Simple Man

Crow from I am a simple man
I am a simple man and it is the simple things in life that make it worth living. Where is that one place you go to be right with the world? Where you feel connected and at peace with yourself? For me that place is about a 30 minute drive from my home and just above on the mountain overlooking Central City, Colorado. Down through the decades of my life since I was a lad – I have felt a spiritual healing when I visit. This small park next to the timeworn Coeur d’Alene gold mine has 4 picnic tables that oversees the valley and the old gold mining towns of Central City and Blackhawk. The park is nestled in an old rock foundation of the building that once stood proud and tall on the mountain. Is it the most scenic place in Colorado—that would be “no”—but, over the years, the tall wooden cross that is memorialized there has been a favorite photographic subject of mine. I have always been drawn to this place of old. I often wondered if this place was where I may have lived in a past life. Where I laughed, where I was sad, where I was loved. Maybe, just maybe, I am a simple man growing gray that has put too much meaning into this small park on a mountain. One thing I know is that I love the loneliness and solitude of this park; for it clears my mind to muse and to write. I have written numerous story poems and chapters of my adventure novels sitting in the summer mountain breeze, warm sunshine, and even in the winter’s silent snow here. It is my favorite place to reflect of all things that matter to me.
Today I visited this divine place, and I had a visitor, and he seemed just as curious of me as I was of him. Not sure about the rest of the country, but mountain black crows are a very sizable bird, and I have many times used them as forebears of knowledge in my books. The ancient Ute Indians of the Rocky Mountains saw them as mystical, as do I. I watched the crow as he rode the updrafts from the valley without flapping his wings gliding back and forth in an aerial ballet of sorts for about 40 minutes. Sometime he was so high in the air I could barely see him and other times he was just inches off the ground not over 4 feet away. He circled back and forth as if destiny had linked the two of us. Watching him as he rode the Rocky Mountain currents, I pondered when he floated on the wind if he had a destination I was keeping him from or that if he just rode the air streams – because he could. As he finally left for parts unknown, I decided I would never know, and I am okay with that. I rejoice in the fact that I am a simple man.
“Simple Man” 
Kurt James
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Kurt James

Kurt James was born and raised in the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Kurt’s family roots were from western Kansas and having lived in South Dakota for 20 years, Kurt naturally had become an old western and nature enthusiast. Over the years Kurt has become one of Colorado’s prominent nature photographers through his brand name of Midnight Wind Photography. The Denver Post, PM Magazine, and 9NEWS in Denver, Colorado featured his poetry. Kurt is also a feature writer for HubPages and Creative Exiles with the article’s focused on Colorado history, ghost towns, outlaws, and poetry. Inspired at a young age by writers such as Jack London, Louis L’Amour, and Max Brand have formed Kurt’s natural ability as a storyteller. Kurt has published 16 books all based in and around the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Using the Midnight Wind Publishing brand, Kurt James novels, short stories, reference books, and poetry, are available in print or download on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and other fine bookstores. And a few shady bookstores as well. Kurt has 3 books that he is currently writing. The 8th book in his Rocky Mountain Series - Raphael Eye for an Eye. His third ghost town reference book, Kansas Ghost Towns, Hauntings, Treasure Tales, and Other BS. And a western/horror novel - Devil’s Tower Spirit of Chiha Tanka. Kurt is a proud member of Western Writers of America.

7 thoughts on “Simple Man

  • May 22, 2020 at 9:16 PM

    A delightful read on this cold gloomy day here at home. That park sounds very special. I have a couple of places that evoke similar feelings in me. A small mountain top community where we used to live called Belthorpe, especially. In the Winter the fog was so thick that you actually felt you were in the clouds. I think maybe we were. Crows always have an air of being much more than just an ordinary bird. There is just something about them. Thank you for sharing Kurt. Love your photography too.

    • May 24, 2020 at 5:36 AM

      Thank you John for your nice comment – I think we all need at least one place that we feel connected to the earth and the heavens. One with nature. I am going to google Belthorpe and see for myself one of yours…

  • May 25, 2020 at 9:38 AM

    Such a wonderful, peaceful memoir, Kurt. I love mountain air and the peace and quiet when I find a good spot like you did. This piece takes me back to California, years ago, when I lived in the Santa Cruz mountains in a small town. I would often hike to a quiet place up back of the town to find solitude where I could be one with nature. Crows are quite mystical beings and seem to know what mood we are in and share that feeling with us. I love your thoughts on the friend who paid you a special visit. Thank you for sharing those moments.

  • November 23, 2021 at 4:00 PM

    Really felt like I was sitting at this Small Park on a Mountain…there…watching you and this “Raven/Big Black Crow” get things sorted out. Kind of a “Mind Meld” moment between you and this bird…as if he (The Crow) wanted to try to let you know something more about the place, himself, or just about birds in nature…in general. Was enjoying this written by a “Simple Man”. Nothing wrong with a Man slowing things down and being a Simple Man. Lynyrd Skynyrd: “And be a simple kind of man…Oh be something you love and understand” song about a “Simple Man”…comes to mind as I am reading along your story. Great Read! Would like to see future “Simple Man” excerpts from your Colorado Small Park in the Mountains…if you’re counting “Raised hands” from the audience.

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