The Arrowhead

by Pat Holland

2015 BetterArrowheadPix-Holland

Sometimes my winter walks across the farm were more like winter scrambles than rambles. Whenever the earth froze and hid under a thin layer of snow, footing was chancy. Even a clump of dried grass could cause a stumble.  Putting a foot down in mud often ended in a too-swift slide downhill.

Yesterday, I took the long path down to the creek. I heard wild turkeys gobbling down there—I supposed they were talking to each other about the weather and walking conditions. Birds walking? Yes, from previous trips down that path, I knew that the flock of turkeys rarely lifted off to fly more than a few feet above my head.  When I spotted them yesterday, they were keeping their heads down—probably looking for food—and good footing.

I was keeping my head down too, watching the obstacles in my path so I wouldn’t stumble. Then I saw it, an arrowhead gleaming in the sunlight.  Weather conditions were just right; the ground heaved it up into the light from deep below the frost line. I knew that during a hard freeze the ground would often swell upwards and bring buried treasures to the surface.

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Lessons from Kanab

John Lynch has been bringing outdoor leadership students to Kanab Creek Wilderness for over ten years. Each visit, however, offers the clear truth that the land is the real teacher. Kanab Creek, and presumably all wild places, have a knack for providing insight around the greater lessons of life. In this case, they are uniquely delivered to each individual through the voice of the earth as translated by the desert. The attached articles is a short reflection describing a day of communion and muse between a man and Kanab Creek: Lessons-from-Kandab