A Wonder Realized

From Mateo

Many years ago I found myself immersed in the silence of ancient canyon walls, feeling a stillness that brings calm to the deepest part of my heart beyond awareness, & breathing in the cool-myst of arid desert air as a vast expanse of the Chihuahuan landscape awoke to the rising sun in Big Bend National Park.

Echoes of wrens began to cascade down & a myriad of other migrating birds too. All of which evoked an echoing wonder of the many peoples who’ve been nurtured by the river below. 

Ancestral natives who knew its pristine radiance, to my ancestors who crossed these same waters, & the many immigrants who have since claimed its shores - white farmers & miners, industrial ranchers, and countless communities dependent on the health & vitality of the Rio Grande River.

Amazed by its grandeur & awed by its tenacity to take on anything we’ve thrown at it, from pollution, dredging, diversions, draining, & even polarizing it with hate wars against those that “don’t belong.” And yet, still it flows. So taken back, I traced a path on a map to its headwaters in Creede, Colorado, and thus began my longing to meet the birthplace of this Beauty.

Recently, it happened. This past August we were invited to play the Headwaters Music Festival in Creede. Traveling over the mountain ranges and seeing the river flowing clear & gently, as it reflected the colors of the setting sun, was enough to bring tears to my eyes. The next day, we played one of the most amazing sets of music we’ve ever experienced as a band. In a small town full of Southern Hospitality, many standing present at the foot of the stage, singing, dancing, and some crying, it seemed for a moment we all shared a new-found sense of harmony.

A Wonder Realized, I felt appreciation as our music echoed across the valley with the headwaters of The Rio Grande flowing onward.

Here are some links from life in the Park Service & Forest Service:
Four Seasons on the Green & Yampa Rivers
Touring Hot Springs of Colorado