Wide Open Words, March 4, 2016

Ah….todaRB Spruce Jan 2013 009y was eye opening……………

I refer to Spruce Mountain by a few names: My Backyard, My Healing Place, My Home, My Mountain and My Friend. I have a kinship with that little mountain that has played such a big role in helping me to deal with living with cancer in my liver. I’ve told my husband that he can bury my shell wherever he wants, but if he wants to remember me…he needs to go to Spruce where a piece of my spirit will always live on. I’ve left blood, sweat, tears and even locks of hair on that mountain. I have written prayer cards and tucked them into the nooks and crannies of trees. I’ve hiked or biked that mountain hundreds of times in the 5.5 years since my incurable diagnosis. It is one of the few places where I find moments of peace. I drive my family nuts because it’s always my first choice for a hike or a ride. I never get tired of it.Uphill View 2

This morning as I listened to a presentation by a man who studies trees that were purposefully modified by the Native Americans, I felt like he was speaking to my soul. Only a small part of the presentation was about Spruce, but he called it a magical place. It is a magical place. I started noticing the bent trees years ago. It turns out that Spruce Mountain was a special place for the Ute Native Americans, also. Those trees that I put prayer cards in were prayer trees for them as well. When the wind blows the pine needles off, the prayers are carried up to Heaven. The Ute believe that the Spirit lives on infinitely and they do not say goodbye. They have no word for it. That’s how I feel about my Mom. She’s never left me. I’ve had some powerful prayer moments on Spruce when I feel the people…who love me but who no longer walk on this Earth…supporting me and encouraging me.

The Ute trees. They are living history. They still impart their messages from the past. I’ve always felt it. I’ve always known. Today, someone put explanations to the meanings of the twists and turns and curves of the trees. But that magic…. That magic…

That defies words…


RB IMG_5452 (2)DLC guest blogger Renae Batt is a Colorado Native who has been living in Douglas County for the past 30 years.  She is a retired Douglas County mathematics teacher.  Currently, she invests her time in enjoying life as much as possible through mountain biking, hiking and vacationing.  Her grown daughters and husband join her in exercising and together they have summited several of Colorado’s 14,000 foot mountains.  Renae topped her first 14er in 2012, two years after having been diagnosed with cancer in her liver that had spread there from a prior breast cancer diagnosis.  Her starting point for her journey from couch potato to the highest point in Colorado (Mt. Elbert 2015), was Spruce Mountain.  She has hiked and biked on Spruce hundreds of times since 2010 and hopes to continue

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