I spent almost 20 years in a small mountain community that has a gunfight between the cowboys on the main street…and train robbers…and of course a train that rolls you up into the Grand Canyon and back again in a day. Every night during the summer you can find a crowd of tourist and some incredibly authentic cowboys fighting over a barmaid or a card game gone south, it’s a lot of fun and with the horse-drawn carriages and the train whistle I feel like I spent the last twenty year in the 1800’s…well at least on summer nights.

Lots of Old Western buildings, the town had died and been reborn many times, there were even some old hotels that boasted “ghost tours”…old west legends and what not…

During the winter all that changed, snow would make driving a challenge, and the mountain highways (and especially the road north to the Grand Canyon) contained another kind of ghost, not the Stephen King kind but the “grey ghost of the mountains” the elusive elk and deer that thrived in the worlds largest ponderosa pine forest we know of.

There is something both haunting and exciting about hearing the elk bugle in the early morning fog, echoing off peaks and pines the sound is otherworldly and they are truly elusive along with the other tribes of deer and wildlife that make the Coconino Forest their home…you see them but sometimes you think you’ve only seen a ghost, a brief flash of grey or rust and then they’re gone like Keyser Soze in the Usual Suspects “poof and he’s gone” (arguably Kevin Spaceys finest performance).

I’ve learned to not invest to deeply in people who don’t have a ghost or two hanging around them, or worse yet never admit to having any ever, the perfect person ascended back to heaven and you ain’t him so lets cut the crap we all have ghosts.

Oh I get it how some people only want to focus on the “positive” and the glass is always half full approach is probably valid most of the time, but it is our ghost that allow us to connect our most important aspect of who we are, our hearts.

Our brains are undoubtedly our greatest tool in gathering data, informing our decisions and processing our surroundings, but it is our hearts that are our greatest power. When someone says they have no ghosts or refuse to admit that they have been seen what they are saying is “I only want to connect in places I can control…I will answer your heart question with a brain response”…that is unkind. It means the person either thinks your heart is not worth the honest effort or their heart is somehow better than to connect with you on that level…and it’s not that I don’t trust them, it’s that they don’t trust themselves and when push comes to shove they will be unpredictable.

Crisis has a way of changing our environment…and when that changes our brains go into overtime to control it, and when your brain is in overdrive the heart is usually in the pickup bed bouncing around saying “Hey don’t forget I’m back here”…

And that’s about the time we turn the corner and run over someone who was trying to get close to us or give us advice or well, warn us the bridge was out up ahead and BOOM!…another ghost is born.

People who fail to see or admit to the ghosts in their lives should not be allowed to drive you around…I’m not saying avoid them…just don’t invest too much in their destination…someone is gonna get run over, like an elk rushing out of the mist it will be unavoidable and hopefully it won’t be you.

I’ve been on the receiving end of getting hit by ghost avoiders…people who would not face the truth about themselves and what that meant to my heart…and each and every time it happened it was a mangled mess that has taken me years to patch up…

I guess my point is mainly this, your heart is your greatest treasure, not your brilliance or your body, those things rust and wear out, learn to hang out with people who answer a heart question with a heart reply and not a brain fact…those are the people who have seen the ghosts up close., and maybe give the other folks some time to grow…eventually it will come to us all…we all have ghost stories we could tell…


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