~ California Bound, Califor-Nirvana & Drunk Prospector ~
The west represented (and still does) the opportunity for prosperity, it was looked at as the place of freedom, where one could spread their wings & where dreams really could come true. Some of the silver & gold miners actually did strike it rich. Some found wealth like a river which flowed in oil. There were also the men & women who became land owners with huge spreads & some became cattle barons. There were others who were successful agribusinessmen with huge farms.
Some didn’t go all the way across (from the east), but stopped permanently across the way, perhaps they fell in love with those red sandstone monoliths, the ones which abruptly rose out-of-the-earth & took on animal shapes (bison, bears, coyotes) in the distance, silhouetted against the orange sky at dusk (Utah, Arizona and New Mexico). Yes, those lands where the native american shamans prayed, land so remote there were only footpaths that lead into slot canyons. Many courageous pioneers journeyed west into dangerous territories & endured hardships which wore away at them (like the same zephyr wind which shaped the canyon walls). The hope of a better life kept them determined to fight back tears of frustration & continue to move forward.
Some stayed in those lands of lofty snow-topped mountains (Montana, Wyoming & Colorado) with canopies of endless blue skies. Some followed the spirit-chasers across the Dakotas & all the way down into Texas & fell in love with color-of-earth eyed indigenous squaw’s (like my great grandfather) & once their hearts were planted, their feet could no longer stray. Some moved into cooler lands of the northwest, transfixed by oceans of deep green forests.
The ultimate dream for the majority was that magical land at the edge of the pacific, the land the Spaniards called ~ California ~ where just the sound of it evoked an image of sparkling sunshine. In that heavenly mystical land there existed a spectacular central valley hundreds of miles long & wide, where an enormous variety of abundant crops were grown — almonds, grapes, plums, apricots, nectarines, pears, peaches, grapefruits, oranges, lemons, limes, avocado, strawberries & it was the north american “Eden.”
Another large migration occurred during the happy times of those roaring 20s & then those sad dust bowl days where one could find work. Some came for the cinema, to have wide open space for the shooting & production of motion pictures, some musicians came, especially from the deep south to flee persecution (Jim Crow laws) & have the freedom to express themselves in their music without fear.
People continue to come to California from all over the world & it’s not likely to stop. She truly is that golden land that I call my home. ~ bonnie j. flach ~ copyrighted — all rights reserved
~ Califor -Nirvana ~ (California today)
She’s the land of swimming pools that comes with a sauna
Califor — Nirvana
She’s the land of abundant flora and fauna
Califor — Nirvana
She’s the land of mountain lions, hawks, coyote and tarantula
Califor — Nirvana
She’s the land south of neighbors Oregon & north of Mexico’s Tijuana
Califor — Nirvana
Back to the wild west……
~ The Drunk Prospector ~ What was it that caused the horses to stampede a gunshot that went off too close perhaps, either way the mustangs bolted with the most handsome in lead on a day with an overcast steel-gray sky. They ran through country easterners called wasteland but it wasn’t for there was abundant mesquite good enough to make a blazing campfire grand. If you looked with good intentions you would see the beauty of the wilderness that was there all around.
Once only bands of indigenous peoples knew this land, long before the pioneers when it was pure sacred ground. The white sage was so dense that from a distance it gave a mirage as if the terrain was covered in snow & the scent left you in a dream-like state, well, so I have been told, like rivers flowed in stories passed down by shamans over generations.
The pioneers came with their overloaded mule trains some say they were adventurous, but mostly they were curious for men desire the unknown & search for what they can gain. They sent out native scouts ahead to find the best routes before they left their comfortable homes to settle out west. Some native tribes didn’t like the invasion & uprisings would take place other tribes knew the land belonged to God & He knew what was best.
The settlers would make it only if they were willing to adapt to a life vastly different from the one they left behind. Some couldn’t & returned to those eastern shores and those who continued went thru desert sand to find those pristine falls of water that left them awestruck. They may have been the first non-natives to witness it and the thought of that settled deep within them.
Some knew it was their destiny & couldn’t go against it, that pull, even if they wanted to. It was like a magnet, that if they didn’t go they would be haunted by “what if” for the rest of their lives.
When the dust cleared and the wind refused to blow the drunk prospector stumbled down the embankment and returned to his mine, pondering if today will be “that” day, pay dirt, feeling hopeful, strike it rich, well, he just may, he just may.
~ bonnie j. flach ©