t last for long

But the Colorado rocky mountain high

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky

The shadow from the starlight is softer than a lullaby

Rocky mountain high

He climbed cathedral mountains, he saw silver clouds below

He saw everything as far as you can see

And they say that he got crazy once and he tried to touch the sun

And he lost a friend but kept his memory

Now he walks in quiet solitude the forest and the streams

Seeking grace in every step he takes

His sight has turned inside himself to try and understand

The serenity of a clear blue mountain lake

And the Colorado rocky mountain high

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky

You can talk to God and listen to the casual reply

Rocky mountain high

Now his life is full of wonder but his heart still knows some fear

Of a simple thing he cannot comprehend

Why they try to tear the mountains down to bring in a couple more

More people, more scars upon the land

And the Colorado rocky mountain high

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky

I know he’d be a poorer man if he never saw an eagle fly

Rocky mountain high

It’s Colorado rocky mountain high

I’ve seen it rainin’ fire in the sky

Friends around the campfire and everybody’s high

Rocky mountain high

*     *     *     *     *     *     *

I consider myself to be a traveler. A vagabond. I have a serious case of wanderlust and would live out of a suitcase if I could. I have no idea what ‘home’ means. The only home I’ve ever known is John, my husband; my Prince Charming. Billy Joel, the great singer/songwriter had it right in his beautiful and infamous song, ‘You’re My Home’. My Prince Charming husband is my home, but when I traveled to Colorado recently, admittedly there was a small part of me that wanted to find what the late, John Denver did. John Denver, another amazing singer/songwriter wrote the song ‘Rocky Mountain High’. The lyrics of which have always captivated me. I wanted to go to Colorado and find what he did in his song. A ‘home’ that isn’t a person, but a place to hang my hat. Put my art on the walls. Have a garden. I wanted to go there and end up coming home to a place I’d never been before and find the key to every door, as he did.

Like in the song, life for me has always seemed far away. I have memory problems from a head injury and others tell me about my life, which has always been strange for me. I wanted to go to Colorado and have the string be broken to my previous life. To be forever altered by the magic of the mountains, the forests and the streams with the silver clouds above. I wanted to stop living inside myself. I hoped to find some serenity, talk to God and listen to the casual reply. Alas, I did not.

Colorado is absolutely beautiful, no doubt about it. We saw glorious scenery.There were mountain meadows, streams and waterfalls that, excuse the cliché’, take your breath away. The plains with the sun slowly setting behind a herd of buffalo. A moose with her baby. The quiet of the evening with shadows from the starlight softer than a lullaby. We saw all these and more, but I didn’t see a place to call home. To stay forever. The only ‘home’ I saw was my Prince Charming husband.

Buffalo Herd

But Rocky Mountain High is right. The scenery in Colorado is magical. John Denver said he found a life full of wonder in the Rockies. I found a gorgeous place, but my “home” will still always be with my husband, and my life full of wonder will have to come from continuing to travel. One place simply won’t do. I will simply have to experience them all.

Life Lesson Learned In A Museum

When you have been bitten by the bug to travel, sometimes you’re so focused on looking at exotic and far away places that you forget what’s just around the corner from you. Similarly, life can be lived in the same way and although I didn’t realize it, I ended up getting a few lessons on how to live in an art museum.

Balboa Park, in San Diego, California, is one of the nations largest urban cultural parks. It has fifteen major museums, an outdoor concert pavillion, several live theatres and of course, the World Famous San Diego Zoo. Many of the buildings in the park were built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition and the architecture is gorgeous, with sculptures and ornate decorative facades, that are themselves, art.

With the best of intentions to get out the door and on our way to our next adventure, my Prince Charming husband and I are invariably late. Although we’ve never minded this about ourselves, when we went to Balboa Park we didn’t arrive until well after lunch and the museums were going to close at 4:00 pm.

Feeling in need of a moment of relaxation we stopped at the Prado restaurant and sat in the bar. The bite was anything but quick but the food was warm, comforting and a great lead in to our cultural afternoon. We sat down in the ecclectically decorated cafe and pondered what exactly was the motif’ we were admiring. Latin American, Mexican, Italian? The confusing, colorful décor always gave you something to look at so we decided it was designed to be a little of everything, that way no matter who came here, or where in the world they came from, they would be comfortable. Even our meal had influences from different parts of the world. Basically a pizza; meat, cheese and vegetables on on Italian-style flatbread. However the Mexican inspired ingredients on top were anything but Italian. Guajillo beef, roasted green chilies, chimmichuri sauce (which I’ve developed a real love for), manchego, mozzarella, jack cheeses and cilantro. The flavors exploded in our mouths, waking us up from our lazy slow beginning of the day.

Wanting to get to our destination, we walked across the parking lot and into the San Diego Museum Of Art. After showing our identification to prove we live in America’s Finest City, we were allowed access. It was Free Tuesday in Balboa Park. One or several museums each Tuesday are open free to residents of San Diego county. If you didn’t live here you would just have to pay to get in.

Stepping into the lobby we reviewed the exhibits and decided that a methodical approach was necessary. Start to the right, move through one and on to the next, and so on.

The first exhibit was Behold, America! An exhibit of art from American artists from several different museums. This art was not for me, or for my Prince Charming husband. The pieces had no cohesion, it was a confusing exhibit and most of the art bothered me. Many of the pieces, I’m certain, were specifically designed to create that feeling; pain, torture and unsettling images. We moved on.

In the adjoining room was the Impressionist works by Charles Reiffel. These lovely paintings were filled with movement, shape, color and texture perfectly placed to reveal a scene; a woman in a park, a snowy day, a rainy afternoon. Yes, these paintings moved me. Although Monet is probably my favorite impressionist painter, this guy was pretty good too. I find impressionism to be a metaphor for life. Don’t get too close and don’t concentrate on the details. Step back and look at the whole picture and it’s beauty comes into focus.

Several of the other exhibits were lovely, filled with glorious works of art that as I pondered over them I was thankful they had survived through time to find their way here, just for me. Just for the sake of beauty. That’s why they exist. Perhaps that’s another great idea for a way to live life. Just for the beauty. Another one of several lessons I would learn on this day.

The next exhibit turned out to be my absolute favorite, The Temple Palace Mosque* pieces. It contained exterior walls of temples and shrines from Hindu, Buddhist and Jain temples, all across India and Southest Asia, as well as other objects. These sculptures are broken shells of larger works with saints and divinities cemented into art forever. One piece in particular shook me more than all the others. It was called ‘Navagraha’ and was a piece from a temple in Eastern India from the the 10th century. Nine figures; Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Rahu (Demon of Eclipses) and Comet, all together. These nine likenesses together tell us that the temple they were part of was built on a day when the stars and planets were properly aligned. This was very important for the efficacy of the site as a place of worship. I looked at the extraordinary piece of art and wondered how that temple ever got built, because it seems in my life that the stars and planets never line up perfectly. Surely, divine intervention is the only way it could ever happen. I’d like to be there for that moment! Perhaps what I’m to take from this is another life lesson. Like the details of the impressionist paintings, I shouldn’t look too closely. I need to step back and look at the big picture of my life and realize that it is beautiful. Maybe the sun, moon and stars align more often than I realize.

Navagraha description Navagraha

We completed the museum and ventured out into the cool evening air. The sun was fading fast on the horizon as we surveyed the park, strolling around and marveling at the architecture and enjoying the holiday lights. The light was warm and glowing, like a fire slowly dying out. The famous tower of Balboa Park was illuminated, showing off it’s lovely details. We walked, talked and laughed and I felt my worries lift a little. On this ordinary night, I was creating memories and treasured moments of my life. It was a lovely big picture to look at and everything was in alignment. I just need to remember not to look too close.

*The Temple Palace Mosque exhibit is unfortunately no longer at the San Diego Museum of Art.

Hiking On Christmas

Went hiking yesterday, on Christmas Day and found I was really surprised how many people there were on the mountain.

Actually it was quite busy.

We thought it would be just the opposite and it turns out we were wrong.

It was a lovely day and it was really inspiring to see so many people up there working on their health and fitness.

Many had their friends and family with them and some even brought their dogs. Awesome!

Below are a few more Cowles Mountain photos we’ve taken…enjoy!

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