Okay, new thread. I’m tired of the old one, and I’m guessing you are, too.

So Saturday, I went for a hike. It’s mud season here in SW Colorado, so I drove up into the foothills of the San Miguels, north of Dolores, south of Telluride. It was sliddery up there, as some kind soul had laid trail with their snowshoes, and I was just soled in shoes. I made it about 40 minutes up Bear Creek Trail until some pretty serious mud stopped me out.

I came home, and a ceiling of clouds boxed in the dusk. The colors mauve and crimson and a burning choler. I opened the blinds and looked at it for what seemed like hours, but wasn’t, as the sun crept near its East-West meridian, nearing the equinox just a little over a month away. I thought of a friend back East who would do the same; gaze at a sunset for hours. He is a staunch atheist. Funny how I wouldn’t call my mother a staunch Catholic.  But atheists are staunch, I guess. or militant, sometimes. The words we use.

It occurred to me that it wasn’t necessary to believe in God to appreciate this sunset, to take in beauty. But then, this sundown and the appreciation of it would be God, to some. As I pondered these things, my cat was mewling in the dark, wanting me to pet her. To her, the sunset was a little orange light out the window the color of a chew toy. God is only that collection of mystifying conditions for that for which we have no name, or it’s the handle we put on beauty, or the sublime way the dusk extends long beyond the sun’s lowering its face below the leveling wall of the horizon. The hues darker, bloodier, dimmer, subtler.

What you believe doesn’t change what it is, does not cheapen its sublime power, or raze it or raise it to new heights. The subtle beauty that is ecstasy to some, is perhaps unseen by others. Yet it shows itself to all. The question is not what I believe, but whether I see.

© 2020 by Michael C. Just

Mike’s novel, The Dirt: The Journey of a Mystic Cowboy, is available in softcover or eBook formats through Amazon.

You can purchase the book through this website. Or go straight to amazon at https://www.amazon.com/s?k=the+dirt+journey+of+a+mystic+cowboy&crid=1S40Q4BXSUWJ6&sprefix=the+dirt%3A+journey+of+a+m%2Caps%2C180&ref=nb_sb_ss_i_1_23

Mike’s other titles, including The Crippy, The Mind Altar, and Canyon Calls, are available through Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002LFMXAW