I have always loved the mountains. The sound of an elk bugling to me is the most beautiful sound in the world. Every time I read this I can hear that elk bugling and I can smell those mountains. It brings back fond childhood memories and a longing to head back.


Vaya Con Dios

The Eclectic Cowboy

Winfield Davenport

High Country


Early in the morning during the predawn darkness I sit by the fire smelling the smoke and drinking the last of a cup of coffee.  Joy fills my heart since I know that you are near.  I smell your presence in the wood smoke and hear your voice whispering through the aspens.  Who can stay up in the high country without believing that you do not exist.  As dawn approaches the bugle of the elk echoes through the canyons glorifying your presence.  I sit here watching as the sun first puts a glow on the faces of the highest peaks and I see the glow that you put on Moses' face as you gave him the power to set your people free.

I realize now as I look up to the top of that mountain that you want us to come up there to you and to be with you.  Nevertheless, mortal man being who he is could not live up there.  The air is too thin.  Nothing grows up here.  The only thing up here is rocks and snow.  Wait, I see something else, over on that ridge is a mountain goat and over there is a pika, that little creature lives in those rocks year around.  On the rocks themselves I see moss growing, there is life up here.  We can live in your presence if we choose to and are willing to change our wants and needs.

As the sun starts to descend into the valleys I realize that since we were not willing to change but, your want and need for us to be with you was so overwhelming that you sent your son to live with us, to bring us closer to you.  You sent him down into the valleys, life is good down there, the grass is green and lush everything grows in the valleys even sin.  Sin is like the thorns on a bush, you water and fertilize the bush it grows and produces beautiful flowers but when you bend down to pick the flowers the thorns reach out.  Grabs hold of you and then you have a hard time turning loose and getting away from the thorns.  Jesus was sent down to the valleys to help us to be able to be with you because when we have sin choking our bodies then the thorns grab hold of us so that we can not get to you.  Christ died on that cross giving us the means and opportunity to rid our bodies of the sin that has choked you out of our lives.

You have provided trails for us to follow up to your holy dwelling.  Once we have rid ourselves of the thorns then we can travel the trails and come and visit you.  Oh, you don't want us to live up on that mountain top while we are in our mortal bodies.  Nevertheless, we do need to visit you and be with you from time to time.  These trails cross creeks from time to time and as we travel the trails up to you we need to drink from the living water that flows through the creeks.  It comes from the pure white snow banks high up on the mountain tops.  These snow banks feed the valleys with living water but the closer we get to your dwelling place the purer the water and the more that it clenches the thirst that is in our souls.  Once we have traveled the trails and have sought your face then we truly find your will in our lives.  After that it will be time to go back to the valley and to weed out the bushes and thorns in someone else's life showing the trails that lead to you.

I realize that there are those who you need to spend their whole lives with you up on top of that mountain.  But you have chosen me to wander the valleys searching for others that need you help.  I sit by my campfire listening to the elk bugle looking forward to the day when I can once again travel the trails and see the glow of your face as you direct the Son to shine on me.


- Winfield Davenport

September 24, 1999



Picture taken by Winfield Davenport