~~ Canyon Breezes ~~

Exploring Magical Places in Nature

by Joseph Colwell

Beautiful cover of Joseph Colwell's essay and poetry collection: CANYON BREEZES.

          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.

CANYON BREEZES Table of Contents

    On the Rim
    Lost in the Rocks of Time
    October Storm
    Interlude: Clouds of Heaven
    Interlude: Spring Thunder
    Bodega Head
    Stinson Beach
    Muir Woods
    Interlude: Laughingwater
    Interlude: Water Journey
    Assembly of Angels
    Jornada of Ravens
    The Last Grizzly
    When the Hummingbirds Leave
    Interlude: Buttercup
    Interlude: First Sunflower
    Interlude: The Butterfly Migration 

    Homestake Mine
    Weathered Dreams 1980
    Leaning Cabin
    Lance Creek, Wyoming
    Interlude: Dragonfly
    Interlude: Weather Station
    Glenwood Canyon
    The Smoke of Summer
    Flight of the Cattail Down
    Aspen Gold
    Interlude: Aspen in the Rocks of Heaven
    Interlude: Mt. Rainier
    I Know There is a God
    A Wilderness of the Soul
    Sun Stands Still
    Interlude: Lazuli
    Interlude: Pollinators
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