Exploring Magical Places in Nature
by Joseph Colwell
This collection of 23 essays and 13 poems was published in 2015. Joseph describes places he has visited or lived in, reflecting on his experiences and thoughts about the locations and their meanings to him. Readers have called these essays meditative and spiritual.
Come experience the rugged North Coast of California, the golden Colorado autumn aspens, and the slick rock canyons of southern Utah. Trek to an ages-old cabin with its memories in a Rocky Mountain forest, travel a lonesome wide-open Wyoming highway, and witness the journey of ravens streaming from the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. Beyond magical places, explore our natural world and what it means: the grizzly and cougar that haunt the wilds, the world of the chickadees and hummingbirds at the feeder, the chorus of sandhill cranes filling the sky. Joseph has looked beyond the rocks and trees, birds and clouds to ask questions about what makes our world and its history so intriguing and mysterious. Join his discoveries.
On the Rim
Lost in the Rocks of Time
Interlude: Clouds of Heaven
Interlude: Spring Thunder
Interlude: Water Journey
Assembly of Angels
Jornada of Ravens
The Last Grizzly
When the Hummingbirds Leave
Interlude: First Sunflower
Interlude: The Butterfly Migration
Weathered Dreams 1980
Lance Creek, Wyoming
Interlude: Weather Station
The Smoke of Summer
Flight of the Cattail Down
Interlude: Aspen in the Rocks of Heaven
Interlude: Mt. Rainier
I Know There is a God
A Wilderness of the Soul
Sun Stands Still
THE STORIES Behind the Stories
“Canyon Breezes was a perfect book. Short chapters for quick reading. In depth introspection of the small lovely things in nature. I would recommend it for every hiker. This book touches the heart with the depth of insight into the magic of nature. I would recommend it for all hikers and nature lovers. As a confirmed book lover, I especially enjoyed the wordcraft and spellbinding turn of a phrase.” Donna, in Colorado
“Your writing is excellent, for you were able to place me “there” where you were, where I could see, hear, and feel. Thank you for sharing your love of the natural world.” Mary, in Colorado
“Colwell has an uncanny ability to see well beyond the world at face value. Canyon Breezes searches for the meaning of life in the canyon walls, spring monsoons, and rock formations. A great read for anyone who wants to find spiritual value in the world around you.” J.D., in Colorado
“Mr. Colwell’s book is deeply metaphysical. Some may pick up this book and take it as a travel log of sorts, but it is so much more to those relatively few people that are characterized as having what Plato referred to as the life worth living; so few of us choose to live the examined life. We are either too busy, not busy enough, too bored or too stressed. Mr. Colwell has not fallen prey to relegating himself to this level of merely science centered living. He has worked hard over decades for the United States Forestry Service, and has learned the lessons of nature, that great and ultimate announcer of the other part of reality, the numinous. He has understood the difference between the merely beautiful and that which is sublime. He effectively conveys his knowledge of an expanded reality far removed from that of mere science, for he has lived and has allowed himself to experience the wonder and the centeredness of that other non-scientific facet of reality. And now he shares what he has learned over four decades with the readers of his book. If you believe this book is an easy read, you are wrong. For those of you that have been fortunate enough to have visited some of the places Mr. Colwell refers too, as you read these passages you will recognize immediately some of the grandeur, the holiness, the completeness of his words. For those who have not been so fortunate, there is no better elemental guide to metaphysics than this work of Mr. Colwell.
“I invite you to take a moment and listen to a man who thinks along the lines of Thoreau and Emerson. Canyon Breezes, a relatively small and inexpensive book, so pertinent and alive with the magisterium of non-science, of metaphysics, a book so rich in that which ultimately matters, is now available and a must read for those who are able to open their eyes…for those who dare to expand their horizons and think in terms of letters. Do yourself a favor. Grab a cup of coffee, a copy of Canyon Breezes, and find a quiet, comfortable corner. Read Mr. Colwell’s book slowly, thoughtfully, and… most importantly…listen to what he is really saying.” Robert, in Georgia.
“Joe Colwell knows the West — its mountains, valleys, and canyons. He knows the creatures that live there. He has spent his adult life working in and exploring the land west of the Mississippi. More than 45 years with the Forest Service and as a forest fire reporter. ... he shares his personal journeys and observations in 36 pieces and 158 pages. It’s the kind of book you can read one essay and reflect on his storytelling or you can read several in one sitting. You can sample a random piece to discover a message that speaks to you. And, you may pause, reminded of one of your own experiences. The vivid and engaging writing style will make you appreciate the wonders of the West even more — and inspire you to get outdoors and do your own exploring.It’s an enjoyable and rewarding read." Ray, in Texas